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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. Most people took issue with the fact that I disagreed with the consensus that […]

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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.

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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 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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Learning from Dick Ebersol’s Resignation

Dick Ebersol resigned as head of NBC’s sports division on May 19th and just a few days later Joe Posnanski wrote a piece on Ebersol in Sports Illustrated’s May 30th Point After column. What struck me about the article wasn’t anything about Ebersol’s vast list of credits, or any claim about his influence on modern sports or entertainment programming. It was what Ebersol told Posnanski about the most influential thing he ever learned: “The most important thing to me, was to tell stories.” Ebersol said it was a lesson he learned from his first boss, the legendary sports producer Roone Arledge. Ebersol told Posnanski that television seems to be […]

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Canon 60D: Second Look

By Chris Blair I just completed our first broadcast project using the Canon 60D and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Since the 60D is primarily designed as a still camera,  I was initially skeptical about both the camera’s reliability and quality in a broadcast environment. But once I got used to the controls and became comfortable with the capabilities (and limitations) of the camera, I came away impressed. Getting up to speed with the camera is really no different than adding any new piece of gear to your arsenal. Before our first shoot with the […]

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Ecwid: A great E-commerce solution

  I recently created a client website that needed an easy to use e-commerce solution for selling books, CDs and digital downloads of documents and audio files. On the client’s old website, she was just selling her book and CDs using a very simple PayPal link for processing and payment. It worked, but wasn’t very attractive and offered little more than credit card processing. I use WordPress to build client sites so I spent a couple of hours researching and testing various e-commerce plug-ins. There are several out there that are extremely popular but they all seemed unnecessarily complicated to setup and […]

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Canon 60D DSLR: First Impressions

By Chris Blair I’ve read with great interest and some skepticism all the hype surrounding digital single lens reflex cameras, commonly called either HDSLRs or DSLRs. I’ve also watched quite a lot of video shot with a variety of these cameras and the results are impressive to say the least. Since our digital still camera is almost a decade old, I thought now was a good time to upgrade to a DSLR for still photography and at the same time test out the HD video capabilities. After reading a lot of reviews, I settled on ordering a Panasonic GH2, but […]

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A Guide to Advertising & Production Costs

How much will that cost? That’s a question I’m sure every business gets almost daily. With some products, like a television or computer, the answer is relatively easy. Go online, find the model you want, compare specs and prices, and choose your retailer. But for most things, figuring out the cost is much more difficult. From buying a car to getting a fence installed, the price can vary wildly based on factors too numerous to even think about. So what does advertising cost? How about getting a video produced? What about having a website designed…or an interactive kiosk created…or…well you get the idea. There are no quick […]

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