The bearish outlook at Wall Street did not seem to dampen the spirit of exhibitors and visitors to IBC.
In fact, the mood at IBC seemed very upbeat. The attendance numbers were up from 46,964 in 2008 to 49,250 this year and I'm told the refreshments at the stands were well stocked to entertain guests.
Perhaps this IBC also saw a record number of new technologies being showcased. One of the highlights of the event was a keynote interview with Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks, who declared that 3D was the way forward for Hollywood producers. This interview, which marked the first-ever transatlantic telecast in High Definition 3D, was broadcast live from Los Angeles and transmitted to a 1000-plus audience at IBC this year.
At the event, Katzenberg said: "I think in a reasonable period of time, all movies are going to be made in 3D. When the audience experiences this and sees how exceptional it is, and the filmmakers understand how much greater an experience they can offer their audience and they can have as a filmmaking tool, I think 2D films are going to be a thing of the past."
Katzenberg said one of the big changes to expect would be with the viewing glasses. He stated that DWA was working with manufacturers like Luxottica and Oakley to produce a "lens that would function like normal sunglasses when worn outdoors and transition to 3-D glasses when they went into a movie theatre".
Katzenberg claimed that when Monsters vs Aliens is released next Spring, 30% of the total audience will see the 3D version and when Shrek 4 comes out in 2010, 80% of the audience will see the 3D version.
One other technology at IBC that won much applause was Super Hi-Vision.
While all of this seemed to indicate that everything was hunky dory at IBC, a walk down the aisle where most media booths were stationed seemed to indicate a different picture. Most international magazines, especially those from the US and Europe, were down to half their usual show issue sizes. Now that gives an indication that several companies have cut their ad budgets.
Vijaya Cherian is the editor of Digital Studio.