playing around with BoinxTV

I’ve been working through various ways to create compelling internet content, and I’ve explored various options including scripted material and making elements for FInal Cut Pro so I can film, drag and drop. All off this comes from the idea of minimizing the inputs while maximizing outputs…but it would still involve a lot of work. Putting together the two Fruitygamer pilot episodes required about half a day of work for each segment, in addition to being down at E3 in the first place and filming the interviews.

That’s all well and good, and there’s no reason I can’t use that same methodology for special episodes. But if I want to create a lot of content quickly the way to do it is live and streamed. So I looked at BoinxTV as a viable option. I got Boinx when I bought one of the MacHeist offers for $40 a while back, and as the program is normally $299 I got a pretty decent bargain. But since I had no use for it at the time, Boinx sat on my computer unused, until now.

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East Van Podcast: Chris Peterson

Vancouver music legend Chris Peterson sat down for a chinwag with EVP host Jonny Vancouver to talk about his music, the internet’s effect on the music industry, and how he manages to work on multiple projects while keeping a day job. Shot with the JVC GY-HM100U, cut in Final Cut Studio, and graded with Magic Bullet Suite.

Filmfellas debuts on Vimeo

Vimeo, my new video host of choice, is presenting a new web series called Filmfellas, a “Dinner for Five” type show featuring four filmmakers engaging in badinage about process, web vs. TV and film and the changing media landscape. One of the regulars is Philip Bloom, who puts out some amazing looking short films using only a lens adapter and a Sony EX1 (a camera I’ve played with and mostly like). Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’ll definitely be a regular viewer. You can see the first episode below.


FilmFellas from Steve Weiss, Zacuto USA on Vimeo.

The state of indie filmmaking and a ninja rebuttal

So it appears that indie filmmaking in 2008 is in dire straits. The technology to make a film has spread far and wide and the cost of making a film has plummeted, but according to Mike Curtis of HD for Indies, distribution is still next to impossible and the math doesn’t work in favor of people being able to make a living off of making movies. But…where’s the surprise here? Hasn’t that always been the way indie films have been? Kent Nichols, of Ask a Ninja fame, certainly thinks so, and states in his blog that the next generation of creators and stars will emerge from Youtube and other online venues. The Observer also has an interesting article about how web series have come of age since the early days of LonelyGirl15.

Personally, as someone who creates content for a living I don’t even think it’s worth it to create an independent feature film for anything other than as a calling card to showcase your skills. Sure, there’s lots of street cred, but that doesn’t pay the bills. Web series are an ideal platform in which to not only hone your craft but also pre-build an audience, should you ever decided to damn the torpedoes and go the feature route. And unlike the frankly byzantine procedures needed to make content with a studio or (here in Canada) a government agency, all a web series requires is a hosting service and the ability to click “upload.”

Viewing habits shift from televisions to laptops

Not so long ago, it was an accepted truism that “no-one wants to watch TV on their computer.” But the profusion of streaming video, podcasts and web series has changed attitudes dramatically in the last couple of years. According to a recent article in the New York Times, more and more people are getting rid of their television and watching their programs online.

To me, this move makes sense. Online gives viewers more options in more locations, and with a wider choice of programs, not all of which are the product of Hollywood. A reasonable analogy would be the trend away from land-lines towards using mobile phones exclusively. There will also be room for living-room content; I for one still have my television, though it’s rapidly becoming more of a peripheral for my Xbox and a dvd-playback device than anything I’d watch actual TV programs on. Especially now that Ive discovered Livestation, which streams BBC World News, Al Jazeera and many other news channels right to my computer.