The coronavirus will put the Internet to the test, as international events are cancelled and multiple companies, from Sony or Nvidia to AJA or Facebook shift gears and announce their next events will be digital conferences.
Growing concerns over the coronavirus led Nvidia to decide for the cancellation of its GTC San Jose, which is usually held at the San Jose Convention Center, in California. This 2020 edition was scheduled for March 22-26, and it will still happen, but Nvidia decided that it will be a digital conference rather than a live event.
This is, apparently, the new normal, and as the number of cases rises in the United States, companies decide that the most important things are the health and safety of their employees, partners and customers. It’s a trend that started before, and reached a new level when, in February, as Provideo Coalition wrote, the CP+(Camera and Photo Imaging Show) 2020, which was to be held at PACIFICO Yokohama, in Japan, from February 27, was cancelled.
The organizers, the Camera & Imaging Products Association, wrote on their website that “given there is no effective treatment or containment measures to deal with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have chosen to cancel CP+2020 because we put top priority on the health and safety of visitors and exhibitors.”
Another show cancelled in February was the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s biggest mobile event, the stage where Sony, Xiaomi, Nokia, Huawei and other companies would introduce, from 24 until 27th February, their new products. As many companies decided to cancel their presence in the show (Sony revealed its new Xperia 1 II smartphone online), due to the coronavirus, the Mobile World Congress organizers decided, also, to cancel the event.
AJA is not going to NAB 2020
The decision to cancel the Mobile World Congress, the first time it happens in its history, was taken after some days of uncertainty, and after meetings with the Spanish government. John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA said: “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.”
I wrote, then, that we could expect more events to be cancelled or postponed, and we’re starting to see it now. The 2020 NAB Show is proceeding as planned, April 18-22, 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, said the organizers on February 28th, but a company, AJA Video Systems, has announced today that they will not have an on-site presence at the NAB show this year due to the risks from the Coronavirus.
Instead, AJA will transition all of its planned NAB events, including its annual NAB press conference, to web-based video conferences. We will, no doubt, see more companies taking the same decision now, as the situation in the United States has changed during the weekend.
Game Developers Conference postponed
Another show that is not going to happen this month – March 16 to March 20 – is the Game Developers Conference. By the end of February it was still announced as going ahead, although companies as Amazon had already said they would not be present, due to fears of the coronavirus spreading in the United States. Epic Games, Unity, Electronic Arts, Microsoft and others announced that they would not be there or would be but with reduced activity, but as more companies announced their plans, the organizers of the event decided to postpone the event.
In a statement the organizers said that “we fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer. We will be working with our partners to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks.” The statement was published by the end of February, when there was not much information about the coronavirus spreading in the United States, but this weekend changed everything, with 6 fatalities in the Washington state from the novel coronavirus in the US as cases nationwide surge, according to the last numbers. In a news conference today, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said, that “We think folks should begin to think about avoiding large events and assemblies”.
NVIDIA GTC exclusively livestream
Nvidia’s GTC San Jose 2020 will be exclusively online this year, because, as the organizers noted, “as the coronavirus situation is not improving, we’re turning GTC San Jose into a digital conference rather than a live event”. The company’s founder and CEO Jensen Huang will still deliver a keynote address, which will be available exclusively by livestream, and Nividia is working to schedule that and will share details once they’re available.
The organizers are working with the conference speakers to begin publishing their talks online beginning in the weeks ahead. Additionally, for those in Nvidia’s developer program, the company plans to schedule availability with its researchers, engineers and solution architects to answer technical questions.
Nvidia also noted that “those who have registered for a GTC pass will receive a full refund” and ends the note with “we’re grateful to the great many individuals and partners who have worked to support this event and thank them for their understanding during these unusual times.” For updates on the online version of Nvidia’s GTC San Jose 2020 visit the webpage for the event.
Intel also cancelled its Intel Labs Day, scheduled for March 12 at the Palace of Fine Arts, in San Francisco, scheduled for March 12, due to the “ongoing and evolving coronavirus situation” said the company, and IBM, Verizon, AT&T Cybersecurity were some of the companies that cancelled their presence at the RSA Conference 2020 in San Francisco, in February 24-28. A total of thirteen companies canceled their participation as a sponsor or exhibitor of the event: six from China, six from the United States and one from Canada.
