By Laura Frank

We are a group of entertainment production professionals who work with video displays in live performance. We don’t have one catch all term to define who we are or what we do. Some of us make video content, though we specialize in everything from motion graphics, animation, information displays and storytelling. Others of us manage the engineering, programming and operations of delivering that video content to screen. We control miles of copper to communicate, transmit and reveal imagery on massive screens on the sides of buildings or on your home computer.

Our discipline has changed radically in the last decade and is undergoing another monumental shift in response to the pandemic. Most of us wait at home without the hope of employment until live events return, when, in the fall? Next year? No one can say with certainty. Yet the tools we use represent a possible future to deliver virtual events online. Many of us are deep in a learning cycle of next-generation production technologies. I hear stories of my peers working harder than ever to invent the future but the future refuses to come.

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?????:???? won’t fix anything or make jobs happen – but it’s the place we can occupy to support each other until those things do happen. Like many other computer based disciplines, we were so busy innovating we forgot one essential task: we need to educate our professional peers who we are and what we do. We need to take this moment to step away from the magic black boxes and share the complexities of our work. We need to lay the groundwork for a stronger professional engagement with our clients and each other for our longevity.

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?????:???? was meant to be a professional conference, but like so many group activities, we are going to make a home online. We intend to launch a virtual gathering for mid-June. Please come visit our website, join our mailing list and be the first to hear what we have planned for our community.

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