Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2022
*By Mark Foley, Technology Editor, ProductionHUB * When it comes down to the end of the year, I always like to take some time to reflect on the past year. What went well? What didn’t? How can I improve? This one is always a long list.
For the production industry, the return of in person events, new products, and exciting projects, all made for some very notable highlights. This wasn't without a few bumps in the road. Overall, 2022 was such a marked improvement over 2021. Wouldn’t you agree? Let me know how your 2022 has been in the comments!
In Person Events
Before we launch into 2023, let’s start with a look back at 2022 with the return to more in person events. It was an uncertain time in the beginning of 2022, wasn’t it? There was a fair amount of apprehension in our business about the return of meeting in person. I personally fielded lots of questions about attending things in-person leading up NAB. Given the opportunity I was right there with you (uncertainty and all).
I am happy to report that the sky didn’t fall down, and lots of you joined me at NAB Show 2022 - the final attendance was 52,468. Not bad for a major show that had essentially shut down for three years running! More intimate crowds and exhibits meant that we could get into the booth to see the new stuff and ask the necessary questions. Of course, catching up with old friends was great, too. NAB was a great success and that meant other shows could follow suit.
In-person events - both big and small - soon fell in line and it was great to meet up again with people, some new, and some that I've known for a long time. An important side note - I think both the shows and exhibitors gave people lots of options. You could buckle up and go to the show in person or watch the new product announcements videos and sessions online.
Other Notable In-Person Events in 2022
The rest of 2022 was an interesting time as media professionals mostly shook off the rust and continued to venture out. Events like IBC, Cinegear, NAB NY/AES, and NAMM proved we could all get out and get together.
Film Festivals such as Tribeca, Sundance, Cannes, and SXSW also did a great job stepping up. One series of events that really got my attention? That would be the FUJIFILM events. The company hosted two fantastic back-to-back events the FUJIFILM X Summit and a return to Fujikina in NYC. Smart presentations and new products like the FUJIFILM X-H2, some beautiful venues, and total access to enthusiastic company executives such as Victor Ha, FUJIFILM Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management.
The FUJIFILM events in NYC had some of everything that professionals would want to definitely see (and hear). Sessions had live streaming with expert still and video artists along with packed audiences (that could ask questions) for the in-person program. Both included beautiful stunning imagery, some very deep engineering speak. Most importantly, there was also plenty of hands on experience with new FUJI gear and other gear in the film room, then out on the expansive verandas overlooking the Hudson. I personally found lot of the success for Fuji was the people.
The events were so approachable. No “snooty artists” to look at you sideways or down at you when you asked questions about things you might not be familiar with such as the X-H2. They were all knowledgeable, warm, friendly, and inclusive. Even those darn invasive Lantern moths couldn’t dampen the event. There are lots of good things happening with Fuji including one beautiful broadcast lens I can’t wait to try out (hey Tom, hint). What a gorgeous look that matches up with a great depth of field. I know it took a while to get my eyes to adjust between mirrorless and broadcast but in 2023 you are going to see a lot more continued movement in that direction. I can’t wait to see what Fuji has in store for 2023. Stay tuned.
Never Too Much New Equipment!
I honestly don’t remember when there was so much new gear released to production professionals. Companies of all sizes stepped up and honestly, somedays it was hard to keep up. I know I won’t get to review all of these but there is always hope. Here are just a few of many companies and products that got my attention in 2022.
Frame.io in Adobe Premiere Atomos Shogun CONNECT SmallHD OLED 27 4K HDR Monitor LiveU Solo Pro Fuji HX-2 8K Sony PTZ Cinema Line FR7 ARRI Alexa 35 ARRI Rental Monochrome ZEISS Supreme Prime 15mm AJA ColorBox Panasonic LUMIX GH-6 DaVinci Resolve on iPad Pro 2023: Full Speed Ahead
Traditional Single Camera Cinematics
There will always be a place for DP’s and the crews, and what they bring to the production. Shooting on a Mini or an Alexa 35? I want you. Shooting a RED or Venice? I want you. Shooting LUMIX or Blackmagic? I want you. Do you see the pattern here? Just like the line in Top Gun Maverick “It’s not the plane it’s the pilot. But if there is any caveat, it is that you better really know your cameras and lenses because they just keep getting better. Direct from the camera to the edit suite is also here to stay so you better speed up that processing power in your brain to keep up!
