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NAB 2008: Supersession

A Million Dollar Look on a Thousand Dollar Budget! By Ko Maruyama
While there are several companies who are attending NAB with deep pockets and massive budgets, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're allowed to spend that money on production.  In the supersession with keynote by Stu Maschwitz, the panel discussed what they thought about the future of digital filmmaking and how to stretch the production dollar.

Stu Maschwitz, author of The DV Rebel's Guide, gave a keynote about how production teams can get the "high production value" without paying top production dollars.  With the advent of relatively low cost technology, production has become available to the masses.  Stu's discussions, albeit short, are always an interesting listen, and his insight into what independent filmmakers can do to narrow the gap between themselves and the gigantic film studios are always engaging.

Other speakers included Dave Basulto of Clarity Pictures (who also writes stories and has a podcast here on CreativeMac),  Alex Lindsay of Pixel Corps (of which I am a member) and Director of Photography Taylor Wigton.

While Stu's focus was on special effects and how he manipulated the image to give the perception of additional value, Dave Basulto talked about the fact that there are ways to achieve higher production value practically.  In one of his recent productions, he was able to negotiate an entire park location.  The numbers of people that appeared in the background added what appeared to be many more extras than the budget could support.  Although Basulto has produced, directed, and sold several low budget movies, he is also familiar  as a producer with large budget mainstream film production as well.

Alex Lindsay talked about the production teams that he's developed in San Francisco and around the world.  Although he didn't say outright that he thought that the studio system was dead, he said that the system would have to undergo major changes soon in order to keep up with the new models of production and distribution.  Alex runs several audio podcasts and videocasts which he produces himself.  He is also in production with video projects as well.  You can watch (and listen) to his work on

Taylor Wigton talked about the importance of sharing responsibilities within a production, allowing team members with specific strengths to bring their individual talents to the table.  Although his comments didn't necessarily speak to the idea of bringing production costs down, or getting more production value appearance from a workflow pipeline, I had hoped he would talk more about the various low budget cameras and production tools available.

Stu's blog PROLOST has several photos from the event and recaps of the NAB Expo and Show as well.  You can see some video of the keynote on Dave Basulto's  blog FILMMAKINGCENTRAL.

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:event, nab 2008, supersession, stu maschwitz, dave basulto, alex lindsay, pixelcorps


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