Facebook F8 cancelled, Twitter’s advice to employees
Facebook, that had already pulled out of the Mobile World Congress before it was cancelled and that also cancelled its presence at GDC has already announced, February 27, that its F8 2020 developer conference, set to take place from May 5th – 6th in San Jose, California will not happen. Instead of the in-person F8 event, the company is planning other ways for the community to get together through a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content. More information will be shared online.
Facebooks’ decision to cancel an event in May suggests what we may see happen in the coming weeks: more and more shows being cancelled and, when viable, exchanged for an online version. It’s something that, apparently, is going to reach a scale never experienced before, and which will test the power of the Internet and its ability to keep the world connected. It’s just a pity that it has to be a virus, the COVID-19, that paves the way for digital conferences. But it is probably better to be safe than sorry, and that may be the reason why Twitter posted today a message to all its employees:
“Beginning today, we are strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they’re able. Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus for us – and the world around us. We are operating out of an abundance of caution and the utmost dedication to keeping our Tweeps healthy.”
We’ve answered the question, “what does a producer do?” Find out what happens when we ask some producers.
Producers do a lot. We all know that much.
But what’s invaluable about this round table discussion is that we get a variety of answers from a group of producers that cover the entire spectrum of experience, budget, role, and expertise. This podcast will help you find the types of producers you need, identify what your project needs to attract them, and give you an edge when it comes to mounting a project in the first place.
We were lucky enough to gather this group of expert producers in Park City during Sundance 2020, and we’re thrilled to bring all their combined knowledge to you now.
Our guests include Diane Becker (Whirlybird), Mandy Tagger (Save Yourselves), Lucas Joaquin (The Evening Hour), Uri Singer (Tesla), Marcel Perez (La leyenda negra), and Marina Grasik (Black Bear, 4 Good Days).
For more, see our ongoing list of coverage of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
A bump in track count is always welcomed.
For the audio junkies out there, Zaxcom has released firmware version 2.0 for its Nova recorder-mixer-receiver. The significant update increases the track count from 12 to 16, improves its Automixer, and now supports the Oasis control surface, among other new improvements.
The Nova is now a 16 track recorder, mixer, and receiver in one. It’s aimed at sound mixers in need of a robust device that can handle the daily demands of film and television recording. It combines the best of Zaxcom’s flagship recorder Deva 24 and its portable Nomad recorder. The standout feature being its integrated wireless receivers.
Why You Stop Yourself From Making Your Indie Film This is a keynote I gave at the BraveMaker Film Festival. If you are wondering why you can’t make that feature film that has been burning in your belly this video might help you understand why. Enjoy! READ THE BOOKS Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How…
Today on the podcast we are looking at a monster of a commercial with lots of issues to tackle and problems to solve. A spot like this is why cinematography is such a fun career.
Always new challenges to overcome and get better.
Enjoy the behind the scenes look!
Patreon Podcast: Ice Cream You Scream
On the Patreon Podcast this week we change things up again. I’ve gotten a few supporters asking to do a Natasha Braier ASC ADF piece and so I thought I’d find some of her recent work and showcase that.
I cam across this commercial and wanted to break it down because it isn’t the “style” I would immediately think of when I thought of Natasha and her feature work.
Lots to unpack and fun to dive in and break down the spot.
You can find this week’s Patreon content by clicking the link below:
If you are a fan of the podcast and want more video content the patreon group is the place to be. Each and every week I release an exclusive podcast, video, or live stream just for the Patreon members.
Patreon members also get access to the Private Facebook community for the show. The podcast couldn’t exist without the Patreon support and I do my best to take care of the supporters.
The Wet Down: The Spot
Check out the gear I use on all of my commercial shoots by clicking the link below:
This was pre-Mini LF days so we shot on the regular mini to take advantage of the weight savings paired with a set of Zeiss Supreme Primes.
We shot Prores 4444XQ, 3.2k, 800 ISO, 25 fps, 180 degree shutter. The motion control was a 29mm.
