NAB 2010 - Day 2

Posted By David Cox on April 14, 2010 12:00 am | Permalink

NAB 2010 day 2.

Here's a quaint old English phrase for you – I'm knackered!

Today was another really busy day at the show and again I didn't get very far away from the SGO stand. There are a number of reasons why NAB is so exhausting. I could mention the constant attention needed when you're on a booth, or the sheer size of the show itself. The truth is the fatigue is partly self induced because of the “necessity” to go out in the evening.

Last night, we were going to head over to the “Piano Bar” in New York New York, as it has become a bit of a British post tradition to spend the NAB Tuesday night there. However, our route from the MGM meant passing a bar called The Centrifuge in MGM. As every schoolboy knows, a centrifuge is a device that is used to create gravity of varying degrees for scientific purposes – like spinning would-be astronauts around to see if they'll puke. This bar is aptly named – it seems impossible to go past it without being sucked into it, it certainly feels like its spinning after a while and as for puking?

We didn't make it to the Piano Bar. The centrifuge had us firmly in its grip, force feeding us with beer before ejecting us in the direction of Diego's Mexican restaurant. We managed to steer clear of the margaritas made with Red Bull, although the dizziness an evening in the Centrifuge left us with did cloud our judgement and so is also responsible for making us drink other margaritas and various other things at another random bar. In short, it was a real effort to get to the show this morning and its not in the least bit our fault and entirely the fault of the Centrifuge :-)

In a parallel world, another late night out in Vegas had claimed one of the other guys working on the SGO stand. He was formally missing in action until sometime around mid morning. The biggest effect of this was that he had the keys to the locked part of the stand, so a bit of breaking and entering was needed to get the first demos under way! Due to the necessity of this action, we all put to the back of our minds the thought we all had – how adept a particular staff member was at opening locked doors and where the hell he learned how to do that. He definitely knew what he was doing!

I spent the day demoing at the SGO stand and on the HP stand, where Mistika also has a presence. 3D is of course “the thing” and its interesting that there now seems to be a change of attitude towards it. When I put in a stereo suite a couple of years ago, while people enjoyed the demo the general feeling was that 3D would be a gimmick (again) and not last. On the show floor, there seems to be a general excitement, acceptance and willingness to adopt it and make it work. The most negative comment I came across still acknowledged the inevitability of a 3D broadcast world. One guy said “The 3D train is coming. I can choose to get on it or be hit by it. Either way, its still coming."

The industry needs 3D. It's something new for everyone at every level to “sell” to help us all rejuvenate our part of the business as we (hopefully) come out of recession. However, for it to gain a wide acceptance, it needs to be done properly. As another person said “The show is full of bad 3D." Just as with the advent of color, we need to learn the equivalent of art-direction skills for 3D so that the content we create is at least easy to watch but more importantly, engaging as content in its own right irrelevant as to whether it is 3D or not. In my various rambles on the subject over the last couple of years, I generally cause people to look at me as if I'm an idiot when I say that I think 3D will come of age when someone makes a period drama in 3D. There is a general view that 3D is only for the blockbuster movies. Those that have that view should come and see some of the sports footage courtesy of Sky Broadcasting or the Royal Ballet performance of Swan Lake on the SGO booth. These show how engaging “everyday 3D” is and when content creators discover subtlety in the use of stereo, as well as the new story-telling tools it provides, this is when the format will start to come of age.

I should have learned my lesson about going out in the evenings. Apparently not – we are off to “Rum Jungle” now at Mandalay Bay....