Lights, Gadgets and Burgers, Oh My!

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/©John Hargraft

After reading James O’Neal’s reflection on his first NAB Show, the Daily News reached out to other attendees for their thoughts. We asked about their favorite year, traditional activity or restaurant and what they were looking forward to this year.

Michael Gay, vice president of engineering at Cumulus, said he has lost count, but thinks this is his 19th NAB Show. His favorite was his very first in 1990. When asked about his favorite activity or restaurant, he said, “I always have to sneak over to the Cheeseburger at the Oasis for at least one lunch.” As for what he’s looking forward to, he said, “The same things I look forward to every year, to connect with friends, colleagues and vendors that I work with throughout the year, but do not get to see face to face … and all of the blinkey lights and gadgets we engineers love!”

Vickie Chandler, digital media coordinator at BHS-TV, has attended NAB Show for the past 11 years. “[I don’t have a] particular favorite show. Each one is unique and has the ability to forecast trends and shifts in the industry allowing an attendee to glean valuable information from each show,” she said. “Every few years a mustsee is the Penn and Teller show. Best food … got to be Bellagio buffet for lunch, or the Paris buffet is another great venue. Tradition … the Tightrope customer appreciation show. It is a great small group gathering to talk shop for a smaller demographic of providers. “This year I will be looking forward to seeing additional improvements in video-over- IP delivery for entire workflows and shared real-time editing/collaboration solutions. Both of those areas are expanding and need improvement to get to the next level in the industry for productivity and creativity. Where VR production, workflows and job skill changes will be headed is also something I will be observing.”

Jim Smith, technical director at Ranger Associates, first attended at the Conrad Hilton in Chicago in the early 1960s and figures he probably has attended about 35 shows. His favorite show was “when Quantel demoed the Paintbox in a private suite,” he said. He enjoys many great restaurants in Las Vegas. As for what he’s looking forward to, he said, “Meeting friends and colleagues in the business I have known for years and seeing the new technology.”

Heather Macdonald, owner, video producer and editor at Sierra Gold Productions and GoldCountryTV, Nevada County, Calif., has been coming to the show for eight years. “We try to go every other year, but sometimes we get a job and can’t attend. I was a daily reporter from Grass Valley, Calif., who interviewed a couple associated with Grass Valley Group as producers and editors. I purchased the Media 100 from them in 1994 and they became my mentors. Soon I was buying airtime and producing and broadcasting my own television shows. They told me I had to go to this ‘NAB’ so I did in 1996. That has to be my favorite show because it was my first. My husband, videographer and tech guy for my company, couldn’t get enough of seeing the new cameras and technology. I couldn’t get enough of meeting other female broadcast producers. There weren’t many of us back then. … Also vendors approached my husband on products, assuming he was the owner since he was the ‘male.’ He thought that was funny. … I go to see what is new and to see if we can get a deal on purchases, especially cameras. This year we are working with Telestream, a local Grass Valley/ Nevada City company, on live streaming. We need more information on this technology.” Her favorite restaurant is the Gran Lux at the Venetian where she enjoys the Lemon Chicken Piccata.

Michael H. Amundson, senior editor at WGBH NOVA, said he has been coming to the NAB Show for 20 years. “I’ve always enjoyed trying to guess who the disruptors will be and then following them before they really take off. When RED appeared in 2005, the debate was great fun. A ‘sunglasses guy’ was going to take on the big guns? I’ll always remember the long lines on the floor in ’07 to see the Peter Jackson short in the RED theatre. It was exciting … and set off the camera industry on the trends we’re still following today,” he said. “My associates and I have a tradition of having at least a cocktail at MIX and enjoying the stellar view.” As for what he is looking forward to this year, he said, “Oh, everything. HDR, 4K, etc. But it’s often the humble booth that is onto something really interesting and unexpected. It happens every year.”

Greg Baker, global technical director as Saddleback Church, has attended the show for more than 10 years. “I wish I could remember the year I first started attending. I just remember the energy and information I got as a new AV technician my first year. About seven years ago, I attended with a full schedule as we were making the transition from SD to HD, and I had much to learn and many people to talk to. … A few years back I found a regular dinner spot, cheap, but the best BBQ in Vegas at the BBQ place in Ellis Island just off The Strip. This year I don’t have a specific project, just coming to keep up on new technology and meet with some colleagues in my specific House of Worship market.”

Terry Crack with Flight Productions/Dedo- Canada said this will be his 15th show, give or take. He said the first NAB Show is always the best. As for favorite traditions, he said it was, “the Canadian Suite (which may not be there this year, so we will have to start a new tradition).”

Paul Abbaszadeh, owner of 1984 Productions, said this will be his third NAB Show. “I really enjoyed last year’s show … a lot of exhibitors were doing raffles for giveaways which was fun. Atomos raffled off a Shogun 4K recorder, which would have been nice to win but maybe this will be my lucky year!” When talking about traditions, he said, “I always stop off at Gordon Ramsay BurGR at least one night I’m there and then Gordon Ramsay Steak on another. I always stay at the Cosmopolitan.”

Larry Bodnar, post and technical operations manager for BRON Studios in Burnaby, British Columbia, said, “I believe this will be my 14th show as I started attending around 2001. I did miss a couple years in between. It’s hard to narrow this down to a favorite show as there is always much to see — CRT to the flat screens, to HD, 2K, 4K, UHD and now 8K. From broadband-based workflows to file-based workflows and the equipment that was once required for tape-to-tape edit can now be done on a laptop or remote system.” He recommends that attendees take some time to walk The Strip. Several of his favorite restaurants are Morton’s The Steakhouse, Gordon Biersch and Lawry’s Prime Rib. This year Bodnar is looking forward to seeing 4K infrastructure to include systems, playback, monitoring, screening projection, storage.