3D Television Networks: 3 Years Later

By Chris Blair

I published the original post below in July of 2010, saying I couldn’t imagine how 3D television networks could find an audience, and more importantly, lure enough advertisers to survive. Predictably, ESPN3D announced on Wednesday that it would soon be shuttered. Their official statement cited, “limited viewer adoption.” That’s fancy talk for, “nobody was watching.”

I was utterly villified in a forum thread on Creative Cow for my disparaging views about 3D back about the same time as my original post.

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/17/869138#869224
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/17/868718#868765

Most people took issue with the fact that I disagreed with the consensus that 3D in TV and movies was going to soon be the norm for production, and that if we didn’t all embrace it we’d be left behind. My argument at the time was that our clients weren’t even asking for (or using) HDTV, much less 3D. I also questioned how the economics of 3D television, even at the network level, would ever produce profits. Above are links to the now amusing threads in which many on the Cow predicted 3D television was “the future of broadcasting and production.”

Read more »

Review: CPM Filmtools DSLR Flyer Shoulder Rig

When I bought a Canon 60D at the beginning of 2011, I quickly realized I was going to need some sort of mounting rig, as well as handheld support. DSLR cameras are simply not designed to move the way traditional video cameras do, and the controls, especially camera start/stop, are inconvenient at best. So a rail and cage system for mounting accessories, as well as a shoulder mount that faciliates handheld shooting are pretty much necessities if you’re using it as your “A” camera on shoots. Read more »

PROAIM Shoulder Rig Kit-201 – Review

We recently added a Panasonic AF-100 camera along with several lenses to our shooting gear and after testing our CPM Film Tools rig with it,  it became obvious we were going to need a heavier-duty rig to make the setup functional. After hours spent researching various options, I decided to take a chance on the Proaim Shoulder Rig Kit-201 from www.cinecity.com.

Here’s a direct link to what we bought.

Considering that we only shoot about once or twice a week on average, I couldn’t see spending several thousand dollars for similarly configured kits from Redrock Micro, Cinevate, Zacuto or half a dozen other support companies.

Now I already know what you’re thinking. Equipment made in India is cheap and poorly made! Well…I’m hear to tell you that I’m more than happy with the purchase and am in fact quite impressed by the quality and value of this kit. Read more »

Canon 60D: Final Thoughts

We’ve been using the Canon 60D for 10 months now and I’ve already posted twice about our experiences with the camera. We’ve used it for TV commercials, marketing videos and short-form promotional videos, many of which involved on-camera talent requiring scenes with dialogue and on-camera spokespeople.

So what are my thoughts now that I’ve used it extensively? Well…you can get great results using these cameras, but when it comes to ergonomics and workflow in the field, the 60D (and DSLR cameras in general) just doesn’t compare to a dedicated professional video camera. The 60D certainly has its share of good qualities, especially its excellent video quality. It’s also generally easy to operate. But in my opinion, using DSLR cameras as your “A” camera for professional projects simply requires too many peripheral devices and convoluted cabling setups. Read more »

The Value of Time and Experience in Advertising Design

In the last 25 years the growth of computer technology and the internet have both fundamentally changed how companies market themselves. The early to mid-nineties saw the birth of digital production. Then in the early part of this decade, digital television and the internet matured. And in the last three years, social media came of age.

Obviously this technology has had many positive effects when it comes to marketing and advertising, but in my opinion that same technology has had some negative effects as well. Most prominent is a tendency for people to think that digital workflows are inherently faster and more efficient.

When used properly, digital tools can certainly speed workflow and productivity.  But two things that are still key to selling people anything is developing great ideas and producing compelling stories. Getting these right STILL requires the two things the best digital tools can’t deliver – time and experience. Read more »