IBC & Autumn 2007


Having just arrived back from an eventful IBC, it is now a good time to put down a bit of information from the show as well as talk about the upcoming activities leading up to Christmas.

Firstly, IBC (which I assume stands for something like the International Broadcast Conference), runs every year in Amsterdam. Its an opportunity for manufacturers from all areas of the media industry to showcase their latest products and innovations. As you can imagine, this year’s show was dominated by the RED camera, and other low priced but high specced products (SI 2K and FCP Studio 2 as example).

Seeing the RED camera on the stand was interesting enough, and the image I saw was certainly fine – sharp enough, bit of noise in the blacks – but hey, at the price mark you cant really complain. Its the usual story though, are commercials and features (high-end) really going to move away from film for this? 4K is one thing, beautiful images is another, I’d love it to be as good as 35mm but we won’t know till November when we have it at one of The Look’s Shoot ‘n’ Post days (in conjunction with High Definition magazine).

Other highlights was the show’s focus on 3D this year.  Many of us have had the IMAX ‘experience’, but the truth is the content just hasn’t been there –  you can only stomach so many 3D CGI tigers or turtles till the novelty wears off.  However, some of the work being done in this area now utilises just normal HD cameras on special rigs, and the image quality was fantastic.  I have to say I found some of the demonstrations extremely exciting.

Having been invited by Quantel to give a 30 minute presentation on their stand about whatever I liked (within reason!), I thought I’d talk about the change in the DI and grading market over the last five years, as well as discuss the future of post (which followed the lines of one of my previous blogs) and how technology and personnel had to change dramatically to keep up – training and technology has to go hand in hand if clients are going to be able to still deliver the best quality to the viewer, whether that be via terrestrial broadcast, satellite or online.

This Autumn things are certainly ramping up, and even though certain markets (banking, property and certain areas of TV) may be feeling more nervous than they have during the last five years, the commercials market seems to be going crazy. On the flip side, talking to a friend who does a lot of location work in the features market, he’s positive that productions will be returning to the London studios (Shepperton, Pinewood etc.) for next year’s features because it’s not as cheap to shoot in Eastern Europe as it was.

We look forward to the continued growth of the commercials market, across the massive spectrum that it now covers – embracing online advertising, and making sure that YouTube quality (Flash 9) is surpassed by H264 and the like.  HD can then be delivered to people’s desktops, even though most people don’t realise they have HD until you tell them the screen they’re reading this blog off is already HD.

Here’s to good quality leading up to 2008, log on to http://www.thelooklondon.com to see what’s happening……


Thomas Urbye

Company Director, The Look

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