The Downside of Streaming Video

So, it's touted as the newest media revolution: Streaming Video. Certainly, the proliferation of streaming capability is good for the independent content producer, though benefits for large networks and established media are very debatable. What about the consumer? This article from AP offers an alternate view of the future, entitled The Streaming Video Paradox: Why You May Miss Cable's Bundle Of Channels It's worth your time tpo read.

93 Hits
0 Comments

New Streaming Services Have Changed The Market

Well, Duh, you say. Of course they have. But in many ways more than you would first think. And it's affected our industry's labor market as well as the world of production.

Continue reading
135 Hits
0 Comments

How Filming Differs in NYC From LA

Casey Mink, writing for Backstage online, interviewed Location Manager, Julie Sage, about how she finds greats spots to shoot Aziz Ansari's new Netflix series, Master of None. In the article Sage dispenses some interesting opinions on how NYC - Where Master of None is filmed - and LA differ, not just effecting the location manager's task but how the look of the city becomes part of the story.

Continue reading
147 Hits
0 Comments

Are Journalists Exempt From Civility?

Reading with interest an article in the NYT, entitled "Rough Treatment of Journalists in the Trump Era," reminded me of how agressively some members of the media feel entitled to act. Having taken a few journalisim courses, worked in more than one television newsroom and observed first hand on many occasions (in the Big Apple of all places) a media scrum which can only be kindly described as militantly chaotic, I can project another possibility behind the headlines. Indeed, there are many in news who feel they are doing God's work and so with rightiousness feel justified in doing whatever it takes to 'get the story'. Unfortunately few if any journalists are working for the Divine, despite how they feel.

Continue reading
127 Hits
0 Comments

YouTube TV is LAUNCHED!

An interesting article on VideoEdge (Available On RoundTables Media Headlines Page) reviews the new streaming service from YouTube.  It leads you to a Harry McCracken article on Fast Company which covers the Launch and basically says it's a work in progress! McCracken does a great analysis and given the fact that Cable networks and broadcasters are ever more challenged by these entertainment streaming services everyone in the creative content business would do well to stay abrest of what's happening!

117 Hits
0 Comments

NAB Survival: Is It The Shoes?

Gotta share a great article on NAB Prep...if you've been there you'll appreciate Chris Hurd's blog--If this will be your first NAB it is a MUST READ! It's on DV Info net with an intro below.

Continue reading
142 Hits
0 Comments

Reverse Engineering Actors!

As a director I love working with actors! I want to help them create the most fascinating characters --within the bounds of the story at hand and the context of the other characters. But often the question for a director is HOW? Which is why I read and study the stuff actors read and study. I want --no, need-- to understand their methods, challenges and fears. What makes them tick?

It's easy for a director or (anyone else for that matter) to get caught up in their own goals and challenges, keeping their nose to the grindstone and plowing through obsticales to get what you want. And a director has plenty to worry about from scenery and costumes to camera, lighting and more. But, Hey, it's a PEOPLE business, and the people your audinece will relate to are the actors! The actors are not just a director's tools to tell the story (not to be confused with Hitchcock's 'cattle') they are THE emotional link to the audience. And as human beings, each very unique and creative, every actor in the show is an important collaborator with the director.

...
Continue reading
167 Hits
0 Comments

38 Actors Audition Prep Tricks

A recent edition of BACKSTAGE daily has this article I think you should read.  You may have seen it on RoundTable.Media's HEADLINES page since BackStage is one of the almost 20 industry publications we update DAILY! It's great because the promise is fulfilled in a very straight forward manner--it is literally words straight out of the mouths of 38 significant actors. The diversity of opinion and experience about auditioning is striking. And Auditioning is a very important part of the process which can't be ignored. Of course it's important information for other actors but it's also very revealing for Directors, Casting Directors, Producers and others...which I will be blogging about in another article! Be sure to read 38 Actors Audition Prep Tricks from Backstage

132 Hits
0 Comments

Convergence — Radio Ain't Just Audio

If you peruse  RoundTable's  HEADLINES Page regularly you may have seen this story from TV Technology. If not you will want to read it now. OK, it's no secret that cameras have been put in radio studios -- anyone remember Don Imus? He may have been the first, going back decades! At any rate now they're building "Radio Stations" for video capability.

Why should we be surprised? What's a Talk Show (need I remind you, a staple of television) other than radio with pictures? Is it lavalier mics instead of a studio mic like the Shure SM7B on a gimbol that make the difference? I think not. Anyway, Cumulus Radio's Nashville hub is making news with the integration of video capability. Maybe it's being driven by technology:

...
Continue reading
142 Hits
0 Comments

Audio Archiving: Taking the Long View

GUEST BLOG:

Audio Archiving: Taking the Long View
From Prosound News Posted on Feb 15, 2017 

 
Photo: Iron Mountain.

