3. Big Screen
4. Ang Lee & friends
The International Broadcasting Convention, or IBC for short, is the biggest and best European trade show. This year some 55,000 attendees will visit booths from 1,700 exhibitors in the 14 exhibit halls of the huge RAI convention center on the eastern tip of Amsterdam.
The IBC exhibition consists of 14 numbered Halls which are divided into 3 zones of activity:
— Creation (black on map below) including cameras, lenses, lighting, accessories
— Management (gray on map) including post-production and VFX
— Delivery (red on map), both traditional broadcast and recent IP
Production people will spend a lot of time in Halls 12 and 11
Post-production and VFX are in Hall 7
Sony is one flight up in Hall 13, aka Elicium Hall
Next to Hall 8 is the Future Zone, including interesting R&D from NHK, as well as a VR (virtual reality) area inaugurated last year.
Make sure to visit the AC booth in the publication hallway connecting Halls 8 and 10, where you can get a free issue of American Cinematographer.
In addition to the show floor, IBC hosts a top-notch Conference with sessions about future developments in television, cinema and web technology and business. The conference requires a separate paid registration.
A key addendum to the IBC conferences is the Big Screen Experience, a series that takes place in a giant 1750-seat auditorium (blue arrow on map). Unlike the other conference sessions, most the Big Screen events are free for all those with an IBC badge.
The IBC exhibitors and conferences offer a snapshot of the state of the cinema and broadcast industries, and different themes emerge and recede over time. This year I sense the following IBC themes before I set out to Amsterdam:
— Medium and Large Formats
Cinema cameras with sensors physically larger than the Super-35 standard, and with pixel counts higher than 4K or UHD are a clear trend. This implies of course new lenses, and new tools and workflows to handle large formats in post.
— HDR and Wide Color Gamut
High Dynamic Range and a wider color gamut were major themes last year, and will continue to be this year
— Laser Projection
Laser projectors are offering a promise of future cinema screenings with HDR and wide color gamuts.
— High Frame Rate
HFR is a key theme this year, highlighted by Ang Lee’s presentation of his upcoming film. (see below)
— Virtual Reality
Last year the Future Zone had a handful of booths featuring VR, and this year there will be more, with the addition of a “Future Reality Theater” area.
3. Big Screen
Many of the Big Screen events in the RAI Auditorium feature the latest projection technology. Below are the free events that caught my eye:
— Big Screen Friday
Friday 16:30-18h – Motion Capture Presentation
Entitled Advancing the Art and Science of Motion Capture Towards the Continuous Control of Facial Performance of Actual Live Action Footage, this session will present advances in “emotion capture” by Disney Research and ILM.
— Big Screen Saturday
Saturday 9h30-10h30 – Light Field Cameras
Subtitled Technology that is indistinguishable from magic?, this session should illustrate the technology behind the amazing Lytro light field cameras.
Saturday 14-16h – Arri
Arri’s traditional program this year includes presentations by Florian Ballhaus, ASC on his work for The Divergent Series, the production team for Amazon’s Studio’s The Grand Tour, drone footage shot with Alexa Minis, a Chinese Amira multicam show and more.
Saturday 16:15-17:30 – Virtual Sets & Virtual Production
Subtitled A masterclass describing the production of The Walk with Special Effects Supervisor Kevin Baillie and recorded commentary from Director Robert Zemeckis, this session will also feature examples from both The Walk and Deadpool.
Saturday 18h30-21h – The Jungle Book
The IBC screening of The Jungle Book will feature Dolby Vision laser projection on the specially-made Harkness screen, with Dolby Atmos immersive audio via the QSC sound system. This is the occasion to evaluate laser projection‘s capacity for HDR (high dynamic range) and expanded color. The Jungle Book is directed by Jon Favreau, with virtual cinematography by Bill Pope, ASC.
— Big Screen Sunday
Sunday 9:30-10:45 – Laser Projection
A knowledgeable panel asks the question: Is Laser Projection Ready for Wide Deployment?
— Big Screen Monday
Monday 13-14h30 – High Dynamic Range & Wide Color Gamut
A high-powered panel will discuss the expanded quality enabled by laser projection and attendant technologies.
Monday 18h30-21h – The Revenant
The second IBC screening of The Revenant by Alejandro Iñarritu with cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC, will feature Dolby Vision laser projection. Chivo was awarded a historic third-consecutive Oscar for his magnificent work on the film, while Iñarritu got the Oscar for best director.
4. Ang Lee & friends
One of the high points of this year’s IBC will be provided by the brilliant director Ang Lee. Lee will deliver a keynote and also present excerpts from his latest project, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, shot with Sony F65 cameras by John Toll, ASC.
Billy Lynn — which will be released in November — will be the first feature ever shot at 120 fps in 4K stereo 3D. This revolutionary HFR (high frame rate) technique will be covered in several Big Screen events:
Big Screen Saturday 10h45-11h30 – HFR and Synthetic Shutter
Subtitled Separating ‘the look’ from the frame rate, this session will present the creation of “synthetic shutters” to create different renditions of movement when going from 120 fps to lower frame rates. The speaker will be Tony Davis who developed the technology used in the post-production of Ang Lee’s film.
— Big Screen Monday
Monday 10-11h – Keynote by Ang Lee
Monday 11-13h – Realizing an Auteur’s Vision
Ang Lee, Technical Supervisor Ben Gervais, Sony Head of Production Technology Scot Barbour and editor Tim Squyres will take us on a Technical Deep-Dive into Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. (Unfortunately John Toll is shooting and cannot attend).
Even for the seasoned visitor, IBC can be hard to navigate. I recommend downloading the IBC2016 app to your smartphone. It will allow you to search for exhibitors by name or product category, and also to plan your show with a personal calendar.
I know I will not have time to see everything I want to see, but I will certainly try!
In geographical order, some of the booths I hope to visit include:
— Hall 12
P+S Technik B12, Vision Research B42, Red C71, Cooke D10, Band Pro D21, Miller D30, Zylight D46S, Portabrace D52, Schneider Optics D53, Canon D60, Codex D60 (in Canon booth), Wooden Camera D73, K5600 E28, Thales Angénieux E33, Sachtler E65, Vitec E65, Small HD E65, Azden E81, Arri F21, Aaton Transvideo F30, JVC Kenwood F31, Zacuto F55, Ikan F81, Rosco Lab, G21, Chrosziel G64, O’Connor E65, Rotolight G77, Service Vision C43, Canon D60, Zeiss F50
— Hall 11
CW Sonderoptic A48, GoPro C40, Panasonic C45, Colorfront C45 (in Canon booth), Multidyne D40
— Hall 10
Flanders Scientific B10
— Hall 7
Filmlight F31, Ncam F33
— Hall 8
Fraunhofer B80, Kodak B38
— Future Zone
— Hall 2
— Hall 7
AJA F11, Adobe G27, Blackmagic Design H20, Avid J20
— Hall 13
Sony (up one floor)
I’m sure to have left some important cinematographic booths out, please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.
I hope to see you in Amsterdam !
broadcastingcable.com: Visitors to IBC Will See More Than Ever Before
wikipedia:The Jungle Book (2016 film)
wikipedia: Ang Lee
wikipedia: The Revenant