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EVENT REVIEW: OC MediaProCamp 2014 Sponsored By Panasonic

While the crowd was not at full capacity, the event was nevertheless one of the busiest ever with special guests, award presentations and of course, the core element: ad hoc roundtable discussions on subjects chosen by the participants. It was the sixth consecutive year the event was held at Santa Ana College's Digital Media Center, and the FIFTH year Panasonic has sponsored the event in Orange County.

As someone once pointed out, no one ever leaves MediaProCamp dissatisfied because YOU get to choose the topics you're most interested in! And as someone else commented, there are always too many good topics to choose from! Individual attendees post proposed topics for discussion and then after collectively choosing the most popular, meeting spaces are assigned. Between three and five meetings were scheduled every hour. This year the crowd voted on over 20 discussion topics. A few of the most popular included: How to stand out in today's competitive marketplace; How to monitize YouTube; Building your business; Can Social Media Platforms lead to employment; Are 'Pay to Play' websites worth the investment?

Mixed in with these chosen-on-site topics each hour were opportunities to hear and talk with special guests including Indy Filmmaker Alton Glass; Executive Business Coach Jon Block; Master Editor Colin Smith of Photoshop Café; and Panasonic Evangelizer DP Bernie Mitchell who brought some of Panasonic's newest cameras to play with.

Some of the meetings filled a room, others attracted only a small handful of people but no matter the number of participants, all were engaging conversations among media pros sharing ideas, information and solutions to common problems.

Between the roundtable discussions, participants returned to the main studio to hear announcements and choose the next hour's session topics. During these re-organizations as well as during lunch a number of people and organizations were honored before the crowd.

Independent Filmmaker Alton Glass was honored by MCA-I for his creativity and generosity in helping talented up and coming young professionals. "I appreciate this recognition," he said. "Especially coming from MCA-I and the good work that they do." Alton then had the pleasure of awarding the inaugural MCA-I ALTON GLASS YOUNG FLMMAKER AWARD to Hector Gomez who had just finished his schooling at Santa Ana College's Film and TV Department and was nominated by his teachers. Hector received a crystal trophy, cash and membership in MCA-i.

The LA/OC Chapter of MCA-I presented the City of Santa Ana with an award for being the Media Friendliest City in Orange County. Accepting for the City was Ms. Tanya Lyon, Strategic Communications Manager for Santa Ana.

Chapter president, Walter Davis, on behalf of the International Board of Directors of MCA-I, presented Panasonic's Rod Wilske (Left) with a special placque recognizing their service to the industry by sponsoring MediaProCamp for the last five years, enabling it to expand into a national series of events. (see separate story)

Then the tables turned as outgoing chapter president became the recipient. President Elect, Art Kirsch, presented Walter with a beautiful brass placque Shining Star Award from the international headquarters of MCA-I for his service to the organization at the national level over the past year. Chapter president-elect, Art Kirsch, and chapter secretary, John Coleman, were both presented impressive Lifetime Achievement awards for long-term service to the chapter and board member, Jean M. Davis, (no relation to Walter) received a Shining Star award from the chapter in recognition of her work at every monthly meeting.

Nationally known Director of Photography, Bernie Mitchell, (Left) offered a camera workshop in the morning and then gave the Keynote Address to the whole crowd after lunch. Both as a working DP and a traveling speaker for Panasonic hitting more that a dozen major industry events each year, Bernie has a unique perspective on the trends—both technical and creative—affecting our industry. His talk was honest, forthcoming and instructive as well as inspiring.

To close out the event, Exec Business Coach, Jon Block (Right) gave the crowd positive thoughts to carry into their business before the big prize of the day was raffled off: a years free subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud.

Finally, an After-Party was held at Original Mikes Bar in Old Town Santa Ana where people rehashed the day and solidified friendships. A good way to end a productive day, toasting friends!

As mentioned above, the reviews from participants were good:

"MCA-i's MediaProCamp still amazes me every time I go to one--It's so different each time and yet I always come away having made great contacts, learned a ton of stuff and gotten good advice I can use in my business!"

"Since this was my first event, I didn't know what to expect, and it became a pleasant surprise."

"… very revealing of the things we can learn from one another."

" …met so many new and interesting people…look forward to getting to know them better during the year."

"What a tremendous event! I'm already looking forward to next year's! A BIG thank you to everyone who was involved in organizing it!"