By Jenny Priestley, Editor, TVBEurope
First of all, let me say how brilliant it is to see the industry coming back for IBC. I know a lot of vendors were hesitant about NAB Show, but it’s great seeing the likes of Sony and Avid saying that they’ll have booths in Amsterdam. Avid weren’t going to have any stands at events this year, so it’s great news that they have changed their minds. I’m really, really excited to go back to Amsterdam and see so many industry friends in person again.
As we gear up for the show, here are my top four hot topics for IBC 2022:
The cloud still dominates
The cloud is still such a big issue for the industry, and it’s become even more important following the pandemic because we’ve moved to things like remote workflows and remote production. People are now able to work from home, even on the big productions. A few weeks ago, I was chatting to the CEO of Twickenham Film Studios and she said they’re now able to do a lot more using the cloud because, prior to the pandemic, cloud was still considered a “good to have,” but is now considered a necessity. Not everybody wants to sit in an edit suite all day long. Now they can do what they need to do from home, and that’s a big thing.
Since the last IBC, virtual production has become a huge trend within the industry. It’s still at a very early stage, but we’re getting more and more announcements from vendors saying they’re developing technology for it. We’re seeing more and more virtual production studios, certainly here in the UK and also in Europe, and it seems to be a thriving business.
It’s interesting because virtual production was not something we were even talking about in 2019, and now look how The Mandalorian and The Batman have embraced it (it probably helps that they had the same DoP in Greig Fraser). And Thor: Love and Thunder had a virtual production section within the credits, so I think it will be a big deal for the first time at IBC.
I always say 5G is a big topic for the industry. I was talking about 5G three years ago, but I’m going to say it again because now we’re seeing what was forecast come to fruition. We just published a story about how the BBC used 5G in its production of the Commonwealth Games and The One Show. That’s huge. To use 5G on a primetime BBC show is not something I thought would happen yet.
TVBEurope published a 5G cover for NAB Show in 2019, and back then it was sort of, “oh, wow, this is coming, and it will be amazing.” Over the last couple of years, it’s still been “it’s coming, it’s amazing.” And now, the story this week from the BBC is a big milestone.
But there are some big issues with 5G. We don’t yet have network slicing, which is an area that companies working within that space were expecting. Broadcasters are going to have to use private networks instead, rather than slicing on the major networks, so I think 5G still has a long way to develop.
As an industry, we are still too old, white and male. We need more diversity. When I’m setting up interviews or putting the latest issue of TVBEurope together, it’s often hard to get women or non-white spokespeople into the magazine. We already have a skills gap in the industry, and this will only grow because we have a diversity gap.
We need to encourage not just women, but everybody to come into this industry because it needs that next generation. Rise is doing an amazing job with that, but we need to see a change actually happening in companies, and not just at the lower level. We need to see more women and more people of colour in senior positions.
Much of the time, it’s older white men I speak to, and in 5-10 years are they still going to be there? Once they’ve either retired or moved on, what’s the industry going to do? So that for me is the biggest challenge within our industry at the moment: lack of diversity, not just gender diversity, but diversity across the board.
You can keep up with all things IBC on TVBEurope’s dedicated show page: https://www.tvbeurope.com/ibc