Friday, April 15, 2011

Speakers offer film industry insight

I am addicted to trade shows. This week my addiction took me to the National Association of Broadcasters annual digital media gathering of entertainment professionals.

It is not always a product or a particular show that draws my attendee attention. A celebrity, special guest or specific keynote speaker are also considerations when I attend a tradeshow.

NAB2011 did not disappoint with keynote speakers James Cameron and Kevin Smith making appearances at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I may not be a huge fan of Smith’s but I was really interested in what he had to say and I did enjoy Clerks. As for Cameron, well, this was my first chance to be in the same room as an Oscar-winning director.

Cameron spoke about his favorite film technology at the moment — 3-D.  Cameron has had an interest in 3D long before he created Avatar.  Earlier in the week he announced his new alliance to develop and enhance 3-D technology for broadcasters.

Working alongside cinematographer Vince Pace, with whom Cameron created the Fusion camera system that shot Avatar, the Oscar-winner now plans to “make 3-D ubiquitous over the next five to 10 years on all platforms.”

It was great to hear his thoughts on this technology and I have never been at a keynote where a Hollywood director needed to remind attendees “Glasses on. This is in 3-D,” as he introduced a highlight real of coming 3D films including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Smith has a much different approach to films and drew a packed crowed to the South Hall on Wednesday morning for his keynote address.

Dropping F-bombs throughout his talk was not surprising but his dry humor and insights combined for a very entertaining keynote.

“I don’t like doing films as a job,” Smith said. “You don’t have to be good at something as long as you are passionate. I am proof of that.”

Smith showed a lengthy clip of his upcoming film Red State. It was loud with repeated gunfire and had no shortage of blood splatter. When the lights come back on he was laughing as he tells the audience that it is his wife who gets shot and dies in this clip and he likes watching it over and over.

Smith may have an odd sense of black humor but his humor has been his trademark. Smith has no desire to create a 3-D film and indicted that Red State would be his last film for a while as he delves into other digital media interest.

I am addicted to trade shows because I never know who I am going to meet, see or listen at the next show.

There was just too much to see and too many people to meet at NAB2011 and this is a must-attend for any aspiring filmmaker and broadcaster.

Also on Wednesday, the NAB Education Foundation in partnership with the Broadcast Education Association and hosted its annual spring Career Day.

I was able to meet local Channel-8 KLAS-TV newscaster Dave Courvoisier who was a panelist for one of the Career Day sessions.

Career Day was an opportunity for media companies to network with experienced professionals, college students and entry-level job seekers interested in a career in the broadcast industry.

I had have my resume critiqued by PBS Director George Molnar and KLAS-TV News Director Ron Comings. Both directors offered great advice and insight for a better resume.

It was my first time at NAB and early figures show an attendance increase of 5 percent with an total registration at 92,708. I was glad to be one among the thousands.