The Sundance Film Festival 2015 (& The 2015 NAB Show – from film to broadcast)

So, where was the place to be on the last weekend of January, 2015? Turns out it’s in Utah (no, really)! The epicenter of cool lands on Park City (the town that actor Robert Redford calls home). So, what’s going on this weekend, one might ask?

mapWell, actually, there’s five things that started that weekend – plus skiing, some with shorter clocks than others. All winter, there is some of the most Awesome Skiing in the US. With 3 local ski resorts, there’s a good chance you might catch a glimpse of the elusive North American Snowbunny. If you chance to be a fan of more feline wildlife with a dash of ecology thrown in, you might take a peek at Mountain Lion! The Story of Pumas and People that lasts from Jan 24th to March 29th and hosts special family-friendly events and activities on Thursdays and Sundays.

If the cold and the wildlife aren’t particularly your bag, you still have options. If you prefer things a little more laid back, you can have some fun and perhaps a tasty Bordeaux (or two) and learn something at the Fox School of Wine Weekend Wine Series; for 11 Saturdays (starting Jan 24th), the first class/tasting (see what I did there?) is “Winedance – Wines in Film” … each week is a different class & tasting; since the whole thing concludes on April 4th, I’ll go out on a limb and hazard a guess that the last class & tasting just might have something to do with Passover. The irony of a wine school in Utah is not lost on us, BTW.

The event with the shortest clock is Echoes of Hope Luc Robittaille Celebrity Shoot Out it’s a charity event, with over 30 celebrities attending (mostly Athletes – especially from the hockey arena), Actors (wave to David Boreanaz if you’re a fan of Bones, Angel, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Musicians. This event was one night only, on Sunday January 25th, the red carpet rolled-out at noon. There were two other events that occurred in town that were a wee bit more our speed here at Broadcast Beat. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? There’s the Sundance Film Festival, which lasted a week and a half (Jan 22nd to February 1st), and the related 3-day event of the Canon Creative Studio from Jan 24th to Jan 26th. You’ll no doubt see some of the same people at both events.

The Sundance film festival was co-founded in 1978 by a certain aforementioned actor and resident of Park City. It went through a few permutations over the years, like gaining its current name in 1991, and switching from its American-independent-films-only stance to also allow international works. Now, it’s one of North America’s premiere locations for independent drama, comedy, and documentary films, as well as a splash of other categories. Check out all 188 films if you get the chance! If you had the chance to wander around the event, you might have stumbled across (shameless plug) film critic Nat Rogers, the founder and primary writer and CEO for, who is attending for his love of film (and current stuff to blog about). The final event and pièce de résistance to mention here is, of course, the Canon Creative Studio.

The Canon Creative Studio promised to be a real treat for industry professionals – and it did NOT disappoint! The event featured speeches and panels of industry leaders, as well as demonstrations and lectures on Canon equipment. It’s no secret that Canon was thrilled that over a quarter of the new films at the festival used Canon products during their production process. In the words of Yuichi Ishizuka, the President and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We are honored that so many creative filmmakers have chosen our equipment to bring their visions and stories to audiences. We look forward to supporting them and connecting with them at the Sundance Film Festival.”

Canon is one of the sponsors of the Sundance film festival, and the company decided to spread their largesse even furthereos c100 mark2 with an informative event for members of the industry. The event was located at 427 Main Street and ran from 11am to 6pm each day. Expert instruction in the use of Canon‘s full line of Cinema EOS cameras and lenses, including the new Cinema EOS C100 Mark II, was readily available. Aside from the scheduled talks, cinematographers, directors, and industry experts rubbed shoulders and checked-out (and tried out) Canon equipment, as well as relaxing in a spot with ready access to coffee, snacks, and Wi-Fi.

