The Best Presentations from NAB 2019
If, like me, you didn’t make it to NAB in person this year, then you’ll hopefully, like me, also enjoy the plethora of inspiring and informative presentations that come out of the show every year.
Last year I rounded up the best talks and presentations I could find from the week long industry shindig, which you can (and should!) check out here.
This year there are a ton of great presentations on a wide range of project types, workflows, software and clever solutions to tough post production problems.
If you immerse yourself in these talks you’ll gain a decent education from some of the best minds in post – or at least those that share their secrets at NAB.
Don’t miss the last video in this post, an Adobe NAB booth presentation from VICE, for some really great tips on high efficiency editing in Premiere Pro for mixing and colour grading.
If you stumble across a presentation online that you think is missing from this post, let me know in the comments!
I wanted to kick off this post with short, but really important video that you should watch before you go any further.
Michael Horton, founder of LACPUG, The SuperMeet, Moviola (and probably many other things!) was awarded a much deserved life time achievement award for his nearly two decades of championing community building amongst the world’s creative professionals. It’s a hugely inspiring watch and a great trip down memory lane.
I also want to personally thank him for being so pivotal in building and sustaining such a thriving in person and online community that I have hugely benefited from my entire career. Thank you Michael for all that you do and have done for all of us!
The tribute video was cut by Michael’s son Trevor, who has done a superb job. If you ever have to cut one of these, this will definitely prove inspirational.
Although not strictly from NAB I thought this talk from Michael Kammes was fascinating, entertaining and well worth a listen if you want to get yourself an education on exactly how post will truly move to the cloud, today and tomorrow.
At the very end of the presentation you can see Michael demo BeBop Technology’s solution to running creative apps in the cloud when he “plays back 4K Pro Res from a data centre via crappy wifi on his laptop.”
LumaForge’s Faster Together Stage
The LumaForge Faster Together Stage at NAB 2019 artfully combined two events into one. The original Faster Together Stage and the SuperMeet with it’s world famous raffle!
This means there were less presentations than previous years but the legacy of the SuperMeet lives on. You can check out all the talks from 2018 and 2017 here.
The playlist above will take you through all 8 presentations from the night, including a talk on cutting an award winning short film in FCPX, understanding how the post colour pipeline works and a whole lot more.
Here’s a quick sample of what you’re about to enjoy!
In this 25 minute presentation Michael, who is the Senior VP of innovation at Panavision, delivers a state of the digital union for 2019 and his perspective on the future of digital filmmaking from sensor to screen, and how you can navigate that future for your own benefit.
Editor, Kyle Reiter, and Assistant Editor, Ernie Gilbert of Atlanta, discuss cutting the show and working with Adobe Premiere Pro to build up the show’s unique sound design from the initial cut to final mix.
Donald Glover, who created the show, and Hiro Murai, who directs a majority of them, they really like being surprised, and so that really gives us the freedom.
We can really try a lot of different stuff and we can really take some big swings, because they like being caught off guard.
And it doesn’t always work, but I never feel as though I’m gonna do something that is gonna put them off.
If you want to learn more from these guys you can check out their presentations and interviews from NAB 2018.
In this presentation from the post crew on independent documentary The Wall, which was cut, graded and mixed in DaVinci Resolve, walk you through their post production workflow for each of these key departments.
They all point out how important the LumaForge Jellyfish was to giving them affordable shared storage they could all utilise.
Editor John Aldrich describes why they made the choice to cut the documentary in DaVinci Resolve, instead of Premiere Pro or FCPX and how that worked.
Colorist Robbie Carman, who is a co-founder of Mixing Light.com, discusses the process and benefits of grading the final film in 4K Dolby Vision HDR, and the way that helps to efficiently create the many other distribution formats required in an efficient manner.
Sound designer and mixer Cheryl Ottenritter discusses the process of mixing and delivering in Dolby Atmos and working with it’s spatial sonic landscape.
The whole presentation is well worth a watch for anyone looking to better understand the kind of workflows and deliverables that might be coming to your edit suite soon.
