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Loomis to be techno hub?

Local men to bring event to town highlighting digital technology
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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Two local men doesn’t just want to put Loomis on the map, they want it to be at the center of the new virtual world. Peter Oakes and Dan McBride, both of Loomis, plan to do that by bringing the Content Creation and Distribution Expo to town on September 16 and 17. The event, which will take place at venues throughout Loomis, will look at new ways of creating content for video, film and music, and its distribution. “What we’re trying to do is build a bridge between the traditional way of doing things — making movies, television shows — and the new way of doing things,” said Oakes, an actor and filmmaker. He also owns Pacific Crest Media, one of the event sponsors. The “new way,” said Oakes, includes digital media, lower cost cameras and faster and less expensive computers. The new forms of distribution are mobile devices such as handheld phones and tablet computers, instead of movie screens and broadcast TV. “An analogy that I use,” Oakes said, “is that a lot of people for the last 30 years have used Blockbuster when they would rent their movies … their content. Over the next couple of years, people will completely shift to an online rental.” Last week Oakes visited Google headquarters in Mountain View as a guest of YouTube, the Internet video network. Oakes said he’s a partner of YouTube Rentals, which uses new technology to get content into the hands of consumers. “If you buy a new TV today, it’s probably Internet connected which means you can watch your movies or TV shows over the Internet rather than broadcast or cable,” he said. Beverly Lewis, director of the Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Office, said she has been hoping to develop an event such as the CCD Expo, which is in the very early planning stages. “Then I encountered Peter … who had gone so much further, because of where he works in the industry and connections. He has this vision that is perfect chemistry for all parties coming together for this point,” Lewis said. Already onboard as a speaker and presenter at the expo is Doug Stanley, Emmy award-winning director of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch.” He owns Ridgeline Entertainment, a 3D company headquartered at the Auburn Airport Industrial Park, and has extensive experience in development and production of primetime television programming. “It (the expo) is a great idea because the emergence of digital technology over the last decade has taken the market advantage away from ‘the entertainment hub,’” Stanley said. Los Angeles, he said, “used to have all of the talent, all of the tools, but now Northern California has a great chance to be able to gain a portion of the multi-billion dollar entertainment business that our state is famous for.” According to Stanley, the exposition will demonstrate the real possibility of bringing this increase in business to Placer County. Oakes said another participant will be Robert Altman Jr., a Hollywood camera operator and son of the famed Academy Award winner, producer Robert Altman. Steve Price, a Loomis resident and founding member of the Pablo Cruise band, is in discussion with several well-known bands to provide entertainment, Oakes said. Screening of films and displays by vendors, manufacturers and industry professionals are also planned. Another feature that Oakes called a “work in progress” is a stunt performance at high noon on Saturday on Taylor Road and Horseshoe Bar roads. Oakes is also working on educational and economic components to the exposition. “We hoping to bring educators to the show, to demonstrate that there are very good paying jobs available here. We want to … create an awareness we have wonderful companies in this county and this area, that most people don’t know about.” In addition to Stanley’s Ridgeline Entertainment, those companies include CineToys, LLC, with headquarters in Granite Bay. “The product is Gearnex, manufactured … in Auburn … an award-winning motion picture camera geared head,” Oakes said. Oakes said there are ample opportunities for volunteer involvement in the CCD Expo. “We’re going to be looking for volunteers to set up, tear down, clean up, organization, badges, just about every aspect of putting on an event of this caliber,” he said. As initial committees are formed, Oakes and McBride are also looking for assistance from anyone with expertise in the digital media field. Information is available on the website CcdExpo.com.