Monday, June 18, 2018
  • Friday, Apr. 8, 2016
NAB Preview: Ang Lee, VR, Digital Futures Exchange
Ang Lee
Show expected to draw more than 100,000 attendees; 1,700+ exhibitors set to showcase wares
  • --

This year’s overall NAB Show, running April 16-21, is expected to draw 103,000 attendees from 166 countries, with the latest technological innovations and wares being showcased by more than 1,700 exhibitors. The world’s largest electronic media show covering the creation, management and delivery of content across all platforms, the NAB confab will also feature a discussion on the future of cinema, a VR showcase, the launch of the Digital Futures Exchange, and a continuation of the SPROCKIT program identifying promising startups. 

While announcements of new products and innovations at the confab will be covered in SHOOT, including in its ongoing Toolbox coverage, here are several other much anticipated NAB highlights:

Ang Lee To Keynote Future of Cinema Conference
Three-time Oscar winner Ang Lee (twice for Best Director on the strength of Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi, and once for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as Best Foreign Language Film) will present a keynote address and screen footage from his upcoming film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk at the NAB Show’s Future of Cinema Conference, produced in partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). Lee will discuss his vision for cinema and the creative opportunities for the future of filmmaking. The audience will enjoy the first-ever public screening from the upcoming movie in its native 4K, 3D, 120-frames-per-second format using a cutting-edge dual laser projection system. The 90-minute presentation begins at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at the 2016 NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Lee’s adaptation of the novel by Ben Fountain, stars Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund and Steve Martin. Sony Pictures is set to release the film in November. It is the first major motion picture release to have been captured at 120 frames-per-second 3D at 4K resolution and in high-dynamic range (HDR).

Lee will be joined onstage by Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk editor Tim Squyres; production systems supervisor Ben Gervais; stereographer Demetri Portelli; and Scot Barbour, VP of production technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Chris Brown, NAB executive VP, Conventions and Business Operations, said, “In many ways NAB Show is about showcasing the tools that creative people use to make great content. In films such as Life of Pi and now Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Mr. Lee has used 3D and other cutting-edge techniques to advance the craft of cinema itself.”

The Future of Cinema Conference is scheduled for April 16-17, and will gather the brightest minds and talents to discuss the changing nature of storytelling today and into the future, as well as the industry’s role in ensuring that creative work is preserved in its highest form for generations to come. The conference will feature sessions on forward-looking techniques and challenges related to making content for theatrical release and beyond.

The screening of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is made possible by the support of RealD and by technical components provided by leading companies. Christie will provide projection for the session, Dolby will provide 3D glasses, and 7th Sense will provide playback with its Delta Infinity III servers.

Kaleidoscope VR Showcase
The NAB Show has partnered with Kaleidoscope, the largest community for virtual reality (VR) creators, to host the inaugural Kaleidoscope VR Showcase at NAB Show, which will take place April 18–21 in Vegas.

The Kaleidoscope VR Showcase at NAB Show will feature groundbreaking virtual reality films and immersive experiences, which hail from North America, Europe, South America and beyond. For the first time, NAB Show attendees will have the opportunity to travel to virtual worlds and experience the most innovative narrative, environmental and interactive content.

Founded in 2015 by entrepreneur René Pinnell and former Industrial Light & Magic technical director Michael Breymann, Kaleidoscope empowers independent VR artists and works to promote the visibility of VR as the new frontier of film and entertainment. Previous to its involvement with NAB Show, the inaugural Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival toured across the North American continent, visiting 10 cities that included Austin, Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver in 2015.

Digital Futures Exchange
The Digital Futures Exchange is a new NAB Show Conference to be held Sunday, April 17. The event will showcase emerging trends and best practices for broadcasters to leverage successful digital content strategies and drive new revenue. DFX is powered by PILOT, a coalition of innovators, educators and advocates dedicated to advancing broadcast technology and cultivating new media opportunities.

DFX will feature interactive discussions on trends and strategies for successfully incorporating digital as an integral part of station business plans. The conference will feature presentations by expert analysts from leading industry researchers and organizations, including Pew Research Center, BIA/Kelsey and the Local Media Association.

“We developed DFX especially for those responsible for driving digital revenue for their companies,” said NAB CTO Sam Matheny. “Our goal is to present a fast-paced program and networking event that will be of immediate value to participants.”

Attendees will learn how to develop strategies that leverage macro trends for long-term success and have the opportunity to: Examine digital strategies for content and marketing; share examples of managing the shift to digital media spending; exchange actionable ideas for driving digital revenue in local markets; and discuss the state of the news media and how millennials’ news habits differ.

SPROCKIT Unveils Startups
SPROCKIT and NAB Show announced several of the startups selected to participate in SPROCKIT’s 2016 program. Up to 30 emerging companies will be hand-selected by industry leaders to participate based on their potential to offer real solutions to challenges in today’s evolving market that many established media and entertainment companies face.

Now in its fourth year, SPROCKIT will showcase industry-vetted emerging companies at NAB Show and convene throughout the year at SPROCKIT Sync, a series of private meetings where executives and entrepreneurs meet to collectively discuss and introduce new technologies that will advance the industry. Since its launch in 2013, dozens of emerging companies have participated in SPROCKIT and experienced rapid growth, including successful funding rounds, partnerships and even acquisitions.

The startups invited to participate at the 2016 NAB Show represent a variety of sectors with specific solutions for applications in areas such as advertising, analytics, mobile content production and content delivery. Participating startup companies in this year’s SPROCKIT program include:
--AmpLive helps content creators and marketers, using live video, build better audiences by tracking user attention and using that data to retarget and engage at a later time.
--Appiness provides advanced solutions for video commerce. The company offers time-stamped products and brands for shopping via any smart device, locally or internationally.
--Crowdynews is the largest social media curation platform, delivering social content to the news media worldwide.
--Nervve helps industry leaders to target, measure and monetize media through visual search and analysis.
--OwnLocal builds the bridge between small and medium businesses and local media companies by automating digital marketing through a secure source. is a mobile live streaming platform with enterprise video player capabilities that is platform-agnostic and can consume live video from mobile devices, GoPros, and more.
--System73 is the “Google Maps” for OTT broadcast video. Simple codes added to the video stream guarantee delivery of high quality video to millions of viewers simultaneously with no blocking, while reducing costs.
--trueAnthem is a data-driven social publishing solution that enables media companies to maximize profitability from social media.
--TVision Insights leverages state-of-the-art computer vision technology to collect viewers’ demographics, emotions, actual viewing habits, and content engagement by analyzing data from sensors in the living room.
--And Vigour empowers media companies and operators to revolutionize online video services using Vigour Video, a world-class interface platform that captivates customers and connects their screens.