Colour Grading in HDR and beyond
As a quick addition to Robbie’s thread of discussing how to grade in HDR and output multiple deliverables, this hour long panel discussion, which also covers a lot of other ground, will give you a far more technical appraisal of the current state of affairs.
You’ll also get to hear from these fine colorists, working around the globe in different markets and genres, and learn a fair bit about what it’s like to be a colorist today:
- Ayumi Ashley – Lead Colorist at Ntropic
- Pei Yu Chen – Stereo Post/Workflow Design/Colorist
- Robbie Carman – Lead Colorist and Owner DC Color
- Alexis Van Hurkman – Editor, Colorist and Author
- Fernando Medellin – Senior Colorist at Oxido
- Andrea Chlebak – Senior Colorist at Deluxe
- Josh Pines – Color Scientist at Technicolor
Frame.io the cloud based collaborative video review and approval makers, have 19 presentations up their sleeve all recorded at NAB 2019.
To get instant access to all of those, some of which won’t be shared publicly on their blog, you’ll need to hand over your email address, but in return you’ll get access to talks and demos like these:
- Alexis Van Hurkman demos Frame.io in DaVinci Resolve 16
- VICE Media shares their video workflow
- Interview and Q&A with Film Riot host Ryan Connolly
- Steve Martin and Mark Spencer of Ripple Training demo Frame.io in FCP X
- Panavision SVP of Innovation, Michael Cioni, shares insights about universal sensor sizes
- BuzzFeed shares how they use Frame.io to manage the hundreds of videos they create with a global team
- Stu Maschwitz gives a presentation about his 1-person VFX pipeline
- Frame.io Master Mark Toia does a Q&A with Ivan Agerton about remote video collaboration
- Moving Post to the Cloud with Michael Kammes
- Patrick Southern of LumaForge gives a sneak peek of Captain Karl with Kyno + FCPX + Frame.io
You can already watch a few of those in the playlist above, such as Red Giant’s chief creative officer, Stu Maschwitz’s 25 minute presentation on creating a one person VFX pipeline.
Stu’s talk is well worth a watch even if you do no VFX at all, as you’ll pick up a whole load of tips and tricks on staying organised, using automation tools for working faster and running VFX spotting sessions in Frame.io with your Oscar winning director.
Editor’s Lounge Pre-NAB Panel
The Editor’s Lounge Pre-NAB panel is a long-running tradition (16 years and counting!) where a few industry pundits share their thoughts on what NAB might hold this year, and comment on emerging industry trends.
This year’s panel includes Michael Kammes (Creative Technologist), editor Mary DeChambres, ACE (American Ninja Warriors), Philip Hodgetts (co-founder Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System) and Terence Curren (colorist/founder, AlphaDogs).
- 01:43 – Norm Hollyn tribute
- 08:34 – Attendance plans and thoughts on NAB
- 14:11 – HPA Tech Retreat
- 15:36 – What NLEs are you working with?
- 17:42 – Why “American Ninja Warrior” has to be edited in Avid.
- 21:16 – Who is using Adobe Creative Cloud?
- 27:28 – Where does this leave Apple’s Final Cut Pro X?
- 32:16 – What about Blackmagic’s Resolve?
- 33:52 – Are we seeing trends in editing?
- 39:54 – What is Lumberjack System and how does it help the editor?
In the second part you can enjoy almost a full hour of question and answers with the panel. Here are the time-stamps for each question:
- 00:05:01 – Thoughts about VR and AR?
- 08:17:09 – Can the editor tell the production company what NLE to use?
- 10:13:00 – Should our software be updating by itself all the time?
- 15:51:08 – Where do we find content creation money?
- 23:00:21 – Using AI tools to “fake” dialog and images
- 25:06:23 – for editing, will it replace editors?
- 29:11:19 – Is Adobe the leader in AI editing tools?
- 30:43:06 – What does an editor want from AI tools?
- 35:44:08 – What will be the big “wow” products shown at NAB?
- 36:41:00 – ATSC 3.0… does it matter to editors?
- 37:47:14 – How close are we to post production in the cloud?
