For a week in mid-April, Las Vegas is the place to be for video and online content professionals. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 16–21, and those six days promise to immerse attendees from every sector of the industry into media’s new reality.

We’ve looked at this year’s attractions — which include a live studio, flying drone cage, and a pavilion for virtual and augmented reality — and have made a list of 12 of the best speakers and panels that shouldn’t be missed.

Ang Lee Keynote

Future of Cinema Conference, April 16
Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, of “Life of Pi,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and “Brokeback Mountain” fame, will discuss his views on the future of filmmaking in a keynote speech.

Together with the film’s editor and technical team, Lee will discuss his upcoming movie, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” which is being called “the first major motion picture release to have been captured in 120 frames-per-second 3D at 4K resolution and in High Dynamic Range.” The session will include footage from the as-yet-unreleased film.

Katerina-Eva Matsa

Digital Futures Exchange, April 17
A research associate at the Pew Research Center, Katerina-Eva Matsa is presenting the State of the Media as part of the Digital Futures Exchange program. A doctoral fellow at American University’s School of Communication, Matsa will discuss trends in the digital news media and Millennial digital-information consumption habits.

Sam Matheny Keynote

BEC, April 17
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at the National Association of Broadcasters, Sam Matheny has more than 20 years’ experience in the broadcast and data networking industries. Giving the opening speech for the Broadcast Engineering Conference, Matheny can draw on his knowledge of broadcast technology innovation and next generation digital television from his lead position with the NAB technology team and as director for the Advanced Television Systems Committee.


Ben Silverman Interview

MFIC, April 18
Kicking off the third annual Media Finance and Investor Conference at this year’s NAB Show is executive producer and Electus founder Ben Silverman. Former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, and the executive producer of shows such as “The Office” and “The Biggest Loser,” Silverman will be interviewed on his perspective of the business side of media. The interview will be held at the Encore hotel on April 18, led by Brant Pinvidic, CEO of INvelop Entertainment.

Steve O’Donnell

BEC, April 18
There are 10 sessions on April 18 in the Broadcast Engineering Conference under the topic of “Advanced Newsgathering Technologies.” One of these, “From Pit Road to the Finish Line: How NASCAR is Bringing Viewers Closer to the Action” is being presented by Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer.

O’Donnell leads NASCAR’s Research & Development Center and is currently guiding work on digital dashboard technology as well as other initiatives to position NASCAR for future growth.

Neal Mohan Keynote

Super Session, April 18
There’s no better person than the Chief Product Officer at YouTube and a Senior Vice President at Google, Neal Mohan, to give the Online Video Conference keynote: “YouTube.” Mohan is responsible for YouTube’s products and user experience across all platforms and devices globally.

Super Sessions like this are worth the price of admission because they feature leaders who are willing to explore media technologies that continue to change the face of the industry.

Panel: Leadership for Key Players

CIC, April 19
The Cloud Innovation Conference covers the media and entertainment industry’s current use of cloud technologies and predicted continued migration to the media cloud. Led by moderator Al Kovalick of Media Systems Consulting, which specializes in media infrastructure and related technologies, the five panelists are from each phase of the content chain and will thus be able to provide a timely and comprehensive overview of the cloud technologies being used today.

Michael Paull Keynote

Online Video Conference, April 19
Amazon’s VP of Digital Video, Michael Paull, is giving the Online Video Conference keynote address on April 19. He’ll be looking at the streaming environment, over-the-top (OTT) delivery, why it’s important to content creators, and successful business models in general. The moderator is Will Richmond, editor and publisher of VideoNuze.


Panel: Mobile Video’s Explosion

Online Video Conference, April 19
Another great session in the Online Video Conference program is a panel led by IBB Consulting Group partner Jonathan Weitz called “Mobile Video’s Explosion: Personalized TV Has Arrived.”

Panelists will include Facebook’s Head of Industry, Global Marketing Solution, Paul Peterman; Tom Herman, CEO of advertising platform DashBid; Beachfront Media’s founder and CEO, Frank Sinton; and Neil Katz, who serves as Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Content of The Weather Company’s digital properties.

Michael Gonzales and Vance Kotria

Media Technologies, April 18
This presentation will examine how training videos can be made in a cost effective manner by using the training video “Active Shooter,” produced by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Video Production Unit.

Gonzales, the department chair of Cinema and Media Arts at Biola University, La Mirada, in California, will be speaking with director Vance Kotrla, who is part of the Video Production Unit that made the video.

Eliana Murillo

Multicultural TV & Video, April 20
This session of the program is call “Getting to Know You: More Research + More Data = More Viewers?, and is a look at how the changing demographics of a nation impact the success of television and video with respect to audience segments. One of the panelists is Google’s Head of Multicultural Marketing, Eliana Murillo, who in her job uses cross-product strategies to engage diverse users and business owners.

Stefan Arbanowski and Stefan Pham

BEC, April 21
Co-presenters from Fraunhofer FOKUS, R&D Project Manager Stefan Pham and Director of Future Applications and Media Stefan Arbanowski will be talking about streaming formats and content protection as OTT video delivery strategies. They will look at the interoperability of video players and applications that emerged from the introduction of HTML5 video, as well as different streaming formats and how to deliver live and on-demand OTT content.


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