Attend NAB Show for Free with BCPC – No, For Real

If you’ve followed me a while on the internets, you know that NAB Show (my first, in 2012, for which I wrote quite a recap) was a turning point in my career. I was able to get out of my bubble (Indiana), meet the people I knew only online or by reputation from books, and start to build a name for myself on a much larger stage. I learned a tremendous amount I put to use right away. But maybe most of all, my small-town mentality began to fade away and I could see myself in The Industry. Without attending, my career wouldn’t be where it is today.

And I would not have been able to attend if I hadn’t convinced my boss to send me. It was a miracle because he wasn’t exactly invested in my professional development. But after three years of paying me something like $12/hr, I think he felt it would placate me. (It did: I used my networking and skills to leverage into a new job and network, which eventually brought me to Hollywood.)

I was lucky in my timing and my privilege. Although women are not widely represented in the industry, I still broke through. I had supportive parents I could fall back on while in college so I could do internships and land this unicorn of a job in the 2008 financial crisis. I worked hard to be useful enough to send to a conference at the whim of my boss, but many didn’t even get the opportunity to perform. So many underrepresented people in our industry are underrepresented because they lacked some level of financial support. While my hill to climb was steep, many others are even more treacherous and never get close to the top.

My first NAB Show

At NAB Show, the definition of underrepresented is pretty wide: young people, people of color, LGTBQA people, people with disabilities, rural people, people who identify as women, non-binary, or another gender, and even experienced people who have been forced out of the industry due to ageism. BCPC’s Professional Development Accessibility Program seeks to meet the needs of these people: emerging (or re-emerging) talent who can’t afford to attend career-changing events like NAB alone and don’t have the support of an employer, partner, or other source of financial support. And we’re expanding the program from 3 attendees to up to ten this year.

Full time post production workers in the US that make less than the median income where they live are likely to have some trouble making the next leap in their careers. It’s hard to say yes to opportunities that would enrich your work life and help you build connections to climb the ladder when your finances limit your choices. That’s why BCPC created this program and has a team of volunteers to administer it.

PDAP is the central program of BCPC. We pay for selected lower-income post production professionals to attend important industry events, conferences and trade shows that would otherwise be inaccessible due to cost. Since Fall 2016, we’ve sent a dozen post people from Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Indiana to events like NAB Show, EditFest LA, Sight Sound and Story, and SMPTE Tech Conference.

2018 NAB PDAP recipients Brittany Joyner, Hannah Walker, and Natalie Setoute with editor Alan Bell ACE

We’re now accepting applications to attend NAB Show in Vegas – again, for up to ten individuals. We book the airfare, hotel, monorail, and the conference pass. You go Sunday April 14 to Wednesday April 17. We provide the basic itinerary, some guidelines, and arrange a few meetings for you based on your interests. The rest is up to you.

NAB is a huge trade show with so much to do, you can’t possibly experience it all: you can see or view recaps and experiences from past attendees including Nolan, Hannah, and Brittany:

Here’s a secret: often when we open applications for specific events, we don’t get that many applicants because people assume someone else is in more need than they are — and that is really silly. Let US decide who not only has the greatest need, but would make the best use of the opportunity for their own career path. If you don’t make the cut for NAB, we keep you in mind for other things.

And yeah, it’s actually free. No, it’s not too good to be true. We aren’t predatory. You aren’t selling your soul. We don’t even make you write or record a recap – though we encourage it, because press is good!

Filmmaker Hannah Walker prepping for day one of NAB in 2018

We just want to do the right thing because we’ve been in situations where we’ve missed out. Katie Hinsen, our co-founder and former co-president, came up with the program after a member, who was an intern at a big New York post house, had a technical paper accepted to a major conference but was unable to attend because of its inherent costs. With travel, accommodation and conference passes, many people who don’t have the support of their employer, aren’t seen as “decision makers”, or don’t have the money to spend, are excluded from opportunities that could be incredibly valuable to them.

For the young man who wasn’t able to present his paper, he might have missed out on a huge break in his career. Furthermore, the conference attendees missed out on seeing more of the true diversity that exists in our industry. Katie was so upset that this happened, she vowed to find a way to make sure it never happens again. So PDAP was born, and continues to grow thanks to community and industry support from companies like Flanders Scientific, Goldcrest Post, and the COW.

Check out the rules and apply now on our website!

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