P|PW Promises Skills Upgrades

More detail, higher resolution, greater depth — that’s the forecast not just for technology, but also for the creative and technical skills needed by production professionals to survive and thrive.

The Post|Production World (P|PW) conference promises opportunities to update and upgrade participants’ skills and knowledge of production and post production.

Produced in partnership with Future Media Concepts, the 2015 P|PW is sponsored by Blackmagic Design, G-Technology and Warner Chappell Production Music.

The conference features the certification-level training programs for Avid, Adobe and Apple applications for which it has become best
known, but the P|PW schedule spans a broad range of related topics as well.

Each year, the opening days of the Post|Production World conference feature interesting and in-depth courses and activities, and this year has been no exception.

In 2015, any comprehensive upgrade of a shooter’s skills would have to include a working knowledge of the newest aerial camera platforms. A pair of weekend “Aerial Videography Field Trips” in the nearby ghost town of Nelson, Nev., taught necessary techniques to both beginner (Saturday) and advanced (Sunday) camera operator/pilots. Friday’s “Night Sky Time-Lapse Field Trip” also delivered specialized, hands-on experience — as well as stunning results.

Another source of enrichment each year at the Post|Production World conference is exposure to noted industry professionals. Yesterday’s keynote presentation by “The Blair Witch Project” director Dan Myrick profiled the perspective and practices that have driven his career successes, and provided an opportunity for audience interaction as well.

One hallmark of Post|Production World content is its topical take on today’s trends, and the 2015 event continues that tradition.

Perhaps the best example is today’s session exploring one of the industry’s quiet discussions. “Working Together to Close the Gender Gap in Post Production,” addresses the causes and cures for a startling statistical disparity: 50 percent of industry training graduates are female, but women only represent 18 percent of all those who work in post production. The event also provides an opportunity for networking and socializing among attendees.

Course offerings reflect a focus on current production trends, too. In this morning’s session “In-Depth Phones & Tablets — Leveraging Mobile Platforms in Production,” perennial favorite P|PW instructor Abba Shapiro explores the use of today’s high-quality, small-format consumer imagers as content capture devices… a subject of special interest as mobile imager resolutions match and even exceed that of pro devices.

The industry’s bleeding-edge of growth — ever-higher professional camera resolution — isn’t left out of the Post|Production World
syllabus, however. A variety of brand-specific courses examine features and operation of several next-generation families of cameras, including Blackmagic, Canon and even the mighty miniature cameras from GoPro.

Other hot topics of current interest: The rapid rise of LED lighting in the shooter’s arsenal is supported by a Wednesday class hosted by Lite-Panels’ Pat Grosswendt; indie filmmaker Kelley Slagle leads a course on “Crowdfunding for Independent Film”; and the newly minted H.265 compression format is explained during a session hosted by Jeff Greenberg, also on Wednesday.

Across the range of P|PW offerings, several courses and tracks are big enough to warrant morning-to-evening sessions, suggesting deep immersion in their specialized subjects.

Today’s daylong “Documentary Editing” course, for example, offers guidance from filmmaker/editor Steve Audette on both the style and
substance of the documentary form, including tips and techniques on impactful execution. Post-production author Ashley Kennedy adds an exploration of pacing, scene building and story structure as key ingredients for a successful project.

Other full-day workshops include Tuesday’s course on advanced Cinema 4D animation techniques, a video compression workshop, and a “YouTube Deep Dive,” an examination of technical and marketing factors required to successfully employ YouTube as a content delivery platform.

Wednesday full-day subjects include “4K Workflows,” offering an end-to-end overview of the advantages and challenges of moving up
to 4K production, as well as the popular “After Effects for Video Editors” session.

Exhibits-only attendees, often attending the NAB Show on short-turnaround schedules, have an opportunity to sample 30-minute sessions right on the show floor, thanks to P|PW’s “Post|Production Campus” program in the South Upper Hall. A full program of expert-led content is supplemented by meetups, networking, reel reviews and giveaways, and is designed for flexible, drop-in access.