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Conference Targets Post-Production Pros

Price, All Sessions
FMC Brings Experience to Training
Continues to Thrive

Ben Kozuch, the conference chairperson of the NAB Post|Production
World Conference, is also the president and cofounder of Future Media
Concepts, the nation’s premier digital media training organization for
editors and graphic designers. Kozuch holds a BA in Engineering from
Tel Aviv University and he graduated from the Air Force Academy as a
fighter pilot. He also holds an MBA in International Business from the
European School of Management in Paris.

John Marino is vice president of science and technology for NAB and
is responsible for the development of the many technology-oriented
conferences and seminars presented by NAB. Marino’s broadcast
experience extends over 20 years and includes the positions of vice
president of engineering and director of engineering for a number of
broadcast groups.

Exciting, new training opportunities await digital artists atNAB2004

The annual NAB show, hosted each April in Las Vegas by the National
Association of Broadcasters, already holds the distinction of being the
world’s largest electronic media show, attracting more than 1,000
exhibitors and nearly 90,000 attendees.

This year, for the first time, the show will also claim the
distinction of being the world’s largest post-production educational
conference, thanks to the addition of the NAB Post|Production World
Conference. A massive new undertaking, the NAB Post|Production World
Conference will bring to NAB more than 160 sessions designed to provide
attendees with intermediate- and advanced-level training in a wide
variety of post-production tools and techniques used for video and film
editing, compositing and special effects, sound design, 3D animation,
web design, and DVD authoring.

“A lot of post-production pros attend our show, and over the years
we’ve tried to provide some educational opportunities for them,” says
John Marino, NAB’s vice president of science and technology. “But this
year, we’ve really taken it to the next level. Our research indicates
that people want us to provide a high level of training on the new
software platforms

that are out there, and I think they are going to be pleased with
what we’ve put together for them.”

Developed in cooperation with Future Media Concepts (FMC), the
nation’s premier digital media training center, the NAB Post|Production
World Conference will kick off on Friday, April 16, with a
pre-conference Boot Camp. The Boot Camp is targeted at users who need
to brush up on their familiarity with the interfaces of a few key
software programs before plunging into the more advanced courses that
form the meat of the conference. In total, the Boot Camp consists of
five 3½-hour sessions, each serving as a crash course on four
different programs—Avid Xpress Pro, Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Adobe
After Effects, Adobe Photoshop CS and Adobe Premiere Pro.

The conference then begins in earnest on Saturday, April 17, and
runs through Wednesday, April 21. During that time, those who’ve
registered for the post-production conference will have the opportunity
to move freely among 164 sessions that are broken into 25 different
tracks. Many of the tracks are product-specific and are intended to
help users develop a deeper understanding of the products’ toolsets.
Examples of such tracks include Avid DS Editing and Compositing,
Photoshop for Nonlinear Editors, Authoring with DVD Studio Pro, and
Advanced Motion Graphics with After Effects.

The goal of these 75-minute sessions, says Ben Kozuch, conference
chairperson and president and cofounder of FMC, “is to give you enough
tips and tricks so that you can go to your next project and save a few
hours of production time. Even digital artists who have used a
particular tool for a long time should be able to pick up some
shortcuts that will allow them to be more efficient and creative

To make the sessions as useful as possible, conference organizers
have been very careful in their selection of session instructors. About
35% are FMC staff instructors, while the rest are power users,
freelancers, and book authors. To ensure objectivity, very few
instructors were pulled from the ranks of the software vendors
themselves, and those few that were come from the vendors’ training
departments, not their marketing departments.

“It is very important to us,” says Kozuch, “to offer sessions that
are truly instructional and are not sales presentations.”

The Rise of the Digital Artist

According to Kozuch, one of the most important aspects of the
conference— beyond the sheer number of sessions being
offered—is the diversity of topics. None of the 164 sessions is
repeated. That diversity, he says, was developed deliberately in
recognition of the fact that the lines between professions have
blurred. Video editors now create DVDs and mix sound, webmasters shoot
and edit video, and producers do rough cuts.