- 38:50:14 – HDR, 4K and 8K. Is it worth it?
- 39:46:10 – The pavilions at NAB are the most interesting.
- 40:19:17 – ATSC 3.0 and video over IP, when is it going to land?
- 42:21:13 – 3D is dead… again.
- 43:21:13 – HDR reference monitors, where are we at, and who can afford them?
- 47:01:11 – Is Instagram the new place for video?
- 48:09:23 – Can we still make money in our industry?
- 52:27:19 – How Netflix is dubbing foreign shows.
- 53:33:05 – Will NAB ever be the place for big product reveals again?
- 54:08:01 – The state of “review and approval” solutions.
Adobe Creative Cloud Presentations
Adobe always has a huge booth at NAB and this year was no different. This also means their video output was equally as generous. In this final section I’ve grabbed some of the more interesting looking presentations for anyone working in Adobe’s Creative Cloud on a day to day basis.
In this first video (which was actually filmed at LACPUG, not NAB), Karl Soule, Strategic Development Manager at Adobe, walks through pretty much every new feature in the latest releases of Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, in this hour long presentation.
Karl also presented a more workflow focused talk for anyone working within film and TV workflows – which is actually a pretty broad term – particularly involving turn overs to other departments or working in shared collaborative environments.
For anther look at the post production process of Atlanta, editor Karl Reiter and Assistant Editor Ernie Gilbert deliver a detailed look at their creative process and what it’s like to work with Donald Glover.
They shoot each episode in four and a half days and then when we get in the post it’s just a few people in the house. And so we sort of have that very do-it-yourself, low-fi vibe for the entire show.
To the point where sometimes we forget that we’re making a TV show, sometimes whereas we’re finishing and mixing and doing things we go: “oh yeah this is gonna air on TV”…
… and I think that’s the way Donald and Hiro like to work. They just they want it to be very low-key, because it lets us focus on the creative and not worry about Network notes and outside pressure.
Again you can learn more about Atlanta’s post process here.
The editors of indie hit, Searching, Will Merrick and Nick Johnson describe how they created the screens for the film in Adobe Illustrator, animated them in After Effects connecting them via dynamic link to move the VFX from After Effects to their edit in Premiere Pro.
Interestingly the two editors had to re-create standard film editing conventions, such as shot, reverse shot all on the computer’s 2D plane, which they discuss first.
Andrew Kramer (Video Copilot), Jayse Hansen, and Mary Poplin of Boris FX share their perspectives on using After Effects for feature film and TV work, as well as how they got into and progressed within the industry.
If this is the direction that you want to point your career in post then it will definitely be worth your while.
To learn more about using After Effects as a Film Editor check out this series of introductory posts.
For a really in-depth look at the post production workflow for an independent documentary, Kelley Slagle and Seth C. Polansky deliver a fantastic and detailed presentation on how they created their Dungeons and Dragons documentary, Eye of The Beholder.
Even if you’re not a ‘DnD nerd’ as these two self-proclaim to be, you can learn a huge amount about how to leverage the toolset in front of you to manage massive amounts of media and polish up your project to perfection.
Jason Levine talks about some of the audio tools in Adobe Audition and Adobe Premiere Pro that you should be using to elevate the quality of your final cut.
Jason covers many of the new features in Audition but also numerous features that were added in the past few years.
Watch it and you’ll get an education!
This presentation from Mark Leombruni, Head of News Audio at VICE Media, is absolutely fascinating, with regards to how they produce high quality content with incredibly fast turn arounds.
A 2-5 minute piece to camera might land with the post team with only 10-15 minutes to edit, mix and colour before it needs to be in the control room, ready to go live on air. A 5-10 minute package might have the luxury of 30-45 minutes before it needs to be on air.
The whole presentation is well worth a watch to learn more about how VICE is leveraging Adobe Premiere Pro (without any third-party plugins) to do this.
You’ll also pick up some really valuable tips on things you can do correctly from the start to make your finishing process much smoother, including custom presets and audio stem templates, and ways of editing for high efficiency.