The Australia Section of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers has announced the successful conclusion to the SMPTE Australia Conference & Exhibition held last month.
The 2015 event took place at Sydney's Moore Park precinct in the Hordern Pavilion and Royal Hall of Industries, the home of the very first SMPTE Australia Section conference and exhibition back in 1984. Themed as a Back to the Future tribute, the Australia Section's biennial contribution to the industry represents the worldwide launch of SMPTE's centenary celebrations with a highly appropriate theme: Persistence of Vision — Defining the Future. The event drew more than 100 exhibitors and nearly 8,000 registered attendees.
"This year's conference and exhibition proved to be the most extraordinary yet, with an impressive array of innovators and thought leaders gathering in Sydney to discuss critical technologies and trends," said Paul Broderick, chair of the SMPTE Australia Section. "Attendees were able to meet with the experts guiding development of transformative technologies and to hear from top industry executives about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Technology demonstrations and educational programs rounded out the event, making it a worthy lead-in to SMPTE's centenary celebration in 2016. In fact, a stunning SMPTE Centenary birthday cake was a highlight of the SMPTE15 Gala Dinner."
SMPTE15 offered a compelling three-day conference program: More than 70 presenters from 10 countries led 23 sessions on a broad array of topics. The conference kicked off with a keynote address by Chris Fetner, director of global content partners operations at Netflix. Fetner challenged the audience to consider the evolution of media services, and spoke of a future media landscape in which Internet protocol (IP)-based delivery will be the dominant mechanism for content delivery. Fetner also stated that Netflix now commissions and produces content solely in 4K, using SMPTE's Interoperable Master Format standard to package all the components together for delivery over IP into different markets.
SMPTE demonstrated its ongoing commitment to industry education with special programs, including a half-day seminar on the fundamental theory and principles of ultra high definition (UHD) presented by Bruce Devlin of the U.K. The conference also featured an IEEE Broadcast Technology Society Distinguished Lecture, presented by Pablo Angueira of Spain, on a flexible multilayer system that uses spectrum overlay technology to deliver multiple services — a promising advance for enhancing the payload capacity of terrestrial broadcasts.
The Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) presented sessions on underwater 3D cinematography, the specific cinematography attributes of TV drama production, and drones in cinematography. Drones were also the focus of a unique demonstration area dedicated to the very latest in aerial cinematography. A full-size helicopter showing off the latest in stabilized camera technology was also featured on the floor of the exhibition.
In looking to the future of motion imaging, the SMPTE Australia Section made sure that some of the industry's newest members had the opportunity to attend the show. With its Young Industry Person's Award (YIPA), the Section gave young industry members living outside the greater Sydney area the financial assistance to attend SMPTE15. Overall attendance at SMPTE15 was considered very strong, particularly by exhibitors, who reported positive results for the event.
The SMPTE15 Gala Dinner was a sell-out, and it took place in the Royal Randwick Ballroom, part of the newly renovated Queen Elizabeth II grandstand at Royal Randwick. John Beckhaus was honored with the formal presentation of the plaque for his 2014 Citation for Outstanding Service to the Society, announced last year at the SMPTE 2014 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in Hollywood, for his dedication and service to the SMPTE Australia Section over the past decade. The guest speaker at the dinner was speed skater Stephen Bradbury, four-time Olympian and the first Australian ever to receive a gold medal in the Winter Olympics.
More information about the SMPTE Australia Section is available at www.smpte.org.au.