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Blackmagic Design at NAB Show 2013

NAB Show 2013 – Where Content Really Came To Life

First off, I have realized that many people don’t know why I was so excited to attend the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada this year. So here are some quick facts about the show.

NAB Show is:

91,000+ media and entertainment professionals

150+ countries; 63 delegations

$20.7 billion (USD) in purchasing power*

1,500+ Exhibiting companies

805,000 net square feet

500+ skill-building sessions

90+ years of industry leadership

NAB Show is also:

Where the big announcements are made and the latest and greatest products are showcased. It was NAB Show 2009 was where Canon introduced the 5D Mark ii. In 2012 Blackmagic Design unveiled the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera, while Adobe released Premiere Pro CS6. 2013 was again, a year where game changers where announced and showcased.

Blackmagic Design at NAB Show 2013

The crowded Blackmagic Design Booth.

Therefore, my excitement for and the importance of attending the NAB Show is to be there when the game is changed. This year I was not sitting at my computer watching tweets and checking blog posts for what the future held. I was there, in the mix, fighting to get my turn on the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. I stood with the groups of enthusiastic onlookers at the abilities of the Canon 1DC to capture video and stills simultaneously. I spoke to the representatives of Teradek about the Cube and the Bolt, as well as Brightcove and Limelight about CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) and transcoding. Everyone wanted to talk and I wanted to listen.

Now being on the show floor seeing all the “new” is overwhelming to say the least. The shear size of the convention covers something like 4 football fields of exhibits. But that wasn’t going to be enough, I still wanted more. If I was going to be where ideas and products where evolving, I wanted to evolve as well. I participated in Post-Production World seminars focusing on content creation with Adobe Products, video, audio and NLEs. Additionally, I went over to the broadcast engineering side and listened to the creators and distributors of content speak on the challenges the industry faces and their own personal stories of creativity and success.

The Canon studio for previewing the 1DC 4K capture DSLR

Pulling stills from video off the Canon 1DC 4K DSLR

The most influential session was the very first one I attended with Jan Ozer from StreamingMediaLearningCentre.com on Streaming Media.

Here’s the description:

This seminar starts with an introduction to the streaming environment and ecosystem, discussing current and near term player markets in computer, mobile and OTT markets, including Flash, HTML5 and iOS and Android devices. Then it will take a deep dive into producing H.264, currently the only codec the can reach all relevant target markets. It will conclude with a look at how to encode for single file and adaptive delivery to desktop, mobile and OTT devices and an overview of distribution options like Online Video Platforms, Content Delivery Networks and the Cloud.

Truth be told, I initially planned to go because it was the opening session of NAB at 8:00 am on Saturday morning. It wasn’t something I was overly interested in, but thought I should at least have a listen. The room quickly filled up with over 300 people, Jan Ozer walked on stage, presented a poorly delivered joke, got no audience response and then went into his presentation. Within minutes I could feel his interest in the subject and was thoroughly engaged with his presentation. I always enjoy presentations more when the presenter is just telling you what they know. Ozer delivered dry content with precision and in a language that was accessible even to someone like myself who is not a broadcast engineer. This session really set the tone for NAB and I began my quest to learn more about how the world was changing based on mobile devices and how to create content for this new era.

Vegas was not all work though. Well actually it was. I attended sessions for the entire 5 days I was there. But some of the sessions really were much more entertaining than brain taxing. Paul Feig: Entertaining by All Means Necessary was a session that lived up to it’s billing. Feig the writer and director of “Bridesmaids” as well as the hit TV comedy “Freaks and Geeks’ along with Alan Poul the executive producer of “The Newsroom, Six Feet Under and Rome” enlightened, inspired and embraced the audience. Feig even showed a sneak preview of his upcoming movie “The Heat” staring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock. So although it was a very entertaining hour and a half, it was also very informative and inspiring.

Paul Feig engaged with his audience

Paul Feig, Writer and Director of Bridesmaids, The Heat and TV classic Freaks and Geeks.

So why NAB Show 2013? Well, I have seen the future first hand and am ready for it. Ready to incorporate it into my content development strategies. Ready to work with my clients to develop new ideas for their content creation and delivery. Ready to inspire my students because it hasn’t all been done before. NAB Show 2013 was like a swift kick in the ass to get inspired to go bigger. Nothing like being surrounded by people who believe anything is possible and are making it possible to want to be part of the gang. So if you want to be part of the gang too, I want to talk if you want to listen.

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