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“In five years, are you comfortable with your skills becoming obsolete?” asked Ben Jones, Art, Copy & Code (Google). The crowd laughed in empathy: technology pushes us to change more frequently, and adaptability becomes key. Our industry of production is no different.

Vendors from all over Massachusetts set up booths in the open atrium of WGBH on September 26th to talk the talk with local Boston production professionals for the Mass Media Expo. The #MassMediaExpo is an amazing opportunity for networking, schmoozing and conducting real business, for those so inclined. Producers, designers and editors gathered to hear panels from production professional on topics ranging from Data Management to Drones to AVID’s latest software.

The panel for Mobile Content and Storytelling consisted of five producers and creative directors who prompted the most engaging conversation of the day.

“Can the digital experience be better than the live experience?” Ben Jones asked, this time not rhetorically. Athena Peters, an executive producer for the Lord of the Rings online games at Turbine, responded by asking how the interaction is adding to the experience, bringing to mind the new Oculus Rift and other virtual reality devices. What would it be like if you could learn about the Civil War by being in the Civil War, asked Lauren Prestileo of American Experience (PBS). What if you could create a world, walk around in it, and learn some history like no one ever has before?

The day-long expo of panels and vendors culminated with the production team from Black Mass, an entirely local team, talking insider about the work that went into making the film. Dan Cayer, the Digital Effects Supervisor, impressed the crowd when he divulged secrets behind the “winter scenes,” and Virginia Johnson, the Costume Supervisor, stunned when she mentioned the dry cleaning bill ran into the thousands, all of which went to a local business.

Boston is full of talented production people, and this event proudly highlights what the city has to offer. Keep tabs on Mass Production Coalition events, they are always amazing.

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