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From The Editor: Rite of Spring

by Christine Bunish

Just as daylight saving time and the welcome transformation of the bleak winter landscape in many parts of the country are signs of spring, so is the march of broadcasters and film and video professionals to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas. The annual pilgrimage brings equipment manufacturers, software developers and service providers together with eager buyers and window-shoppers looking to fill holes in their inventories and explore The Next Big Thing. At the 2010 NAB that's likely to be Stereoscopic 3D (S3D) and vendors' swift response to the inroads the technology has made in feature films and television. Markee 2.0's NAB Equipment Showcase hints at what manufacturers have planned for S3D and unveils new products and upgrades in the digital cinema, VFX and lighting arenas; check out our next issue for a more in-depth S3D status report.

NAB comes fast on the heels of the year's biggest international sporting event: the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. Traditionally, U.S.-based production and satellite transmission trucks burn rubber to get to an Olympics host city in North America, and key participants recount the challenges of covering venues from Whistler's alpine slopes to Vancouver's long-track speedskating Oval.

While the proliferation of VFX in commercials may not exactly be breaking news, the creativity and versatility of visual effects have been embraced by all advertising genres. VFX experts tell us how they made a beautiful woman look twice as gorgeous, took market-savvy talking toddlers to new environments, gave luxury vehicles a fine-arts treatment and made one planet of the many people who enjoy a certain soft drink.

And in our every-issue regional Spotlight, Texas and three Southwestern states recount how they're betting, and winning, on production incentives as area production companies, post houses and rental firms highlight their latest work and most recent offerings.