The Boards & the Challenges
The Location – The Street that Never Ends
This success of this spot weighed heavily in finding a location that ticked as many boxes as possible. In the end the production did a great job of tracking down a street that was:
1. Long Enough
2. Ended in a T so you could still see power on in the BG.
3. Was small enough they could actually shut it down for a night.
4. Had a house at one end that would allow us to film inside it.
5. Had enough off shoots on either side to fit the base of all the cherry pickers.
6. Looked halfway decent.
7. Had exposed power lines and a tree nearby that could actually drop a branch that size.
The Top Down View:
The Spot View:
The Reverse End:
The Fun Part @ 190 Feet (60 meters):
The Solution @ 164 Feet (50 meters):
The Spot – Shot by Shot
Pass #1 – The Bare Tree
The first pass of the motion control sequence. Just the tree and the night sky as the camera pulls back 50 feet.
One M90 in a 180ft bucket that is visible in shot acts as the moon.
Two M40s in another cherry picker 65 feet up off frame right act as a BG frontal accent light and the other as a backlight for the main set.
There is also an M18 tucked behind the houses frame left lighting up the large tree in the BG.
Above the main set piece area is a 12×12 soft box with 2 S60 Sky Panels to act as toppy ambient tone rigged to a 45 foot knuckle boom to get the rig out and over the set.
Add a wet down and we are good to go.
Set Up #2 – She is Still Dark
Pass #2 with added cones behind the branch.
Same as before.
Set Up #3 – Lights Out
3rd pass adding cones in the foreground and a day-maker in the BG.
Same as above.
Set Up #4 – Let There Be Light
Pass #4 is identical to #3 but now the day-maker is turned on.
Same as above.
Set Up #5 – Crew Arrives
Pass #5 adds the crew and the trucks.
Same as above.
Shot #6 – Human Cross
The last pass for the first run of the Motion Control track before moving it up the hill.
THe worker who passes the screen will be the edit point to wipe to the new track and stitch the two together.
Same as above.
Shot #7 – The 2nd Track
Same as above but we now start the new track so we can get further away from the scene.
Same as above.
Shot #8 – The Car Wipe
The last pass involves more crew on screen plus an emergency vehicle wiping across screen to get us out of the scene.
Same as above.
Shot #9 – The Elevated Closer
Now we jump in another cherry picker with the camera to show the whole scene being taken care of. This is the final shot in the add before the super.
The only change here is we needed to move the 12×12 soft box that was directly over the set and place it camera right to get it out of the shot.
Shot #10 – The Same but Closer
An over the shoulder shot of a woman in her house noticing the fallen branch and power line in the middle of the road. The power on the street is out.
The only change here was we needed to keep the 12×12 out of shot and up higher than it was for the motion control portion of the shoot. It is frame right and 45 feet up in the air.
Plus we used a Litemat 2l locally on the talent to help draw her out from the BG.
Shot #11 – Tears in the Rain
The final shot of the night is the woman looking out her rainy window as a reverse of the previous shot. She grabs the phone to call the emergency services out.
We used the 12×12 soft box as a key by swinging the boom around and lowering it. Then inside we took creative license and added the Litemat 2l to edge her out from the flat, dark BG of the powerless house.
The post The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #217 – The Wet Down appeared first on Cinematography Podcast & Tutorials.
It is with a heavy heart that AJA is withdrawing from the NAB 2020 show in Las Vegas due to the risks from the Coronavirus. We have made this decision out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our employees and partners worldwide.
While we will miss gathering with our friends and colleagues from around the world, AJA remains fully committed to transitioning all of our planned NAB events (product announcements and demos, channel partner meeting and press conference) to web-based video conferences. We have exciting product news to share, and we look forward to bringing those products to market as planned.
AJA is a community-based company with a majority of our staff, product development and manufacturing located in Grass Valley, California and in light of the risks presented by Covid-19, having a physical presence at NAB posed too great of a risk.
In the usual booth location for AJA, South – Lower, the video hardware company took up a decent amount of space and presence. Usually, the AJA location is excellent for NAB attendees to see precisely what AJA has to offer since most of their gear may be hidden behind a computer or monitor in post-production offices. AJA will rely on video conferencing and online presentations to carry the news of the company’s newest innovations. Is AJA the first of many companies to back out of NAB or just a one-off?