Look back on the BSC Expo 2018

By Richard Andry, AFC President

par Richard Andry La Lettre AFC n°284

[English] [français]

If Britain chose the Brexit direction, Hollywood preferred to choose the one that leads to studios facilities in the London area. Those of Pinewood, Longcross, Leavesden, Shepperton and Ealing, are permanently full and even saturated, with huge investments committed in terms of expansion and accessibility, and booked for a very long time.

Not to forget those further away in Bristol, Northern Ireland or Scotland. We can deduce that it is not only the tax benefits (25%) that drain all these blockbusters to our neighbors from across the Channel, there is also the wealth of this offer and its declination both in the quality of the equipment and in the competence of highly specialized personnel in all departments of the film industry. Which means full employment and therefore optimism. And you could see that clearly by going to London and more specifically to Battersea Evolution, on this 2d of February 2018, to attend the BSC Expo.

One hundred and fifty exhibitors were gathered there, certainly in a large exhibition hall that makes it look like all the major classical salons in specialized equipment, whatever the field of activity. A little air of the SATIS of yesteryear, when it was held Porte de Versailles. All the great and the lesser names in the film industry display here their know-how and their products on surfaces that are worthy of their economic power.

This year was the year of novelties in the field of cameras and especially sensors, which came there to be unveiled a week before our Micro Salon. Arri presented the Alexa LF with its new large format sensor, the new LPL mount and the new line of premium optics Signature. The occasion of a masterful presentation in the private screening room at the Mayfair Hotel where the designers of the new system, under the leadership of Stephan Schenk gave a demonstration, set to the cord, before a demanding audience.

On Saturday, Hugh Wittaker (Panavision) in partnership with RED had invited us for a nice reception and to the presentation of the new Millenium DXL2 equipped with the RED Monstro 8K sensor under Light Iron Color 2 science. Kim Swyler, the boss, had travelled from Los Angeles as well as Michael Cioni the wizard of Light Iron. The Millenium DXL2, what a very impressive new tool for cinematographers.

Adding the Sony Cine Alta Full Frame Venice and the Panasonic 35mm 4K VariCam recently released, that expands our choice for the equipment available in the field of shooting, and combined with a range of optics growing every day, expand the field of cinematographic creativity.
Many of our associate members were exhibiting there and we can add to those previously mentioned : Angénieux, Aaton-Transvideo, K5600, Zeiss, Lumiere DMG, Exalux, Fujifilm, Kodak, LCA, Lee Filters, Rosco, Schneider, Vitec, CW Sonderoptic.

I was very well received by Audra, coordinator of the BSC and I met some good old friends, Joe Dunton, BSC, Billy Williams, BSC and the most French of them, John de Borman, BSC, who led a panel composed of Barry Ackroyd, BSC, Jose-Luis Alcaine, AEC, Matyas Erdély, HSC and my old friend Guillermo Navarro, ASC, who assured me of his presence at our Carte Blanche the following Saturday and who was there with his two sons : Alvaro the camera operator and Emilio the sceenplaywriter. A successful round table held before 200 people in a space inside the exhibition hall isolated by a large hanging black fabrics wall but from where you could hear the general hubbub of a well-visited expo (5500 visitors in 2 days !)
Mike Eley the President of the BSC was absent, shooting in Paris ! ... but we had the pleasure to see him the following Friday at La Fémis, where he came and enjoyed our Micro Salon ! The film industry is doing really well on the other side of the Channel. Cheers ! And long live the Entente Cordiale !