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Avid World & Pro Tools Conference Attracts Sound Designers & Video Editors

Sound designers and video editors looking to increase theirtechnical knowledge and creativity, share experiences with colleagues,learn tips from well-known industry professionals and strengthen theirnetworking opportunities can accomplish all these objectives at thefirst ever Avid World and Pro Tools Conference. To be held December 9to 12, 2001 at the New Yorker Hotel, the four-day event also includes a2-day expo. The conference will include 4 parallel tracks of 70-pluseducational classes, keynote speeches and networking events designed tooffer users all the information and contacts they need to moreeffectively use the full range of Avid’s tools and technology,including Pro Tools, Media Composer and Symphony.

Mindshare Ventures, a producer of vendor-specific audio and videouser conferences, and Future Media Concepts, the nation’s largestAvid Authorized Education Center, organized the conference, incooperation with Avid and Digidesign. The event marks the first time innearly 5 years that Avid users have been assembled for such anevent—a lifetime considering the rapid pace at which technologyadvances in the video and audio industries.

“The technology and tools available to video and audioprofessionals today are different than they were 5 months ago, letalone 5 years ago,” says Richard Friedman, President andCo-Founder of Mindshare Ventures. “The opportunity for users ofAvid and Pro Tools systems to get together in a collaborativeenvironment based on education and experience is critical. No otherevent in this industry is as comprehensive as Avid World. A uniquebenefit of this conference is that it was created for users, by users.After all, who knows better about what real users want than the usersthemselves?”

One of those users is Mark Goldblatt, A.C.E., anAcademy-Award-nominated motion picture editor and longtime Avid userwhose credits include this summer’s blockbuster “PearlHarbor,” as well as “Hollow Man,” “TrueLies,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “TheRock.” Goldblatt will deliver one of the conference’skeynote speeches, and lead two Master Classes on film editing.

“Avid’s technology enables me to have more control overall the materials—audio and visual—that I have to workwith,” Goldblatt says. “I have very fast random access toany given piece of film at any time, and the tools allow me to be incontrol much more optimally than was ever possible using analogsystems.”

According to Goldblatt, an experience like Avid World holds realpotential for offering system users a valuable opportunity tostrengthen their professional knowledge. “Anytime you get a groupof advanced editors together in a venue where they can interact withexperts, you can expect great things,” Goldblatt says. “Inour business, it’s really all about the sharing of informationand experiences. And, as a plus, the feedback that Avid will glean fromsuch an event is invaluable in helping to create future generations ofsoftware.”

In addition, David Krall, president and CEO of Avid Technology, willspeak about Avid’s current message of the importance of creating,managing and moving media.

The keynote panel also includes heavyweights from the world oftelevision, with a presentation by Michael Berenbaum, Wendey Stanzler,Craig Cobb and Carrie Puchkoff, the editing team behind HBO’s“Sex and the City.” The team will provide aninsider’s view of how the popular series’ shows are puttogether, including preparing the editing room for each show,assembling the editor’s cut to locking picture; working with theproducers and directors; and finishing the shows with the soundeditors, music editors, and mixers.

The conference’s target audience—the end users of ProTools and Avid systems—agrees the conference holds real value asan educational and professional resource. “Pro Tools has becomean indispensable part of my studio,” says Jan Folkson, a ProTools engineer from Avatar Studios who’s worked with Steely Dan,Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole and Elton John, among others. “Itgives me the ability to record, edit and mix a project all in oneenvironment. Its expandability, non-destructive editing and instant,spot-on, recall-ability is just unmatched. The Avid World and Pro Toolsconference looks like a great opportunity for experts and novices aliketo meet and share knowledge, tips and tricks about Pro Tools. Thesystem is so vast that someone could spend 12 hours a day for weeks ormonths on end without touching upon all of the features.”

Says longtime Avid user Rich Abraham, “Avid is the only systemthat provides the editor with all the benefits of nonlinear digitalediting, without forgetting to include all the necessary timecode andEDL extras that enable it to be an online editing workhorse. Anotherreason for Avid’s dominance is Avid’s unique user settings,which allow an editor to have the same editing interface on any systemin the country. The conference is definitely something to get excitedabout. Editors very rarely get a chance to interact and discuss theirwork. Nobody knows everything and even the most senior editor in theworld can learn from someone else. The expo will be a great opportunityfor editors from all over the world to come together and listen to someof the world’s best editors and learn some of their tips andtechniques.”

The seminars and sessions of Avid World will cover editing anddesigning tips and techniques for users of Media Composer, Symphony,Avid½DS, Xpress DV, Unity, and AvidProNet Review and Approval.There will also be a separate and comprehensive Pro Tools track.

A sampling of topics includes:

  • Media Composer Advanced Editing Techniques
  • Choosing the Right DV Camera and Deck
  • Production Tips for DV Projects
  • Finishing Techniques for Media Composer and Symphony
  • Total Conform-from Offline to Symphony
  • Mixing in Surround Sound Formats, Including 5.1, 7.1 and 4:2:4 DolbyEncoding
  • Scoring and Composing for Film & Television Using Pro Tools andSoft SampleCell II and Other Third-party Software Synthesizers andSamplers
  • ProTools Technical Troubleshooting and Set-up for Music and PostSurround
  • Music and MIDI Production with Retro and Virus

In addition to the classes and workshops, Avid World will also hosta 1-day Digital Production Summit, targeted to producers, directors andsenior-level executives at creative companies. The Summit consists of“hands-off” sessions that will provide an overview of thetechnological trends in digital production and delivery. Topics to becovered include: digital cinematography, Interactive TV, DVD authoring,streaming video; and new Web-based workflow tools.

Finally, the conference will offer attendees a break from thetechnical and educational seminars and give them a chance to networkand socialize in a more informal atmosphere. That’s the purposeof “The Next Gig Soiree,” which will be held on Tuesday,December 11, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Next Gig will kick off with a “Power Panel” from5:30 to 6:30 p.m., where top editors and producers from several TVnetworks, news shows, recording companies, Fortune 1000 companies,Hollywood and ad agencies will reveal their secrets for “gettingahead,” and share tips about increasing hiring potential. Audioand video professionals will have a chance to network and further theircareers, but equally important is that production companies, adagencies and others looking to fill positions will also be able tobenefit from Avid World.

“This is not only an ideal opportunity for finding out wherethe jobs are, but it will also benefit those who are in a position tocreate the work and do the hiring of creative talent,” says BenKozuch, President of Future Media Concepts. “It’s a greatforum for both beginners in the industry and for those who’vebeen around a while.”

An added attraction of the conference is that all attendees canshowcase and run a 2-minute reel of their work in “The Avid WorldFeatured Reels” portion of the conference. The reels will be runon projection screens throughout the evening, for a submission fee of$200, and free for those with the VIP Passport. Included in the $200fee, additionally, is an opportunity to post resumes online, where theywill be used as an ongoing talent bank for all potential employers inattendance.

“Technical workshops with industry gurus, networking,career-building opportunities and social events with colleagues,”says Friedman. “As our tagline says, this conference will trulybe where technology meets creativity.”