NAB Show 2011 Ready to Roll in Las Vegas

Published On February 16, 2011 | By admin | film, film production, filmmaking, Independent Film, television

The 2011 NAB Show, which is the world’s largest event for video, audio and digital media professionals, will be coming back to Las Vegas from April 9th through the 14th at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Once again, I will have the pleasure of seeing new products, checking out the technology pavilions and covering the super sessions and conferences that I think will be of particular interest to independent filmmakers.  From what I’m reading so far, content is going to be king and all aspects of it are going to be explored including how it relates to lifestyle, creation, management, commerce, distribution and delivery.  

NAB will also be showing the latest tools available for filmmaking, production, post production, sound, web design and other aspects of digital artistry, while the exhibit hall will be featuring state of the art 3D Stereoscopic Equipment, Animation, Workflow Solutions, Audio Editing and Cameras.

I’m looking forward to seeing who  is going to be appearing at the Content Theater and reading more details about the  topics that are going to be covered in the conferences.  Since independent filmmakers are continuing to look for ways to monetize their self-distribution efforts, the digital distribution exhibits aimed at motion pictures, interactive television and Mobile/DTV Video have piqued my curiosity and the Super Sessions in the creative area look equally promising.  I’ve posted an overview below of those panels. 

Monday April 11th opens up with Testosterone TV: Behind the Scenes with Original Productions at 2:00pm.  Thom Beers and the producers of “Deadliest Catch”, “Ice Road Truckers”, “Ax Men” and “Coal” will be offering a revealing look on how to create high risk, high reward TV.  They will be showing clips and giving accounts of how the filmmakers prepare to shoot under such challenging conditions.  In addition, they will also cover how they develop new tools and techniques designed to solve production issues and balance risk and safety.  The panel’s discussion will focus on how to develop trust with the cast and shape a compelling story arc that can be sustained throughout a season. This session is geared towards those who want to understand how authentic reality programming is created. 

Competing with Testosterone is Transmedia: Telling the Story Through Narrative Content, Games and Real-World Adventures, which takes place on the 11th from 2:30-3:30pm.  This is the one I will probably end up going to since Transmedia is such a hot button with so many filmmakers these days.  Henry Jenkins, author of “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide” will be speaking with some of the other innovators developing Transmedia.  During the session, which is being done in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and USC, they will be exploring how to create an immersive and expansive cross-platform entertainment experience featuring examples from recent and upcoming feature film, TV, ARG, video games and location-based projects.  They will also be taking a look at the components necessary in order to produce a fertile Transmedia property, the impact video games and multiplayer participation have on storytelling and the need for fresh creative skill sets and new forms of collaboration. 

Tuesday, the 12th, Small Profile, Big Results?  The Advantages and Challenges of DSLR Cinematography kicks off a session from 9:00-10:00am examining the role these small-footprint cameras play in the storytelling process.  Produced in partnership with American Cinematographer, the speakers will also examine under what circumstances these devices are a viable option for filmmakers and how shooting with DSLR cameras effect the tasks of the camera and crews on set.  A panel of cinematographers will be showing clips and recounting their own personal experiences and share what they consider to be both the benefits and limitations of using video-capable DSLR cameras. 

Next up is The Art of Storytelling: The Changing Face of Visual Effects Across Media Today, which is going to be held on April 12th from 10:30am till 11:45am.  This session is designed to show how content creators are using vfx today to engage audiences across a wide range of media.  The panel will also be sharing specific data, before and after images and anecdotes in order to illustrate how the widespread use of vfx is going to be used.

From there I’m looking at Digital Rebels: The New Generation of Filmmakers & Storytellers from noon till 1:00pm.  Geared towards the new breed of filmmakers, who are changing the rules for film production and distribution, the emphasis here is on those making films fast and on smaller budgets, while managing to keep high standards and quality.  Tools such as DSLR cameras and software providing integrated solutions and workflows that contribute to storytelling will be discussed

On Tuesday the 12th from 10:30am to 11:30am there is also another session being held in conjunction with TV Guide called TV is Just the Start: Television Content as an Interactive Multiplatform Experience.  This panel is designed to explore the differences between years ago when watching live TV was the only way to enjoy televised content to nowadays when viewers have the option of seeing their shows in numerous ways.  The speakers will be talking about how technology enables fans to watch on different devices forcing producers to expand their creative alternatives offering fresh material for additional platforms and in some cases translating it to live events.  Show creators and other stakeholders are using technology and social media to target, reach and interact with fans, who want to experience their favorite shows beyond their designated time slots each week and this panel will explore this new dynamic from the perspective of creators, performers, broadcasters and entertainment media.

If you are thinking of attending NAB, I have  a special offer to pass along to the readers of Filmmakers Notebook.  Here is a special registration code that will give you FREE ACCESS to the Exhibit Floor, the Opening Keynote and State of the Industry Address, Info Sessions, Content Theater, Exhibits and PITS, which add up to a $150 value.  Please pass this along and visit to redeem or register at with the code SM06.

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