Thirty-five years after the launch of the compact disc and 30 years after the Macintosh II computer’s expansion capabilities birthed the DAW revolution, audio increasingly exists as zeroes and ones. This digital age offers many advantages, but there are also challenges, not least the security and preservation of these assets into the future.

Continue reading
153 Hits
0 Comments

Is "Hollywood" Dead?

Popular wag, Nick Bilton, a Vanity Fair regular, makes the case that "HollyWood as We Know it Is Already Over." It's an interesting perspective on our industry from 30K ft. He blames Unions, China and Facebook but mostly liberal greed of hollywood types for the demise. I'm not sure he's right but he sure makes good points. Of course, there's lots of ZOMBIE businesses so I'm not planning on selling shoes  just yet. But take a look at the article. It's not just a screed.  I found it on a conservitive political site...which was only too happy to declare Hollywood  dead! But here's the Vanity Fair link to Bilton's article. Let me know what YOU Think!

Why Hollywood as We Know It Is Already Over

...
Continue reading
184 Hits
0 Comments

The BEST Advice For Writers

Someone sent me an image of Gary Provost's advice on writing sentences with varying lengths (attached.) He appropropriately calls it writing music--not just words. It may be the absolute BEST advice I have ever seen on writing. Yes, it's basic but it's so important and so beautifully crafted.

...
Continue reading
254 Hits
0 Comments

FCC Change For the Best

FCC logoIf you read the news on RoundTable.Media Headlines Page in either the TV Week feed or elsewhere you know that Obama's FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, has resigned. While Mr. Wheeler has been a longtime industry name he has done no service to our country's telecommunications industry in this position and I say good riddence!

Of course since he is a Democrat that leaves the comission lopsided in favor of the Repubicans. Now I'm an equal opportunity curmudgen when it comes to the FCC, since both parties have made plenty of politicized bad moves when in charge of the FCC. However the Obama administration has politicized more federal agencies more egregiopusly than ever before—in my not so humble opinion. Quite Frankly the FCC may not be the worst case. Think Justice, EPA and others...  And I wonder if Wheeler isn't resigning early in embarrassment! After all the make up of the FCC, may not otherwise change until quite aways into the Trump administration next year. "Net Neutrality" rules and The Open Internet Order were some of my least favoite things but generally Wheeler did his masters bidding, making the 'Independance" of the FCC a farce. It became a political tool for anti-business Socilalist change (with no shortage of crony capitalism) rather than an independant panel of experts working for the good of the country (no, not for the good of industry.) Let's hope the Republicans take a more measured approach in imposing their ideology (which I am admitedly more favorable towards) starting in January. One of the reasons Trump won (or so goes the pundit's analyses) was the country was sick of political correctness and extreme politics. Pray that Trump and his appointees get that message!

...
Continue reading
166 Hits
0 Comments

What's A Producer DO?

 

What does a producer do? 
"It’s like being the captain of the team. It’s finding the story you want to tell, finding the way you want to tell it, and having taste to decide what will make a good film or play or television program; then it’s about marrying that idea to the right creative team. Who is the best storyteller to direct it? Who is the best writer to write it? Who is the best actor to bring voice to the characters? The producer’s job is to make sure the vision is on course. Then you bring on another partner: studios as financiers or investors in theater. You have to make sure that what they asked for and bargained for is what they’re getting. Then it’s bringing a project to its conclusion: the marketing, the general package. Producing is overseeing the process from the beginning all the way until it arrives at the theater or movie theater." -- Marc Platt as qouted in Backstage.

...
Continue reading
301 Hits
0 Comments

So What's A Carnet?

If you've never had to take equipment out of the country for a production you mnay never have heard of a Carnet (pronounced, Car-NAY.) It's an internationally accepted document that lists all your equipment (with serial numbers etc) to prove to the various customs officials that you're taking out what you brought in. Why's that important? Because if you brought something into their country to sell they'll want to tax you on it! And conversely if you bought some equipment overseas and want to bring it home the US may charge you and import fee! With a Carnet they check you in and out and no extra taxes! Lotsa time and hassle, but no taxes. So I came across a blog that explainse it a lot better with a little more detail. Check it out at Creative Handbook. By the way you will want to sork with your insurance company when taking any fil equipment out of the country as well.

314 Hits
0 Comments

Forget The Camera!

OK, at the risk of sounding silly there's a really interesting article that I had to read, "5 Video Genres That You Can Make Without Picking Up  A Camera." I saw it in YouTuber Magazine but it really was a sponosred article pitching VideoBlocks—you guessed it, a stock footage company. Well, I happen to be a scuscriber to VideoBlocks and they have some really great stuff!  And NO, I'm not getting anything from them in return for mentioning them or the article. The article makes some valid pionts and you should read it. But don't throw your camera a way just yet!