Saturday had four scheduled events. At Noon, we got an in-depth look at everything about the EOS C100 Mark II camera with Instructor Loren Simons (Sr. Product and Sales Trainer, Canon USA). At 1 PM, an expert panel of 3 female Director/producers of independent Sundance films Rachel Morrison (Dope, What Happened, Miss Simone?), Laela Kilbourn (How to Dance in Ohio), and Dagmar Weaver-Madsen (Unexpected) discussed the role of women in the male- dominated field of cinematography. The panel was moderated by Paula Bernstein (Filmmaker Toolkit Editor, Indiewire). We took to the skies at 2 PM with an insightful exploration on the use of unmanned drone-camera-laden aircraft and what you needed to know to get into this exciting new dimension of film making. Three expert panelists: Willis Chung (Producer and Expert Pilot, DJI), Tim Smith (Sr. Film and Television Advisor, Canon USA), and Michael Chambliss (Western Region Business Representative, ICG IATSE Local 600), moderated and were guided by Naida Albright (Canon Industry Advisor). At 3PM, the last event of the day featured Sundance veteran John Guleserian (Cinematographer), and Tim Smith (Sr. Film and Television Advisor, Canon USA) acting as panelists while they discussed (with Moderator Paula Bernstein (Filmmaker Toolkit Editor, Indiewire)) the EOS C500 camera and why Guleserian used it in his most recent Sundance feature.

Sunday also had four scheduled events. At Noon, we got a chance to learn about the EOS C100 Mark II camera with Instructor Loren Simons, in case the Noon Saturday lecture was missed. At 1 PM, we had the panel “Cut the Comedy: The SPEaKERS INCLUDECapture and Edit of Misery Loves Comedy” this group discussed the workflow betwixt and between the Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Canon‘s Cinema EOS C300 camera. The moderator, Paula Bernstein, helped guide the discussion between panelists Tim Smith (Sr. Film and Television Advisor, Canon USA) Mike Kanfer (Sr. Business Development Manager, Adobe), Adam McDaid (Cinematographer, the DP of the film), and Rob Legato (Consulting Editor). At 3PM, it was time to get your scare on with horror maven Eli Roth (Director), Antonio Quercia (Cinematographer), Aaron Burns (Actor), and Tim Smith (Sr. Film and Television Advisor, Canon USA) as they discussed the Cinema EOS 1D C and why this DSLR was such a great fit for the horror film “Knock Knock.” The moderator of this panel was Paula Bernstein. Then, it was time to kick-off the evening’s festivities from 4PM to 7PM with the Canon Crew Party – the third-annual event toasted the filmmakers of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Party on, Wayne!

Monday wrapped it all up with four final proceedings. Loren Simons daily Noon EOS C100 Mark II camera lecture on the fine points of the camera informed us of these three favorites: use like outstanding low-light sensitivity, smooth Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus, and remote control networking capabilities. At 1PM, Crystal Moselle (Director/DP, The Wolfpack), Thaddeus Wadleigh (DP, The Hunting Ground), Bradley Stonesifer (DP, Call Me Lucky), and frequent guest Canon expert Tim Smith, along with expert moderator Paula Bernstein, presiding, discussed the specialized demands and tool choices for crafting today’s independent documentaries. At 3PM, the Canon Creative Studio presented “Bending the Light” at the New Frontier Microcinema on 573 Main Street. This film was a documentary about the creation of a lens and the artists who used it to help the renowned director Michael Apted.

A Q&A session with Stephen Goldblatt, (ASC, BSC) with expert moderator Paula Bernstein concluded her insightful tour for Indiewire, Canon, and the instruction of the attendees. The discussion focused (ah ha… lens humor) on the Canon Cinema EOS lenses, Mr. Goldblatt’s creative process, and the grand art of cinematography. From 430 PM to 6PM, it was time for the Canon Closing Cocktail Hour or time to unwind after the Q &A session about “Bending the Light” – taking your last chance to get some hands-on time with the cool CANON gear. Mmm Cameras and cocktails. Party on, Garth!

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico) markets. With approximately $36 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2014† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2014. In 2014, Canon U.S.A. has received the Readers’ Choice Award for Service and Reliability in the digital camera and printer categories for the 11th consecutive year. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. In 2014, the Canon Americas Headquarters secured LEED® Gold certification, a recognition for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance green buildings. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA. For media inquiries, please contact

About Sundance

Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern WildFruitvale StationSin NombreThe Invisible WarThe SquareDirty WarsSpring AwakeningA Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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Ryan started working in the broadcast and post production industry at the young age of twelve! He has produced television programs, built large post production facilities, written for some of the industry's leading publications and was an audio engineer for about ten years. Ryan previously wrote for Broadcast Engineering Magazine, Creative COW and his projects have been featured in dozens of publications.
Ryan Salazar
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