In its final transition from HD Expo, Createasphere’s Technology Expo just wrapped another technology exhibition at the Universal Hilton in Universal City, Calif. Createasphere offers attendees the chance to connect and get educated on advancements in technology by getting a firsthand look at products geared toward the entertainment industry and an opportunity to sit in on informative panels. “The name Createasphere really describes what we want to present as well as [a look into] our company culture: a community in support of the content creator,” says Christine Purse, the president and senior counsel at Ignite. “The world of content creation is in a state of constant change and evolution [with] new technology, the dynamics of the creative processes and industry changes.”
Createasphere’s showroom floor showcased exhibits from leading technology companies and top suppliers, such as Birns & Sawyer. The production equipment sales and rental company displayed the products and services offered to production professionals.
Also present on the showroom floor were Litepanels, displaying lighting products such as the Micro and the MicroPro; Marshall Electronics with its LCD rack mountable monitors; JVC, which exhibited its line of HD cameras, monitors, switchers and production specific equipment; Panasonic, showcasing its professional video products and systems; and Hollywood Rentals, on-hand to showcase their services. Each exhibitor exuded high-quality information by interfacing and demonstrating their latest technical advances to all attendees. IDX is expanding into the postproduction market with its multi-format play out server called the PlayMagic MFP-100, which will debut at NAB this year.
Popular at this year’s expo was “AVATAR – Finishing the 3D Blockbuster,” which featured a panel of the postproduction team who worked long, hard hours to deliver the history-making blockbuster. Sponsored by American Cinema Editors, Post Magazine and the Visual Effects Society, the panel consisted of Academy Award-nominated Editors John Refoua, ACE and Stephen Rivkin, ACE, as well as Visual Effects Producer Joyce Cox, DI Colorist Skip Kimball, Visual Effects Editor Christopher Marino and Associate Producer Janace Tashjian. The panel was moderated by Post West Coast Editor Daniel Restuccio, who kept the focus on the editing team and what it took to tackle the megahit film.
The panelists all agreed that James Cameron wanted to create a very real feel to the film without the previous 3D effects that often caused a sense of dizziness. They indicated that part of their goal was to make the 3D film tolerable for a long period of time while not making audiences nauseous as they become a part of the Avatar world. This task took the cooperation and attention of many skilled professionals in numerous fields. With hundreds of shots continually coming in and out and being transferred to each department, Janace Tashjian mentioned how “everything had to flow; there was tremendous amounts of traffic.” Joyce Cox stated that when it came time to edit, “everyone feared the complexity.” It took working together and staying on the same page to make the project run smoothly. When asked about the possibility of an Avatar 2, Cox firmly stated, “What are you? Nuts?”
Government officials and industry representatives from the state of California came together for “Keeping Production in California: Building an Influential Coalition to Save and Create Jobs and Business Now,” a powerful panel that focused on what’s being done right now to support the California film industry. Moderated by Richard Verrier from the L.A. Times, the panel included a dramatic discussion involving Councilmembers Richard Alarcon and Paul Krekorian, California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch, Producer Michael Robin (“Nip/Tuck,” “The Closer”), Paul Audley from FilmL.A., Jordan Kitaen of the newly launched group California Film Production Alliance and Cinematographer Edward Gutentag.
While the recession and runaway production have created an overall decline in production in the state, the panelists mentioned another cause for the current slowdown: the lack of knowledge in Sacramento. They all agreed that California has to be fiercely in the mix and compete with other locals to keep production work in the state. “We have to compete with these other states and nations,” said Paul Audley. “We have to be in the competition heavy and now.”
Createasphere’s one-day event delivered a great opportunity for industry professionals to come together. “Our community always shows up, and they are deeply compelled by new technology and motivated to learn,” says Christine Purse. “Our community wants and needs to stay on top of their game, and they show it in action.”