Mind Your Business: Is NAB for TV Creators?
I tried out a few editing software titles while I was there. I’m not happy with Avid and Final Cut Pro X dropped too many tools that I use. I tried out the new Sony Vegas Pro, since I recently upgraded to their a77 digital SLR cameras shooting 60fps 1080i. Nice. But I also checked out the latest version of Adobe Premiere. It’s hard to beat the interactivity and nesting of native files between Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere. The tools are stronger and faster. The interface is intuitive and I’m familiar with it. It impressed me so much I bought the suite this week. (new purchases of CS5.5 get a free upgrade to CS 6 this summer)
I also saw a demo of a future version of Premiere that allows collaborative editing over the web with all the files staying on the main server. I was shocked at how easy and fast it was. I love that you don’t need to move the master files and you can work from anywhere and still see your edits and effects in real time. Everything uses off the shelf hardware. It’s the software that got smart enough. No release date yet, but watch for it.
Smoke made some big price reductions too. Long ago, this massive effects, compositing and editing software was around $90,000. Then it sold for around $15,000 until just now. Now you can get it for around $3,500. Prices have come a long way, baby. Of course, if you’re on a PC, you’re out of luck, it’s a Mac only product.
Earlier, I promised a story about how one creator at NAB was able to use contacts he made there to help him with his show. Doug Stanley, CEO and reality king of Ridgeline Entertainment (and Emmy winner as producer of Discovery’s Deadliest Catch), was at NAB meeting with potential sponsors for his latest deep sea adventure series, The Longest Swim. Doug and his team were meeting not only with satellite and broadcast providers, but with equipment manufacturers of all types.
The Longest Swim is no ordinary show. It follows Ben LeComte as he swims from Japan to San Francisco. That’s right. He’ll swim from Asia to the United States; 5,500 miles. (He’s already swum the Atlantic ocean.). Production will need boats, satellites, water-proof gear, underwater equipment and more. It will be a 6 month high seas adventure and it will be broadcast live on Facebook. Check out the show on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheLongestSwim.
NAB was a perfect place for Doug to meet everyone he needed to, and to check out all the gear he will need in one place. With a high-profile and demanding deep sea adventure like this, he needs lots of production support. Doug said the response at the show for his concept was amazing.
So is it worth the trip for creators? Yes, if you want to check out lots of equipment in one place. No, if you think it will help you sell your show.
I’ll be back, but probably not every year. I’ll wait a year or two to see the bigger advances in everything. Plus, it will take that long to rest my legs.
Mark Simon is a director, producer, board artist and pitch expert. He’s worked on over 3,000 productions and is the animation producer for Fox’s Tooth Fairy 2. He’s written 10 books for artists and works with TV show creators on packaging and pitching their concepts. Go to www.Storyboards-East.com and www.SellYourTvConceptNow.com.