By the time you read this, there is a good chance that you will be, like half of the production and broadcast industry, at IBC in Amsterdam. IBC is one of those shows that industry execs and seasoned trade journos like myself love to attend, and that’s no surprise given the sheer number of companies, visitors and top-notch speakers at the event. The benefits of attending this type of show are always a reminder of the importance of breaking the routine and getting out of the office environment to meet new people, catch up with friends in the industry and listen to insights from people at the forefront on broadcast and production.
This year, there are plenty of conference sessions and keynotes to look forward to such as Ang Lee, director of films including Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi; and David Puttnam, who has spent thirty years as an independent producer of award-winning films including The Mission, The Killing Fields, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Memphis Belle.
There will also be numerous insights to gain from conference sessions covering diverse topics including monetisation of content, the growth of mobile, OTT strategies, virtual reality and much more.
But the main benefit of IBC is having so many people under one roof. It’s great being able to catch up with so many friends and associates from the industry, an aspect of trade shows that always raises my awareness of trends and challenges in the industry, and how companies around the world are trying to solve them.
In this issue you can check out our IBC guide on page 50 which highlights some of the main components of the show to ensure you experience. One of my favourites is always the Future Zone, which I expect to be rife with virtual reality and augmented reality headsets and experiences this year.
Also in this issue, we are pleased to bring some big interviews from the UAE, with Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation, and Jamal Al Sharif, MD of Dubai Film & TV Commission discussing the development of the UAE and the wider Middle East as a hub for film and TV production.
As both of these interviews make clear, the UAE has come a long way in terms of developing its production industries in recent years, and content speaks for itself with films such as Zinzana demonstrating just what can be achieved by home grown talent. But films are not everything: both Garin and Sharif appear to agree that TV represents the “bread and butter” of the production industry and so requires more attention. But here too, there are many positive developments, from series such as ‘Justice’, a legal drama filmed in Abu Dhabi, to numerous other documentaries and reality style shows. On the international scene, check out page 92 for a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the making of Independence Day: Resurgence with special effects veteran Volker Engel.
Enjoy the issue, and I hope to see you at IBC!
Roger Field is Editor of Digital Studio at ITP Business Publishing.