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Last Updated: Jan 8th, 2011 - 16:45:13 

Film Industry News  

CineGear Expo 2008 - Hot Hot Hot
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Jun 28, 2008, 14:45 PST

I love the CineGear Expo. Each year companies in the film industry come out to strut their stuff at this industry expo. If there is a hot new product in the industry, you’re likely to find it here. This year, however, there was a different kind of heat to deal with on Universal’s Backlot.

For the past couple of years the CineGear Expo was held at the Wadsworth Theatre & Grounds in Los Angeles. The parking, expo, and theaters were all within an easy walk of each other. Everything was easily accessible and food and drink were centrally located. This year was just the opposite. Held on a scorching weekend in June at the Universal Backlot, attendees were directed to park in a lot that required a bus to take us to the event. That might have been tolerable if it hadn’t been for the bus: the air conditioning didn’t work, many of the windows didn’t open, and the temperature inside must have easily come close to, or exceeded, the 140 degree mark. According to the DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services) “in 100-degree weather it takes just 15 minutes for the temperature inside a close vehicle to reach 140 degrees,” and it took much longer than that to load and transport everyone to the site. The idea that Universal Studios allowed that shuttle bus to be in operation was unconscionable.

I was severely overheated by the time I was allowed off the bus at the CineGear Expo site, and once there, water was nowhere in site. My photographer and I bummed a couple of bottles of water from vendors, but the only liquids freely available from the expo organizers were beer and wine, neither of which were smart on a 100 degree day.

The expo itself was looped through a backlot town with the booths placed on the sidewalks. No shade exacerbated the situation. After walking to as many of the booths as we could in the scorching heat, we attempted to go to a few of the seminars, only to find that we would have to endure another bus ride to location of the theaters. It was estimated as a 15 minute ride each way. To think we would have to kill 30 minutes every time we wanted to go to and from the Expo to the seminars, we opted to see as much as we could stand. The two interns I took with me had split off to attend the seminars, but because of the heat and the layout of the expo, they were unable to see the majority of the exhibits.

Our explorations were cut severely short since I couldn’t cool down after the horrific bus ride. Making matter worse, I recently dislocated a rib, and the bus ride had been anything but smooth. I ask the organizers if there was any other way back to the parking area, and to their credit they arranged for alternate transportation for us. Getting back to my vehicle, it took 4 bottles of water and about 30 minutes with the air conditioning at full speed before I started feeling normal.

This year the organization of the CineGear Expo was terrible. If the show is going to be held during such a hot time of the year arrangements have to be made to mitigate the heat. Water stations should be available throughout the expo, manufactured shade should be placed over the walkways using light fabric, and tented seating areas should be available to escape the heat. The theaters for the seminars should also be in the same area as the expo so that valuable time isn’t lost going from one to the other. Hopefully, the expo organizers will do a better job in 2009. There are so many exhibits that I was forced to miss, and so many seminars that I couldn’t attend, because of the lack of organization and the heat! Just in case, when you attend the next CineGear Expo in 2009, be sure that you bring sunscreen, hat, backpack with plenty of water, and maybe even a parasol or umbrella to help stave off the worst of the heat.

The CineGear Expo has amazing exhibits that you should absolutely see if you’re in the industry. Just be sure that when you go, you’re prepared so that you can see as much as you can in the time that you have.

© Copyright 2008 by

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