Remote Production Capacity with Increasing Reliance on REMI
There will always be my favorite production trucks from the like of NEP and GameCreek. Remote production trucks are where I cut my teeth as a director. Anybody that has spent time as a road warrior will know exactly what I am talking about. If you are in the middle of setting up or producing a live multicamera shoot, you need a grown *ss crew and an outstanding production manager. Don’t you want the best? Just have your production manager hand out the assignments and stand back.
That being said, things continue to change as we move to more of a REMI model. No more of the larger crews out on location. The producer, director, audio, graphics and playback might just be sitting in Bristol (ESPN). Add in high quality PTZ cameras and the on-location crew just got a smaller. Like many of you I get the need to control costs, but I do miss those really big trucks and the everybody needs to be on site sports shoots. For some, those days are in the rear-view mirror. Just ask my good friend Josh Greenstein, President, and Chief Architect of 2twelveconsulting.com. Josh like many of us started out doing remotes in trucks of all sizes on location but now makes his bread and butter setting up and streaming productions literally the world over. It is for many the way of the future.
The Continued Rise of Virtual Studios and Ai
Here is where I really need you to please pay close attention. Studios like Sony, Stargate, AMAZON, ABC, Paramount, Carstage, and CJ ENM continue to refine incredible productions utilizing virtual production spaces and studios. More companies want to save time and money (not a new concept) and when travel accounts for 51% of the total production budgets, Virtual studios might very well be in your future.
With super realistic backgrounds most audiences will not be able to tell a location from a virtual one. AI is also making serious inroads into the video and music editing process as well. The point here is that even though virtual and ai production is not brand new, we live and work in a competitive space that is in a state of constant movement and we need to be in perpetual learning mode or be left behind. Don’t believe me? Do yourself a favor and take the next three minutes and look at this great explainer video I found on YouTube called The Rise of Virtual Studios from Bloomberg Quicktake: Explained. Well worth it.
The year 2022 was a pretty darn good one. There were lots of new shoots, products, and innovations. I have to believe that our industry and the professional that make it happen will continue to grow in 2023. ProductionHUB plans on being there every step of the way. As Nicolas Cage says in Ghost Rider “Let’s Ride.”
We spoke with a few other industry leaders on what they're looking forward to (and what you should be watching out for) in 2023.
Leveraging the cloud to meet growing production demands in 2023
Dave Colantuoni, VP Product Management, Avid
Even though consumers were welcomed back to movie theaters in 2022, we saw extreme growth in the creation of television and streaming content, making it crystal clear that the appetite for content shows no signs of slowing down in 2023. The new year will bring even more demand for content creation to fill the production pipelines for all types of media, including linear broadcast, motion picture production, and streaming media services. Because of this, production teams are operating on increasingly faster production timelines with a growing list of considerations, like time to market, worldwide distribution of content, as well as high standards for production quality and value.
With all of this in mind, I expect to see three major trends that will influence content creation and production to meet growing demands in 2023: 1) production teams will need to redesign workflows to maximize efficiency, 2) there will be more reliance on cloud collaboration to make use of, or bring in, distributed production talent, and 3) cloud-based workflows will be leveraged to cut down production costs. The path forward is clear – teams are continuing their migration to the cloud in 2023. While this might have been a slower transition if not for the pandemic, the demand for content would have inevitably hit the levels we’re seeing now, and hybrid and cloud workflows that allow for distributed workflows are the best tool for the film and production industries to adapt.
Mark Horchler, Marketing Director, Products & Solutions, Haivision
REMI over IP will propel broadcasters’ ability to capture and produce more live content with smaller teams in 2023.” Mark Horchler, Marketing Director, Products & Solutions at Haivision, says. “As part of a real-time remote production and collaboration model, low latency video encoders and transmitters that leverage the internet, cloud, and cellular networks will provide more immersive viewing experiences.
For example, live outdoor sporting events will no longer need to rely on helicopters for bird’s-eye-view shots – instead, drones can make use of mobile video transmitters to capture the excitement close-up without disturbing the event itself. Coupled with 5G, for both public and private networks, and SRT over the internet, this coming year will allow broadcasters to innovate and deliver exciting new live events with fewer field resources thanks to decentralized production.
Mark J. Foley, MBA BA is an award-winning producer and director and the Technology Editor for ProductionHUB.com. He is on a mission to provide the best in new equipment reviews, along with exclusive analysis and interviews with the best, the brightest, and the most creative minds in the entertainment and production business. Have a suggestion for a review? Email Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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