The value of Cine Gear Expo is phenomenal.  I’m astounded that the entrance fee was waived up to five days prior to the event.

Free.  Astoundingly.  And in LA.  On the Paramount lot.

And sure, Sony did have several slots promoting its F-65 camera.  Basically, the promotion was an hour-length love commercial for its $80,000 camera.  Oh, and it’s on a blue-light special.  In a couple weeks, the price will go up.

Sony, though, is a master of promotion, opening up the Sony Digital Motion Picture Center, which offers free classes introducing attendees to its cameras.  For instance, for two years, Sony will offer classes on the F-65 for free.  In depth-introductions of the mechanics of the camera will be available as well as a screening room which can fit 50 people.

The company offered another seminar, supposedly to promote more of its camera offerings, but noted documentary director and DP David Lichtner spent more time discussing why these other cameras are too heavy.  It was funny at times when he showed different yet altogether torturous contraptions built to harness these cameras unto one’s bod.  With a little fine-tuning, the lecture could turn into an insider comedy routine.

But the seminars — all free — weren’t entirely pitching products.

Janus Kaminski and Phedon Papamichel held a very interesting talk about their careers and life on set.

Kaminski voiced his negative opinion on previs, or previsualization.  Used to animate what a movie still in the process of being pre-produced would look like, Kaminski said the rendering is usually done before the main artistic people like the DP and production designer are brought on.  So then they have to go back to the studio and say it’s not going to look like what they previously saw and what they invested large sums of money for.

Kaminski, known for his outspokenness, said that previs animates camera moves that the DP then has to figure out how to pull off.  The majority of cinematographers, he said, hate previs.

There were plenty of exhibitors on hand showcasing products.  Stages 23 and 24 housed exhibitors more tightly than a convention hall.  There are no installations along the lines of NAB or CES.  Outside, on Paramount’s NY Street, a maze of exhibitors are out in the fresh air, including the behemoth Bot and Dolly Iris.

Now that’s an installation.

A film competition also was held, as well as several receptions.  Master seminars for $75 each were another option.  The turnout was impressive, but I’m surprised the place wasn’t mobbed.  Valuable to established and emerging filmmakers who need to keep up to date with ever-evolving technology, Cine Gear Expo is a must-attend for both industry pros and wannabe pros.

Related posts: