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Understanding Production

Mar 1, 2006 12:00 PM

The Digital Video Production track offers an ideal opportunity to pick up new techniques for lighting, audio, and shooting.

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Mannie Frances

If you're a postproduction professional who always thought you might benefit from learning a bit about the production side of the business, there's no better place to begin your education than at the NAB Post|Production World Conference. From the sessions on HD camera usage to the sessions on wireless microphones, this year's conference offers an enormous number of opportunities for production experts and production neophytes to brush up on their production skills.

According to Mannie Frances, who, along with award-winning videographer and recording artist Douglas Spotted Eagle, is serving as co-chair of the various Digital Video Production tracks, “The sessions of this track are led by real, working professionals with a special passion for instruction. Whether dealing with technical or creative issues, they will lead attendees toward discovering better, more efficient production techniques.

Douglas Spotted Eagle

Some of the sessions are task oriented, where instructors will lay out a particular type of problem and then proceed to explain how you overcome that problem. A few sessions, especially those in the “Maximize Your Affordable HD Cameras” track, will focus on the workings of a particular product. And some of the sessions, such as “Microphones: Types, Techniques, and Connections,” seek to provide a broad overview of a particular subject area.

This track looks at various topics, including affordable HD cameras and tapeless acquisition, of which one option is the Panasonic AG-HVX200.

For those who are truly new to production issues, the best place to start is with the two Boot Camp sessions being offered on Friday, “HDV Essentials” and “Great Audio in the Field.” The former would be an especially valuable session given the heavy emphasis on low-cost HD products and technologies at this year's conference.

Those who like to keep abreast of the hottest technologies may want to catch two sessions Saturday that are being taught by Spotted Eagle. The first, titled “DV Tools and Gadgets: The Latest, Greatest, Fastest, Smallest Gear” promises to provide an overview of all the latest technical innovations in digital video, ranging from HD audio and video recorders to tapeless and wireless gear.

The second, titled “Tapeless Acquisition: The Drives, the Disks, the Cards…,” is a double-timeslot in-depth session geared at advanced users. Tape may not be dead yet, but tapeless acquisition is now a reality, and this session will provide a thorough look at the latest in tapeless acquisition products and workflows.

Directors and directors of photography — or those who aspire to those roles — will want to set aside Sunday for a whole lineup of sessions targeted directly at those professions. The day kicks off with a session titled “Action and Fight Scenes: Planning, Shooting, and Delivering,” that's fairly self-explanatory, then continues with sessions on “Guerilla Production” and “Killer Camera Rigs,” before concluding with a session about how to put together a crew for a shoot.

Monday's sessions focus on lighting issues, Tuesday's sessions focus on field audio, and Wednesday's sessions focus on videography.

“This is an extensive track that has something for everybody,” says Frances. “It's a perfect complement to the rest of the sessions at the conference, and it offers an ideal opportunity to anybody who wants to round out their education in broadcast and video.”

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