HD Expo Overview

At a time when so many businesses are reporting plummeting numbers, the organizers of the March 5th HD Expo, held at the Universal Hilton, experienced a 30% increase in pre-registration. Novices, professionals, and camera enthusiasts of all kinds were able to greet vendors such as JVC, Schneider Optics, Canon and Panavision on the trade show floor while a series of panel presentations were executed throughout the day.

Kristin Petrovich, President of HD Expo, informed attendees of the day’s event that the HD Expo will be experiencing a number of changes in the upcoming months, including a name change. "Creatasphere" will take the place of HD Expo. Creatasphere will shift the focus from strictly technology to providing an all encompassing educational experience for content producers. Creatasphere will have a membership base that will provide discounts and special member activities, nationwide events and expos for the production community and educational programs and workshops. Virtual resources will also be developed for immediate access to information and presentations.

The Extreme Red Workshop, the expo’s kick-off event and arguably most sought after, began promptly with an overflowing room of participants. Panelist included Rodney Charters, ASC, ("24"), Stefan von Bjorn, steadicam operator ("Mad Men") Cliff Hsui (Sim Video), Chris Burkett (Element Technica), and Ted Schilowitz (Red Camera Company). The panel spoke about the latest accessories that were available for the Red One and alternative equipment that could fit any budget. They discussed methods camera operators should employ to get the maximum performance from the Red One. Charters illustrated the Red One camera package he developed that would fit inside an airline—approved carry on case, and discussed effective methods of transporting the Red One and any accessories one would require for national and over-seas location shoots. The workshop concluded with ample time for a question and answer period.

Workshops were offered at staggered times throughout the course of the day. Macprofessionals offered a session entitled "Digital Workflow/Asset Management for HD and Film." Jon Rutherford, Mike Sulkowski and Tina Sulkowski presented a PowerPoint that first outlined the route data travels within basic computer set-ups including a laptop and desktop unit. They illustrated the phases of data management and the importance of having "secure, fast and efficient devices copying data at maximum speed." The highlight of their presentation was a storage system Macprofessionals has developed called "The Vault." The Vault was designed specifically as a data management system for film shoots.

Renowned cinematographer Willy Pfister spoke with Variety Features Managing Editor Peter Caranicas for the day’s keynote conversation. Pfister discussed his thoughts on changing technology, what he enjoys using, and highlighted experiences he had working on movies such as "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight." The final presentation, entitled "Creativity, Cash & Tools: The Making of an Indie Film," featured directors Patrick Lussier ("My Bloody Valentine 3D"), Christopher Taylor ("Food Fight"), writer-producer Dirk Blackman ("Outlander") and COO of Intrepid Pictures, Trina Wyatt. Unconventional methods of financing, such as Taylor’s sale of vintage wines to fund "Food Fight" were discussed, along with how to best choose camera gear and how to find a financer. The panel answered questions ranging from "How do I get my script read?" to "How do you perform a crane shot with a 3D camera?"

A reception was held at the conclusion of the event, where panelists and attendees mingled while enjoying light snacks. With a 37% increase in attendance over last year, the HD Expo was a great success. Petrovich summed up the event by saying "Our community turned out to listen, connect and learn. It’s really exciting to see them engage with our experts and exhibitors so actively. I’m inspired by our community!"

For more information about the HD Expo — Creatasphere, please visit: www.hdexpo.net