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Createasphere and REDucation

In the upcoming months, HD Expo will complete a metamorphosis into Createasphere.  With the name change comes some exciting new opportunities that everyone in the entertainment industry, from set decorators to camera operators, graphic artists to editors, can benefit from.

“We won’t really be changing, we’ll be expanding,” said Kristin Petrovich, President of HD Expo-Createasphere.  “The name change allows us to adopt and bring to the community a greater focus on technology.  We found that we were limited in our outreach by the name.  The landscape has moved way beyond hi def.  Createasphere allows us to open up and better serve every facet of the production community.”

Rebranding the HD Expo entity was not a choice taken lightly.  A presentation to key board members was made last year highlighting the Createasphere concept.  The organization is broken down into three units: Createasphere: Learn, the workshop division, Createashpere Connect, the membership organization, and Createasphere: Explore, the expo division.  The members loved the new concept, and a sixteen month branding change began last October.

“The changes we are putting into place must be positive,” said Petrovich.  “We had a 37% increase in attendance in our March expo in Los Angeles, and with the June expo coming up in Chicago, we have a 110% increase in registration!”

Per the request of past audiences, Chicago’s HD Expo – Createasphere Expo being held on June 11th at the Navy Pier will have a much more technical slant.  For those who were unable to attend NAB, a “Road Show” highlighting the newest innovations displayed at the conference will be highlighted as well as a series of panels including a Mac Pro workflow presentation and Red Camera intensive panel discussion.

Petrovich will be working closely with Jeffrey Seckendorf, Createasphere: Learn’s new Workshops/Education Manager, to develop programs and educational content.  Seckendorf is an award-winning cinematographer who has also directed music videos.  His teaching credentials include over twenty years at the International Film and TV Workshops in Rockport, Maine.

“Having Jeffrey join our team is a huge win for us,” said Petrovich.   “He’s received a lot of real life experience that he can share as an educator.  He was part of our Red Panel last year.  He’s just a perfect fit.”

Createasphere has a goal of establishing 75 days of nationwide educational programs a year.  The intent of upcoming workshops is to develop hands-on components as well as lecture series.  Along with the VariCamps, P2 Workshops, and Panasonic P2 workshops that have been part of the HD Expo curriculum, workshops such as “Demystifying Color for the Content Creator from Theory to Practice” have been added to the nationwide agenda.  This three day workshop introduces students to the physics of light, human vision and color as it relates to cinematography and image capture.

“The workshop is intended to demystify the concept of color,” said Petrovich.  “Color theory will be included as well as how color fits into context and helps tell a story.”  The intent of this workshop is to make content useful for any production role, from set decoration, lighting, wardrobe, even graphic arts.

Createasphere: Learn is also partnering with Red Digital Cinema to premiere their camera intensive program entitled REDucation.

“Part of my job is to develop best practices,” said Ted Schilowitz from Red Digital Cinema.  “I wanted to help the end-users overcome the newness of the worklflow, and make the usage of the Red cam a little more robust.  The idea of how to create a multi-day intensive was in the back of my mind for months.  When I spoke with Kristin Petrovich, all the elements started to come together.”

The REDucation intensive will last seven days.  Three days are devoted to gaining hands-on experience with the camera, three days are spent obtaining hands-on experience with the workflow post production systems.  Dividing the two sessions is a “community day.”  This day allows participants to network, meet guest speakers from the industry including the event sponsors, observe case studies and enjoy screenings.  Participants can sign up for the complete series, or they may choose to take one of the two sessions.

“We put together a group of founders to help us ensure the program was well-rounded,” said Schilowitz.  “We settled on seven professional companies in the production field to come on board and participate in the series development.”    This group includes Fox Studios, Apple Computers, Plaster City, Foto Kem, Keslo Camera, and Alternative Rentals.  The founders helped ensure that the courses maintained a best use of practices, and prohibited sponsors from dictating content.

The first REDucation sessions will be held in Los Angeles beginning July 20th.  Createasphere reports that registration for the first session has almost reached maximum capacity.   Three other LA sessions have been scheduled to take place in October, November and December.  The goal is to extend the sessions to other cities in 2010.

Both Petrovich and Schilowitz encourage open dialogues with the various guilds, agencies, and unions concerning the usefulness and benefits of their educational programs to the production community at large.

Said Schilowitz, “We are not doing this without their support and enthusiasm.  We want to provide the community with tools and education they can really use.

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