Are You NABsperienced?
Well, the end of april means only one thing in post-production: NAB. For those of you not in the know, the National Association of Broadcasters throws down a humungous convention every year to show off all the new stuff coming out. It’s the second biggest convention of its kind, after CES, and it takes a fearless crew to maneuver through it. Luckily, PS 260 just happened to have two such brave travelers, and we sent them off to Vegas, camera in hand. Here is their adventure, take it away Dustin and John:
We arrive at the airport at 7am Sunday morn and catch our flight with no big hiccups.
5 hours and four achy asses later, we arrive in The Vegas, where you can gamble right out of the gate.
And sit in the longest taxi line ever known to man.
Finally, we made it to our hotel, the Riviera. It’s old school, a bit ragged round the edges, a tad tacky, but it’s a walk away from the convention center, so it all works out.
Check in was totally automated through an atm-like contraption, but went smoothly.
Right away, I hit the poker tables.
And did rather well for my first time in Vegas (at a gambling age), winning 180 dollars in 1-2 no limit.
But the good times couldn’t just roll forever, for there was work to be done. John and I headed down to the Hard Rock for Avid’s user welcome party.
It was a well catered event, and they announced full Mac parallel to all the features the PC already had, which was great and a long time coming.
We even got interviewed by the students avid set up to learn some real life shooting experience.
And of course we got the money guitar shot.
We then hit a bunch of casinos on the strip. I got some booby action at the Mirage lobby.
The aquarium wall was pretty dope.
Only in Vegas does one run into forgotten thongs on the curb.
And the exploding volcano, though short, put on a good show.
At Caesar’s, the bubbles lured us in.
And we ended the night with more breast action. Unpictured is more poker, where I upped my take to 240 dollars in the late late night session.
John awakes early to hit the gym and finds the If, Ands and Buts statue.
I register and hit the Convention floor for the first time. It is freakin’ huge!
Check out the wacom pad where you can draw right on the screen.
The ginormous plasma.
And the adobe tutorial area.
Lunch we met up with John’s friend from college Brooks, who ran his own booth for Metaglue, everything you need to master crazy EDLs.
This is a feeble attempt to show how massive the Avid and Apple booths were, and how close together and archrivalrous the situation was.
Its really just a huge event, with almost 105 thousand registered attendees.
As part of the avid promo video, they showcased Arrested Development, a short film that John edited. How cool is that?
The nerdfest continued at the Autodesk booth, with major servers.
And a cool ass demo showing all the different parts that have to be composited together to make one 24 second clip for War of the Worlds.
For lunch we met up with Alan M. from Moving Pictures, who talked about his new Sumo wrestling project. Supposedly it’s the next big sport thing.
Virtual Media, our Avid resellers then set us up with a intimate demo, where we saw the new tracker functions and the stand alone Media Composer, with out the exta I/O box.
Afternoon brought us to the glorious Mandalay Bar.
All the way to the top, to the Mix Lounge.
What a f-in’ view.
Met up with Bradly from Go Robot. Schmoozed.
Did I mention the view?
Did I? These pictures do not do it justice.
They also had this crazy bubble bar, where we met Nicole from LAs Cutters (from whence the inventor of trailer park hails).
And yes, we did some work. It was an apple sponsored party for the AICE, so we talked with the Final Cut Project Manager about some of the short comings we felt in the system.
Late night, I lost a lot of money at the Madalay poker tables. A lot. Like 900 dollars, which put me at down 660. Not Cool. But I did meet up with Terrence from Digital X.
Watched a terribly schmaltzy rock show.
And finally said good night to all, including a bunch of the Nice Shoes cats.
We hit up the convention nice and early, this time starting on a different huge hall.
The Panasonic presentation was well edited, but not that informational.
And the Sony booth had a nice surprise, a 4k projector. (for non vidnerds, that means that every frame has 4000 by 2000 pixels, double HD).
The quality was stunning.
