Is Cheap Gear Killing The Film Industry? IBC Panel Discussion On The Impact of Commoditization

As prices for cameras and other production gear keep coming down further and further, the traditional world of production (namely broadcasters and large production companies) are lamenting about the impact of this development on their business. They used to be the gatekeepers to getting professional content produced and distributed, which meant that large gear manufacturers and broadcasters held a lot more power in the past – before the internet and the erosion of television as we know it.

At IBC 2015 in Amsterdam, I was invited to a panel discussion about the ongoing commoditization in our industry. It was a very interesting discussion thanks to the wide range of guests who were invited by chair Graham Sharp (Senior Vice President of Global Products at Vitec Videocom): Next to me on the panel were:

  • Andrew Cross, President and CTO of NewTek, a company that has been on the forefront of post production tools and the IP based streaming solutions since its inception in 1985
  • Matt Danilowicz, CEO of Vitec Videocom, the mother company of such renowned brands such as Sachtler, Litepanels, Vinten, OConnor, SmallHD, Teradek, Paralinx and many others.
  • Mark Harrison, Managing Director of the Digital Production Partnership for the BBC in the UK. Alongside Mark who represented the “broadcast side” of the content production spectrum, I was invited as an “independent content producer”.
  • Joe Zaller is the CEO of Devoncroft, a market research company for digital media companies. He moderated the panel.
  • Nino Leitner (myself), independent content producer, director of photography and CEO of Nino Film GmbH & partner & editor at

It was a very engaging discussion with a lot of very different perspectives onto the industry, which is something we rarely get – usually the range of people on such a panel isn’t as diverse as in this case.

It’s well worth a watch even at the 1h 10 minutes it lasts, and it’s great to see that both traditional manufacturers as well as large content producers are recognizing that there’s a massive shift going through our industry which revolutionizes and democratizes content production – due to less expensive production gear and a further democratization of distribution through the internet, which is an ongoing process.


cinema5D at IBC 2015
B&H Blackmagic Design Sachtler G-Technology edelkrone

Watch it on Vimeo