It occurs to me I should blog about the after-parties of NAB, before the scant details of that suds-soaked evening escape me completely. Truth is, travel fatigue has as much to do with my fuzzy memory as alcohol consumption (honest, Mom!). Monday had already been a long day when Weaver and I left the convention center floor, one filled with l-o-t-s of walking through throngs of zombified conference-goers. Throw in a little jet lag plus a few stolen hours of hotel mattress misery and you have every reason your lowly lenslinger was a little tapped out headed into the big evening. Even so, we hit the two soirees we'd originally intended to.
The Lost Remote gathering was a classy affair. Held in one of the more posh hotel-casinos, this TV news industry website summit featured dark lighting, polite conversation and overpriced mixed drinks. I enjoyed chatting with site founder Cory Bergman, mind you - but the photog inside me insisted I knock back a quick bourbon or gin and mosey on. Weaver and I did just that, swilling the eight dollar drinks with hardly a slurp before excusing ourselves into the blazing Nevada sun. One herky-jerky cab ride later, we arrived at our primary destination, the Gordon Biersch brewery - home of this year's B-Roll Bash.
Inside, the Pilsner Room was packed wall to wall with thirsty shooters, all enjoying free beer, good conversation and oh yeah, free beer. The host, Kevin Johnson, towered above most everyone else as he welcomed guests, made toasts and accepted congratulations. Doing my best to blend in, I secured a pilsner and headed for the light buffet, I'd barely made it halfway to the grub when a tall young photog blocked my path. "Dude, I just wanted to say I love your stuff!" the young man said with more than a hint of barley and hops on his breath. A warm feeling of flattery washed over me until he continued and ruined it all, "That thing you wrote about understanding filters was brilliant," he gushed, describing a landmark primer on understanding light sources penned by a rather clever fellow who calls himself 'Shaky and Blue' - not yours truly. Oh well, so much for fame...
But I wasn't there strictly for an ego-stroke. Rather I wanted to pay my respects to the Photog Nation. That, and score some free food. With that accomplished, I worked the room until I ran up with someone I really wanted to meet: JL Watkins, author of the quixotical weblog, Little Lost Robot. Far more subdued in person than on his site (how could he not be?), JL entertained my curiosity with a few questions of his own. Meeting someone you think you know from on-line is always rife with surprise. In this case I was taken aback by JL's unexpected height, while he didn't know I had a southern accent (neither did I!) Throughout the evening we enjoyed a geekly exchange of photog habits and blogging tendencies, along with a couple of more designer brews from our gracious hosts.
But this being Vegas, it was soon time to hit the open strip. Thus, we all promptly piled into one mother pf a stretch limo and cruised the neon corridors of what can truly be called Sin City. Las Vegas wasn't my favorite destination of all time. Something about the gambling halls and all that debauchery on demand just didn't appeal to me the way it did when I was surfing caribbean casinos back in my Naval days. Still, getting a chance to meet people I read every day was indeed a kick. But next year, can't we all do it in, say...Aspen?