“In essence,” says Kozuch, “we have seen the emergence of a new type
of professional, the digital artist, who needs to be able to do many
things. You can no longer be successful by knowing how to tell a story
using just your editing system because sooner or later, you’ll be asked
to tweak sound, add a flying title, create an opening effects montage,
import some Photoshop graphics, or generate a little explosion in After

Understanding that, the conference has been set up so that
conference attendees pay for a single conference pass that gives them
access to all the sessions. Kozuch says this freedom to move between
sessions in different tracks is essential for today’s digital artist,
who is expected to master so many different tools.

In addition to the software-specific sessions, the conference will
also include several more general sessions that will provide practical,
skill-enhancing tips that can be put to use regardless of the brand of
product being used. Some of the more unique general tracks being
offered are:

DV Production: The DV format has penetrated not only the
corporate video department, but the broadcast industry as well. With
the arrival of this format, people who once thought of themselves only
as editors or webmasters are now being handed low-cost DV cameras and
sent into the field to shoot video. This track aims to provide these
users with information about how to conduct a good-looking shoot using
DV equipment. Among other things, session instructors will discuss how
to light a set effectively and how to capture good sound on location,
and will provide tips and tricks for setting up a shot.

Troubleshooting the Digital Facility: Despite its imposing
name, this track is not designed for engineers responsible for
dissecting computers and repairing motherboards. Instead, the track is
geared toward video professionals who work in multi-system environments
and who need to share work seamlessly between different platforms. The
track will focus on how users can maintain a smooth workflow in such
post-production environments.

Nonlinear Editing in News: These days, the broadcast news
industry represents one of the biggest growth areas for nonlinear
editing systems. Digital systems have begun replacing the
long-cherished tape-based system, and in doing so they bring various
advantages and disadvantages. In this track, instructors will discuss
workarounds for digitizing challenges, editing on location, as well as
strategies for getting the most out of an NLE system in a fast-paced
and demanding news production environment.

Inside the Creative Mind: The sessions in this track will
provide a behind-the-scenes look at various types of interesting
projects—be they DVD projects, editing-intensive projects, or
special effects-driven projects. In all cases, the focus will be on the
creative challenges faced rather than on technical discussions of
equipment used. Project production teams will use samples of their
dailies and other project elements including footage of the final
scenes as they decompose and reconstruct their projects for the

Spanish Language Track: In recognition of the fact that NAB
draws attendees from around the world, conference organizers felt it
was important to make at least some sessions more accessible to those
attendees whose primary language is not English. Toward that end, the
conference will include a Spanish Language Track that will offer a
varied collection of sessions, including product-specific sessions on
Avid, Final Cut Pro, and After Effects. If this track is successful,
next year conference organizers might offer tracks in other languages,
such as Japanese.

In addition to the training sessions, the NAB Post|Production World
Conference will feature two keynote speeches—one each on Saturday
and Sunday morning—and will host four Birds-of-a-Feather
gatherings on Saturday evening. These informal gatherings will provide
a relaxing atmosphere where digital artists with similar interests can
mingle with peers and conference faculty.

One final important element of the NAB Post|Production World
Conference is the launch of the Individual Creative Excellence (ICE)
Awards, a new awards program designed to recognize digital artists who
stretch creative limits and craft outstanding works in production and

“The attendees who come to our convention every year are tops in
their field, producing cutting-edge digital art for a variety of
audiences,” says NAB’s John Marino. “Joining with FMC to honor these
leaders for their exceptional work is a natural fit for the

At an awards ceremony held during NAB2004, five finalists and one
winner in six specific crafts will be announced. The crafts are
editing; graphics and animation; sound design; producing and directing;
interactive design; and videography and cinematography. Each craft is
further classified into the broadcast, non-broadcast, or student
industries, and then into additional specific genres.

For more information on the ICE Awards or on any other aspects of
the NAB Post|Production World Conference, go to
and click the link for NAB2004. Full descriptions of all sessions are
posted on the website.

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