IBC2018 through the eyes of a student

1 March 2019

This article written by Faculty of Screen Arts student Anastasia Safronova is completing a series of publications by the students who won the Digital and Information Technologies in Electronic Media Industry-2018 competition. Why is the International Broadcasting Convention like Disneyland?  Where can you find a dream company internship? And why is it important not to be afraid to participate in scientific conferences? Read the article.

To be a winner of student competition and get a grant from IEEE BTS is something that I couldn’t have imagined a year ago! I was getting the unique chance to visit IBC2018 - International Broadcasting Convention. Well, it’s was exciting!

Non stop receiving information

First of all, my plan for attending sessions consisted of speakers associated with the world of TV. For example, I remembered the session of director Doug Liman about filming VR TV series. We discussed the pros and cons of this. Plus - using the capabilities of VR, we filming movie and TV series, which can be fully immersed in watching. Minus - as directors, we are responsible for ensuring consistent, interesting storytelling. It was very interesting to attend the session “Color my world” of colourists Jet Omoshebi and Maxine Gervais who told about breaking into the world of grading, the essential attributes of a colourist and the creative implications of working with HDR content.

In the RAI exhibition center where 1700 stands were presented was impossible to see everything at once. Therefore I visited the stands related to my future profession "TV operator". For example, at the Canon stand I was advised to use camera EOS C200 for my graduate work. This is a compact, versatile and powerful camera that is capable of recording video in 4K 50P format. At the Blackmagic stand specialist advised me to use their new camera Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. It differs in the compact sizes, wide functionality and reasonable price. The camera supports recording with a frame rate of up to 60 fps in 4K and up to 120 fps in HD.

IBC Partnership Pavilion

In parallel with the work on the forum, our team managed to filmed several interviews with representatives of IBC partners : Bill Hayes (President, IEEE BTS), Peter White (Chief Executive, IABM), Theresa Wise (CEO, RTS), Chris Swires (Treasurer, SCTE), Thomas Bause Mason (Director of Standards Development, SMPTE). During the interview, they shared their opinions about modern trends, told us what skills a young specialist should have and told us about their first steps in the big world of the television industry. David Crawford (Future Zone Producer, IBC) gave us the interview and the short tour of the Future Zone - a zone that brought together stands with promising technologies and solutions that are preparing to enter the market in the future. I was astonished at the technology of artificial intelligence (AI). (Photo 2)

AI - a new “friend”

The emergence of AI in the broadcasting world has caused many different reactions. Here are the main potentials of AI:

  1. Increase productivity and quality on the same budget
  2. The automation of the process, focusing on creativity and storytelling
  3. Automatic conversion of broadcast data into content, which can easily be understood by viewers with special needs.
  4. Increase the number of broadcast events for viewers
  5. Creation of a new working industry - AI engineers

Now the teams of engineers and specialists are working on creating AI training programs to make a well-framed shot, the main cinematography principals, interaction between AI and human. However I was worried by the fact that the AI can displace simple television operators from broadcasting world. And I got the answer that “AI is human-friendly broadcasting”.

In high-end genres of television such as drama and natural history the skills of crafts people would continue to be highly valued. The strongest case for the application of AI production tools would be in lower cost genres of television.

Invaluable experience

The time on IBC passed by so quickly. The information from conferences and exhibitions changed my concept about the future of the television industry. I was inspired by Future Zone to create my own cameras with AI technology. Also I acquired exclusively useful knowledge related with my graduate work. This trip has opened for me new facets, helped to get used to the broadcast industry. For this opportunity I want to thanks IEEE BTS and Bill Hayes. 

Anastasia Safronova,

St.Petersburg State University of Film and Television