Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Right Tool

I feel like I need to give a tip 'o the hat every single day I edit to whoever thought up the "Fit To Fill" tool. It gets me out of so many editing corners. Nice work, anonymous software coder!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Marketing FAIL

I'm sorry, but to me every ad in Microsoft's current campaign says:

"Our products aren't as sucky as you think they are."

Plus, the whole "Find what you need for less" angle pretty much cedes the high-margin segment of the market to Apple. I'm sure PC makers are psyched about that pitch.

Full disclosure: I use several Microsoft products at work each day, including an Avid on XP. But bad marketing is bad marketing.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Period MJ

A nice live performance of Thriller, and a very tasty period video wipe.

Probably used as the second encore.


Live Shot

How did ESPN get a live shot of Dick Vitale from Mackinac Island, MI?

They don't allow vehicles on the island, especially sat trucks. Portable kit? TV Geeks want to know!



I was reminded again today that life isn't fair.

Sometimes dorks and hacks and schmucks rise to the top of the pile.

Sometimes serious, hard working, talented people get pushed to the curb with yesterday's coffee grounds.

Normally, I believe in karma, in getting what you deserve.

Tonight, I'm taking a hiatus from that. On the rocks.

Tomorrow it's back to work, trying to make my own luck.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

'89, Batman, and the Film Business

An excellent analysis of Batman and its influence on Hollywood.

Sometimes you realize you a watching something important at the time, and sometimes you don't. Batman was fun, but I certainly didn't see the ripples it was casting.


Saturday, June 13, 2009


I must tread carefully to protect the innocent:

A friend repeated a conversation he had with the fellow who runs his unit. There is a couple of layers of management between my friend and Important Man.

Important Man: "How long does it take you to do that thing you normally do?"

Friend: "It varies, but 3-4 hours is a good average."

IM: "I really don't understand why it should take more than 10 minutes. 20 if you are adding music."

Obviously, it's hard to continue the conversation at that point. When the person who signs your paycheck- whether that person is your boss or your client- has no understanding of what you do, you have to wonder how they establish value to your work. If they think your job can be done up to 1200% faster than how you do it, you have to assume there is a bit of wage pressure on your salary or day rate, to say the least. Is a 91% pay cut far behind?

I see and hear it all the time in our business, that managers and clients somehow expect Hollywood quality work to be done in the time it takes to order a cup of coffee, and for the same $4. Yet they fully understand the reason different restaurants, autos, lawyers and houses are priced the way they are. Is the problem that they don't buy enough "video" to understand the range of the market? Are they conditioned by the low cost of the video that flows from their TV?

But my biggest concern is the apparent lack of interest of the Important Men of the world to learn why projects cost what they do. They can fully explain why they drive a Lexus and not a Corolla, but video is and should remain another commodity to be purchased by the 5-gallon bucket at the lowest price-per-pixel.

Client expectations is always a struggle.


Instant Stats

As a low-level stat geek, I would argue that the biggest step forward in TV sports is not HD, but graphics packages that can update stats in real time.

I was highly entertained by an ESPN game this week that would list the hitter's batting average in each situation of the pitch count; .312 when it's 2-0, but .235 at 2-1, and then .215 at 2-2. I assume that the system is adding data with each pitch, so if a batter sees his third 2-0 pitch of the night the previous outcomes will be reflected in the data.

Not being a graphics person, I don't know if features like that are more or less work in the truck, but they certainly add to the quality of my viewing experience.