After a successful run here last year, the PROMAX/BDA conference is returning to New York City, June 21-23. The venue has changed - from the Hilton to the Marriot Marquis - and this year attendees can expect a ton of high-profile speakers, information-packed sessions and a modest exhibit floor all devoted to the art, science and business of promoting TV programs. I've been to BDAs in the past, and I've got to say it might just be my favorite trade conference - no offense NAB or SIGGRAPH, but this event is a different animal. It is very casual and personal, the panels are creative and very targeted, and there are too many off-campus parties to name in this space (but I will find room to mention the Beer Bash on June 22 in the Exhibit Hall.)
Just a glance at some of the sessions will explain why it?s an important show for creatives to attend. There's "Pollinate," run by Belief's Mike Goedecke, which focuses on finding the best creative insights. There's also the BDA Masters Workshop, presented by After Effects specialists Trish & Chris Meyer. Their topic is "Fast, Cheap and In Control," focusing on motion graphics and special effects on a budget. Panelists will offer tips and tricks they've used successfully on the job.
Then there's one session aimed at the student called "The Reel World." BDA chairman Steve Kazanjian, who is VP, creative motion at LA's DZN Design Group, is hosting this one. Brian Welsh, senior producer at NYC's UVPhactory is on this panel (as well as "Fast, Cheap"). Part of his day job is to hire new talent. "I receive MANY reels a day," he says, "people looking for designer positions, internships, 3D jobs. It's good to know there's a great pool of talent out there." However, Welsh laments overly casual submissions with handwritten names and numbers. "Generally I throw these away," he says. "If this is how they present themselves, how are they going to represent me to my client?" One day before disposing of some shabby-looking submissions, Welsh screened a few and was surprised at how technically good some really were. "I would love for people to spend a bit more time in order to get noticed," he says.
As for the BDA conference in general, Welsh appreciates "the amazing access to people from all the networks, in the city that is really the capital of the networks." And for a studio that provides broadcast design, among other things, what more could you ask for? How about more PROMAX/BDA stories in this issue of Post, including our feature on broadcast design (page 26) and Ken McGorry's investigation of DZP on page 18.