IQ Annual Conference in Maui

December 6th, 2009 Vern Oakley

IQ stands for International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers. Pffew. It’s as smart as it sounds: the only global organization dedicated to film production company owners.

It’s particularly exciting for me to participate this year as the IQ’s new President Elect. In 2007, Tribe Pictures hosted the IQ conference, welcoming over 50 friends and colleagues in New Jersey. The event was a success, getting a lot of attention from media and professionals.

This year the conference is taking place in Maui, because its location is equally accessible from all world regions. Anyway that’s their excuse!

The theme this year was R.E.A.L. Relax, enjoy, and learn. We chose the best location for it: Maui. Well, there was a lot of learning, a lot of enjoying and not that much relaxing! While it takes planning to fit into my schedule, attending the IQ conference is always stimulating and informative.

This year we’ve had a couple of events centered on new technology. IQ is a great forum to keep up with the latest advances in technology within a group of like-minded individuals. A video conference put us in direct contact with the head of technology for Red Camera. We discussed its impressive qualities and capacity, and were able to shoot film tests. Hard to tell the difference between these and tests shot with a 35mm film camera! 3D is another technology going through some fast changes.

We were given a demonstration of the latest 3D technology by a top technical specialist. 3D has taken giant steps recently in terms of quality and market presence. 3D screenings are becoming commonplace in local theaters. While this format has been used a lot for animation in theaters, we’re seeing a move towards 3D live action. And 3D is expected to expand into new distribution platforms, including TV. Get ready to keep a pair of glasses by your TV set. Or by your iPhone!

The IQ conference always offers panel discussions. This year we looked at various strategies in surviving the crisis. Members presented their solutions, whether it’s moving beyond core markets or redefining their activities. Besides the conferences and panels IQ is a great occasion for members to network, exchange experiences and learn about each other. I met Tope, a producer from Nigeria. I knew that Nigeria is a big country: over 100 million people in one of the largest countries on earth. Tope informed me that not only is it large with a big oil economy, it’s in dire need of TV material, as each of its 36 states has two TV channels. A booming Nolliwood has emerged to create content for TV and for theatrical release. I was happy to reconnect with Brazilian producer Marcio deLemos. He’s working on Imperfect Love, a romantic comedy set in Sao Paolo, which is half way through shooting. I happen to be one of the investors. Along with the city of Sao Paolo. Marcio, as a producer, is associated with Paraty, the feature film we are developing at Tribe. I enjoyed exchanging impressions and ideas with Josh Miller who produces comedy. His documentary about male belly dancer is funny and quirky. We talked about the advantages of shooting in the prairies of Edmonton where his studio is based. And with an Estonian producer about the ins and outs of shooting in Estonia. After having been around the world, at least that’s how it felt, I was glad to come back to New Jersey, my family, my company. With a head full of new ideas, whether relating to new technology, or new alliances, or film opportunities. Enriched!