I had the opportunity to attend this year’s NAB Show in New York City. There were quite a few brands there including: Arri, Fujinon, Ikan, Panasonic, and Black Magic Design. Conspicuous by their absence were Canon and Sony. Both brands normally have among the larger booths at the show, but this year Black Magic had the biggest booth. The highlight of the show was the new Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera which I did manage to get my hands on, but more about that later.
All in all, the question for filmmakers would have to be: is NAB worth attending? The answer is- it depends. It really depends on your interest and what you’re looking to get out of the show. NAB is a broadcasting show. They have speakers and presentations relevant to the broadcasting world. This year’s keynote was given by Robert DeNiro, so that’s definitely appealing for some people, but it may not be your cup of tea if you’re a filmmaker.
The show is not really about filmmaking but some filmmakers and production companies do attend, so it can be a good show for networking. I’ve met quite a few filmmakers and possible clients at the show. It’s also an opportunity to get to know the manufacturers many of which have industry professionals working at their booths who may work in your area and may be great contacts for you to know.
You can also go to check out the new gear, but truth be told, if you really want to find out which new cameras are about to launch, you should really attend NAB in Las Vegas which is in the spring. This year there wasn’t much to talk about because there were no new announcements in the camera world. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen next year, but we’ll have to wait and see.