SMPTE Gathers in Brooklyn

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ annual Technical Conference and Exhibition activities got under way this week, with a pre-conference all-day symposium on stereoscopic technologies and production techniques on Tuesday.

The location of this year’s conference in Brooklyn, N.Y., was a new one for the organization, and attendance is pegged at 793 from 20 countries. Some 40 equipment manufacturers and service providers are on hand to display their latest wares.

Mainstream business began on Oct. 24, with a keynote address from Bran Ferren, co-chairman and chief creative officer of Applied Minds.

In his presentation, Ferren described television and film production as an outgrowth of “the honorable and ancient profession of story telling.” The son of two painters and the nephew of two engineers, Ferren described his life as influenced by both art and physics.

“I grew up thinking that both of these things were normal,” he said. “It was not until I got to school that I was told that you have to focus on one thing.”

He described television and film production as an extension of “the honorable and ancient profession of story telling” and said that modern day story telling has both a creative side and an engineering side, but the line between the two disciplines is blurring.

Ferren reflected on the nation’s low math and science scores and the fact that the United States is being overtaken on this front by other countries, and admonished the audience to try to effect a change in the role models embraced by today’s young people.

“Why are there no role models who are scientists and engineers?” Ferren asked. “You need to be out in the schools generating role models. Unless we take on the responsibility to do this and other things, this is not a tractable problem.”

The dates for next year’s conference are Oct. 27-30 in Hollywood.