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Deep Thoughts from Vegas: Day Zero

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Today's deep thought is brought to you by free wifi a day late. It's hard to post a daily blog from a wifi-only iPad.

ANYWAY. Today's actual deep thought is about what lies behind the curtain. The man back there we're not supposed to pay attention to until the little dog comes and bittes his leg.

Vegas is all about the facade. It makes you feel loved, desired, wanted. Vegas lusts for you. Come here, give us a hug. It's okay to spend your paycheck. We'll make sure you don't know how many hours you've spent wandering around with your head in the clouds. There there, Vegas says. Here are some pretty girls who care about you!

In this way, it's the perfect venue for NAB.

Literally looking behind the curtain today, I walked the lower south hall as an exhibitor for the first time. Last year I saw the shiny show floor. My first impression this year? Shambles. Fork lifts, tarps, people yelling at each other. I wondered how the hell they'll get it together for the next day. Like I said on Twitter, it's like learning the truth about Santa. A big fat man doesn't break into my house? These booths don't just appear in the night?

Then looking behind the curtain even more, I attended my first press conferences with Sony and Avid. They're very slick, and very polished. But I noticed when I looked around the room and focused on what was behind me instead of on the stage (in 4K, of course), it was nothing but men in suits looking very worried.

Preparing for what new items might be released today, I noticed again how secretive some companies are about their products. So much so that when it appears this secret has been breached, it obviously becomes the talk of the dinner table. Tweets retweeted, blurry pictures shared on iPhone screens in Vegas dives. You start to wonder if this is a glitch behind the curtain, or a strategic move leveraging the instant nature of Twitter. As a professional conspiracy theorist, I almost always assume the latter.

And of course, behind the curtain of products themselves. Companies adding a lot of features that aren't new and haven't been new in a million years. And being revered for it. Don't get me wrong, I'm always happy to see updates and feature requests fulfilled. But thinking as a person from the other side of things, more critically than accepting, I can't help but see how this isn't the same as those frilly Vegas showgirls. We love you, give us your money and we'll dance around a little bit and make you feel good.

It's very interesting at NAB this time around. Last year was all about bright lights and loud noises. Now you start to pay attention a little closer and see some things you don't normally see, and you can start to see the seams.

Off to day one! I'm going to go bite some legs and see what kind of trouble I can get in to.


Posted by: Kylee Peña on Apr 8, 2013 at 12:55:54 pmComments (1) nab show

Comments

Re: Deep Thoughts from Vegas: Day Zero
by Mike Cohen
While I have not been to NAB in a good many years, I attend a half dozen shows per year as either an exhibitor or a vendor. Whether it is a broadcasting show, a medical show, or a plumbing show, the exhibit hall is essentially the same setup and it is cleared and re-set every 3-5 days all year long.

Two years ago after we packed up our booth (a simple 10x20 booth takes 3 people a few hours to setup and about 45 minutes to break down) we wandered across the convention center and paid $5 to walk around the Texas Cattleman's Association exhibit hall. Quite fascinating.

Don't forget the inflated prices for bottled water and pre-packaged sandwiches, the really long lines at Starbucks, the bone dry air (worst seems to be the convention center in San Fran where you are underground), endless talking, endless walking (New Orleans Convention Center is about a mile long), bus rides to and fro the hotels and feeling lke you will never see everything in just 3 days.

And while I'm not at NAB, I am off to the surgery equivalent for endoscopic surgery next week. I'll see a few HD vendors myself and at least one will be showing 4K (in fact back in October I inquired with Sony just what they were using to display the 4K images and it turns out behind the curtain they were running a Sony SRR 1000 which is a $50,000 digital video deck. That sounds expensive, but non 4K video recorders for surgery can be a lot more than that.

Enjoy the show. Check our Sensi at the Bellagio or Julian Serrano at the Aria for interesting culinary and or visual experiences.

Mike Cohen


Focusing on post-production, from editing and motion graphics to personal experiences and the psychology of being an editor.


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