308 Hits
0 Comments

TV Pioneer Zacherly, "the Cool Ghoul," Passes

 

The faces of the crew—stagehands and technitions alike—lit up like I had never seen before. And of course, I was fascinated meeting a childhood hero in person. Imagine meeting in person the same goul you had to get had stayed up late to see every Friday night?  We recreated the antics he was famous for, inserting himself into scenses of an old horror movie with humorous comments and skits, watching him chase a gooey brain acoross his 'laboratory" (a head of coliflower with colored gelatin manipulated by stagehands pulling monofilament.) It was all quite delicious fun, especially to be part of creating it and not just a viewer. Zach's appearance energized the station for at least a week.

...
Continue reading
332 Hits
0 Comments

Busman's Holiday

         What those who fantasize about my line of work fail to realize that my actual job is to write as intelligently and insightfully as I can about every place I go. Think of writing a five-page term paper, rigorously researched, twice a week, sometimes more. Still want the job?

...
Continue reading
534 Hits
0 Comments

Digital Hollywood, Fall 2016, Zettabytes

Digital Hollywood, Fall 2016, Zettabytes

What is a zettabyte?  1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes OR one sextillion bytes.  Still hard to grasp?  That's a trillion Gbytes!  Remember when a 1 Gbyte hard drive seemed enormous?

To place that amount of data in more practical terms, that's about 152 million years worth of HD quality video.  Cisco estimated that in 2015 every second the Internet passed enough video that would take an individual 5 years to watch, yes that's every second.

...
Continue reading
410 Hits
2 Comments

Betting On 360 Video

 

Marcelo was quick to explain his new passion. "The future is 360 and VR and I'm a huge believer in it. That's why I decided to focus completely on that technology sector. This group, will also focus on everything for 360 video, photography and VR creation for creative professionals."

...
Continue reading
368 Hits
0 Comments

SoCal Media Pros is Formed

SoCal Media Pros is Formed

MCA-i, formerly known as ITVA,  brought tens of thousands of people together for professional education and inspiration to be the best in a highly competitive and ever-changing industry.   The fate of MCA-i is part of a trend of traditional non-profits trying to adjust to a shift in member needs as more professionals are working as freelance independents, a proliferation of 'film schools' creating their own networking opportunities, and online 'education' of techniques that traditionally were learned from meeting with more experienced professionals.

Many of the local MCA-i chapters were robust and many live on as new, independent organizations, including the LA/OC chapter, now known as SoCal Media Pros.   You can find this list of remaining chapters at www.mca-i.org and find industry blogs, the ability to showcase your videos without cost, and networking opportunities at www.RoundTable.Media

...
Continue reading
359 Hits
0 Comments

Video - You Are The Product

I met her at the Digital Hollywood conference in L.A. where she was discussing her program for helping people make effective videos as an interviewer, guest, critic, or journalist. She offers an intensive, two-day workshop called, “Turn Your Interviews Into CASH”, that provides hands on opportunities to practice her techniques. The workshop includes introduction to inexpensive hardware and software to help attendees make effective videos to best sell their product or services and themselves. She got the idea to help people take advantage of the power of video marketing when it started to become a common and effective marketing tool. She merged her full service international business marketing and consulting firm with her husband, Michael DeVere, who has over 30 years of experience in the Television industry: from directing the 6 o’clock news, to working on productions for HBO, The History Channel, CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN, Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, National Geographic, Bruce Springsteen, MSG, the NY Rangers, Universal Records and many others. Michael’s done it all. If that’s not enough he’s also an Emmy winning video editor.

I had the pleasure of attending one of her workshops where she lived up to her headline to:

...
Continue reading
381 Hits
0 Comments

AES is NOW!

 

AES may not be the largest media convocation but it certainly is so in the world of Audio. You'll find not only all the top equpment manufacturers there but a great representation of newer and smaller vendors with quality hardware and software.

...
Continue reading
395 Hits
0 Comments

Horizontal or Vertical?

The fact that my computer screen is horizontal, my TV is horizontal, theater screens are horizontal, and almost every other camera format (apart form smart phones) creates a horizontal picture (OK, anyone remember 120 film which Kodak invented for their Brownie? - its format was almost square!) and, oh, the fact that when you play back vertical phone video on almost every device you get black side bars filling out the screen, isn't all that irrelevant?