And we got another PS 260 surprise Plug when they showed Little Pony, edited by Maury as part of their media pitch.
Even though its not really our thing, we checked out cool broadcast features like this fully set up trailer, that can go anywhere and be prepared to master a full live show.
And the 100x zoom camera, whose lens alone costs about 160 grand.
Plus this crazy signal splitter that can survive hard core terrains.
NAB is this weird twilight zone area. The only place in the world where there is a line at the boy’s bathroom and not at the girls. (the male to female ration felt like 10:1).
We continued our tour with this funky lens that can submerge its long beak.
And met up with this compact steadycam operator and Gendra, who helped out with our Highline films.
Then we saw part of the Red Digital presentation.
They are bringing out a new digital camera that can take higher than 4k movies. It sounds cool as hell, but we never saw actual footage.
We ended the day with a 45 minute sit at apple, seeing a wordwind tour of Final Cut Studio, cutting, adding effects, cleaning up audio and sound designing, and creating a DVD.
On our way out John saw Caroline G. from Shoot Magazine, and said hello.
Afterconvention hours, the AICE was hosted by Avid this time (look, we're VIPs), again at the Hard Rock.
It was a good event where we talked to project managers about theupcomming release, hopefully not having to deal with the two second delay (mac adrenaline users know what I mean).
After that, John had dinner at Bellagio’s Circo, very fru fru, with old friends Samantha and Chuck C., as well as Eric M. of Omneon, and two great Australian gentlemen from Panasonic.
While I checked the infamous Bellagio fountains.
And yes, I headed back to the poker table. Where I promptly lost another two hundred. But I continued, and three hours later up to about six hundred, held a pair of queens, which tripped up on the flop. I raised twenty, got reraised twenty, then decided to end it there and then by betting a hundred. He called, on the last card I bet another hundro, he goes all in a I call, and take down a twelve hundred dollar pot.
I leave Vegas up 460 dollars. Hellz Yeah!
Day Four. The Last Day.
We started the morning at a DVD panel that Chuck was on.
Samantha was there listening to the very dry technical speak.
Then we hit the convention one last time, walking by my favorite subarea, Technology For Worship. No joke.
Then we stood in this long ass line to get into the Ultra HD theatre. Yes, UTLRA.
Its about 8k x 4k, 4x larger that 1080i. They didn’t allow pictures inside, so boo hoo for you, here, look at JZ drilling the tech and finding out that the camera chip actually only has 4k, and they upres.
Right next door, there was HD 3D, where this cooky japanese archer makes you duck cause the arrow is coming straight at you.
Heading towards the other convention hall we got stopped by this steadycam on segway which you drive with your weight and pedals.
And we both signed chess pieces for our troops.
We finally remembered to take a picture of the eatery that served such good Korean beef that it made us return everyday.
And of these crazy advertisers that carried LCDs on their backs.
Plus this poor girl who had to dress up like a lion. I guess there are worse things.
Then we made it to the Datanet (our label and shipping software) booth, where my comment was top of the list.
Here we are with the creator and ceo of the system, Ken E.
Next we hit the Omneon, a storage solution that can run 20 final cut stations using the same media.
This is Eric, who we met at Circo, and those servers back there are this incredible new way of building space AND bandwith with every sever you add, so that the size is basically infinitely scalable. They had tested a system to up to 2 (wait for it vidnerds) petabytes. Yes, that’s 4 thousand terrabytes.
On our way out we randomly met up with Chuck and Sam again, so we said our goodbyes.
Then we said goodbye to the convention. How sad.
Then goodbye to the Riviera (okay, this is really the security line, because we forgot to blog the end of the Riv).
Then John had to get extra checked cause he forgot to take his laptop out. Luckily, he's not a terrorist.
Then we got delayed an hour, so John showed us his parlor tricks.
Then we said goodbye to The Vegas.
And finally, we had the 4 and a half flight back, which I mostly slept through.
Hello New York! Nice to be back.
What a great trip.
Let’s do it again next year. Phew, what a post!