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David Keene on the Changing World of Content

Understand content, grow your company

It’s always a good time, after InfoComm in the summer, to assess what the year has brought us. And our late summer Rental & Staging Roadshow in New York is a great place to do that with others. In this issue, the cover story analyzes some good collective thinking that came out of the Roadshow on the present and future of large venue projection.

Equally intriguing at the Roadshow: “Content and Media Server Issues for Live Event Production,” a special panel with Lars Pederson of Worldstage, coolux/Pandoras Box user Steve Gilbard of Theatrical Concepts, Kevin Zevchik of AV Stumpfl, and Video Designers David Brodie and Zachary Borovay. We explored a variety of Media Servers now available for live production, and what you need to know to be on top of the latest video server issues. We looked at new generation media servers features such as support for many live inputs, a real time Media Engine, a Media Manager/Encoder (to stream a show to IP, real time, to a remote location), 3D mapping and warping, live masking, and timeline based editing. And the best part of the panel was the extensive discussion of Content–how to understand the creation, management and manipulation content in a world where top staging companies are increasingly expected to understand the Content tools available and how to work with Content creators to get the show right.

If you work exclusively or primarily in staging and/or production of corporate events, it’s useful to get a look at what’s going on in the world of pure entertainment. In fact the Roadshow Media Server panel was heavily tilted toward entertainment and more specifically the Broadway show. Because Video Designers Brodie and Borovay live in that world. It was intriguing to learn from them (and Lars Pederson who’s got their back on the server and projection side) the latest trends in mixing direct view LED with projection mapping, projection tracking of moving elements on stage, video previsualization tools, and more.

The bottom line, both at the Roadshow and out in the larger staging world: Content is not something that’s separate from staging and production. In today’s staging world if you don’t understand the creation and manipulation of the Content that’s up on the screens, it’s not going to be an easy task to prosper and grow your company. The tools for the creative community are changing too fast for you to be able to thrive by just being a gear supplier.

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