...
Continue reading
391 Hits
0 Comments

Must Read for Journalists And Writers

         As much as anyone who was part of the world of journalism in the 1970s, McDonell carried some of the era’s aura around with him, having been an editor at Rolling Stone and spending a lot of time hanging out—a polite phrase for smoking dope and drinking a lot—with everyone from Hunter S. Thompson and George Plimpton to Jim Harrison and Tom McGuane.  He did stints as editor at Outside, Newsweek, Sports Afield, and Sports Illustrated, became president of the Paris Review Foundation, and joined th e the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Journalism Review. In  2012,  McDonell was elected to the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame.

     Accidental Life jacket SMALL comprsdHe was a traveling ringmaster at a time when circuses had three rings, even as he watched them all shrink to one, lose the animals acts and give it all over to the clowns in the 21st century.  He has, therefore, enough material for several volumes of his own bio, but instead, in his new memoir The Accidental Life, he distills all the important, funny, decadent, sad, egocentric, destructive, brave, manic, hysterical, and declining aspects of the last four decades of journalism into an elegantly written 370-page book cast in short chapters (the word count is even given), ranging from insightful personal essays on Kurt Vonnegut, Gay Talese, Jann Wenner, Liz Tilberis, James Salter, Warren Hinckle, and Steve Jobs to straight talk about the business of journalism, from money to deadlines, from ad sales and declining circulation, to having constantly to defend S.I.’s Swimsuit issue, which in his heyday sold more than 1.5 million copies on the newsstand.

...
Continue reading
409 Hits
0 Comments

Gene Wilder's Lesson on Directing and Performing Comedy

 

 Despite some of his over the top performances (I'll bet the set of Young Frankenstein still has bite marks on it!) Wilder was playing for the emotion of his character in a given situation. Yes, an actor can add some laughs but generally it's the script and the situation --including character and dialogue that makes a scene funny. Ever watch someone try to "ACT" funny in a scene that has no inate humor? It's embarrassing! Big gestures, exaggerated expressions and delivering your lines with unusual emphasis can't make something funny which isn't. For proof, I offer the opposite of Gene Wilder—Jack Benny...and many others such as Rita Rudner. When the writer creates a funny character and puts him in a funny situation that's when an actor goes to work and makes the emotions of that character come alive. For both Directors and actors, THAT'S how you get laughs.  It might even make people think you are a comedic genius.

...
Continue reading
295 Hits
0 Comments

Not Just for Writers: Gonzo Journalist Dies

 

Hinkle-1024x1024.jpg         As Ramparts grew in notoriety and circulation, which topped out at 250,000, it attacked everything its editors and writers saw as wrong-headed, specious and downright criminal, and while never the pinko commie rag some accused it of being, it delighted in interviews with Che Guevara, with an intro by Fidel Castro, and published the prison diaries of Elridge Cleaver.

...
Continue reading
414 Hits
0 Comments

The World Is Turning

 

It began life as the ITVA, which in it's day counted 10,000 members or more. The ITVA was a major force in the field of corporate video, communications and beyond. I still see ITVA awards and plaques on the office wall of some corporate media managers. Before the millenium many large corporations began out-sourcing their media operations, closing their in-house studios and laying off producers, writers, camera operators, editors and technicians. Membership in a professional organization and the need for continuing education in technology and methods in a fast changing industry was no longer subsidized by big business. All those employees were now freelancers. And to many freelancers, dues were just another expense.

...
Continue reading
251 Hits
0 Comments

When Editors Had Their Writers' Backs

In an ironic sense Woodward and Bernstein’s coverage of the Watergate Scandal back in the ‘70s put in gear two opposing aspects to journalism: On the one hand, editor in chief Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post courageously ran with the story while threatening to castrate his two young reporters if they got it wrong, which, on one serious occasion, they did.  And the NY Times has paid vast sums of lawyers’ fees to keep some of their reporters out of jail rather than reveal sources.  

...
Continue reading
418 Hits
0 Comments

Around The Table Interviews

You may find some recognizable names among the list of our guests, but Around The Table is not about ratings or star power. It's about sharing and learning from each other. As the name implies, the idea is based on the same concept as our website: friends and equals conversing about business and career for mutual benefit. We created the icon of chairs at a round table to convey that image. Think of someone's kitchen table or even a coffee shop. And of course, whether you work in narrative film, TV, video, audio, social media, web design, or any other associated field, we all fit under the sobriquet, MEDIA!

The guests so far range from performers to techs and everything in between. It's an eclectic list of experts with diverse personalities. But they're all interesting—and very good at what they do! We talk about career, accomplishments, tricks of their trade, beginnings, lessons learned, mentiors and influences and pretty much anything else which comes to mind at the time. I guarantee you'll learn something from each interview and gain a lot of respect for each of these media experts.

...
Continue reading
303 Hits
0 Comments