The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for April 6th, 2011

The project is not mine, but that of a client where I was called in to see if the “crew” (mostly just one guy) was going to be able to shoot content that will integrate with the existing project.

The thing is that  the rest of the project is HDV, XDCAM, DVCPRO HD, AVC-I, AVCCAM, some SD – so today we add DSLR!

This is not an art project so there’s no big advantage of a “shallow depth of field”. Most of the b-roll is coming from achieve SD video of varying quality, but because it was shot over a long period, without anyone keeping track of formats we end up with this sort of mess. A young and reasonably competent “editor” was on the job but totally unaware of the complications of having every known frame rate and format in the project (except DSLR until today).

Every different format complicates the project and adds additional processing time to bring everything to a common format before starting the edit, including mixing 23.98 and 29.97 frame rates.

And while Premiere Pro and Media Composer (and probably Final Cut Pro X) can deal with all these formats natively, I hope no-one would recommend that as a workflow for a large documentary project. Certainly AMA for Media Composer is a great way to choose selects from the native format and then transcode to DNxHD for the edit.

This is simply madness. Every one of us needs to educate producers and directors that mixing frame rates and formats is going to cost them a lot of money in post production. And then make sure the message communicates by charging what it costs.

Why Brands Are The New Labels (And Publishers, And Producers…)

I have been a long time proponent of branded media because I find branded content to be much less intrusive than advertising. Branded media integrates with the program, hopefully in a relevant way, while advertising intrudes on a program with something likely to be irrelevant to me and my interests.

So I think this is yet another step along the way toward replacing intrusive advertising to models that are less viewer antagonistic.

Gone are the days of artists hoping and praying for that major studio deal  — which later they learn isn’t really that major. Instead they can take a paycheck from a brand and get pretty much the same thing as what they would get from your typical 360 deal offering.

But it’s not only music that is benefiting from having a brand as its studio.

Brands are positioning themselves as the new labels, no doubt, but they are also evolving into the content creators. There is, naturally, criticism of branded entertainment – it is necessarily the opposite of arms-length, unbiased reporting – but as the digital landscape has changed media integration, it has also increased consumer tolerance for brands looking for new ways to market. And if you want high quality content — whether that is music or print or video — someone needs to pay.  So, brands are stepping up as the new content publishers.

More changes coming of course…

At the March 2011 Shorty Awards, Foursquare Founder Dennis Crowley pointed out that he saw an ad on TV encouraging people to discover the song in the Old Navy ad using Shazam. The call-to-action is then obvious: Purchase on iTunes.  Old Navy, Apple, a digital startup and an emerging artist all working together as one? That’s some epic progress – over some pretty blurry lines.  Expect more of this going forward.

Add in the extra news that Capital One is producing content and it’s a whole new world.

April 2011
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