Friday, March 23, 2012

Weekend Viewing suggestion

The organisers of last month's trade show, BVE London, have now posted a selection of the seminar videos online for free viewing.   One in particular I recommend - though maybe save it for a workday!  'Why are we still not tapeless' asks Mark Harrison, (aka controller of production at BBC North).   It's the same Mark Harrison who heads up the Digital production partnership (mentioned at the last wefcpug in passing) and he's a good, engaging speaker.
Like many of us in small independent production, you may be thinking this question is a bit last-year, if not last-decade, but as Mark himself admits, there have been several stumbling-blocks over the path to a fully tapeless TV production, especially at the far end, the delivery to the broadcaster.   Some things, it seems, just don't scale well from small indie to big broadcaster.   If you collect buzz-words, they all appear:  metadata, essence, deep archiving - but this is not a dry technical talk.
If you haven't considered the matter yet, or don't even know what's coming, the first couple of minutes will get you hooked, I'm sure.
The video is low-res by today's standards for online, and the camerawork is the expected compromise that comes from the constraints of a live trade-show presentation.  But the audio is considerably better than another seminar that I attended in person (this one I missed, thanks to First Great Western) and you'll gain a couple of insights too into what life must be like in the BBC's new Salford HQ.
You'll also gain insight into what sort of person gets to be a controller of production:  though I must confess that I have no idea whatsoever what a controller of production actually does.
Views welcome at the wefcpug
Link for menu page here
Direct link to video here
(Sorry, nasty .aspx links - you may need plugins.   You may not even be able to play.   Worked fine for me on Firefox / chrome browsers in Snow Leopard / Lion)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tech show in Bristol 22nd March

There's still time to register (and why wouldn't there be - it's a trade show, they want your business!) for the latest tech show to hit our part of the world.   Following gigs in Glasgow, Manchester and Cardiff, the 'looklistenexperience' circus opens for one day only at Ashton Gate stadium on the outskirts of town.   The show is put together by dealers/renters Visual Impact and mag/commercial website tv-bay so the kit will be topical and relevant to all budgets, especially the high ones.   There's a seminar programme too - details and online registration (for free) at

It's on the 22nd of March, that's tomorrow as I write.  Had I not been struck down with the flu, more notice would have been given.   See that - two subjunctives, one of which the pluperfect conditional?  I must be recovering.

Presently, let me add:  if your scribe is out of his fever ward, he'll see you there!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Nothing to see here, move along please...

That wasn't entirely the reaction of wefcpug scouts at the February BVE in London, but let's say a dominant flavour in the mix.   Entirely new products, whether cameras, storage boxes or apps, were hard to find - the mood seemed to be one of incremental change this year, no big surprises.   Or maybe everyone is waiting for NAB.   There were crowds for sure, especially for the Adobe and Avid talks on the day I went, and even the talk on 'Is 100Mbits enough' drew a healthy crowd.   (Reader, I was one of them).

One area that does seem to be booming is trade mags - I counted another 4 titles new to me.   How can they all survive?   I'll write up a quick consumer guide to these prosumer guides in the next day or so.  (Yeah. Promises, promises).

Otherwise the March wefcpug had the treat of a demo of multi-cam cutting in FCP-X (at last!) from Richard, and a report from meself on the digital production partnership forum in London last week.  More on this in another post, too.

The next meeting will be on April 2nd - as usual, all welcome.  Expect reminders to be few and last minute!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

March is here already! Next meet tomorrow

The next meeting of the wefcpug is on Monday March 5th, BBC Bristol, 7-pm onwards.  As y'all know if you were at the February meeting, we agreed to hold Richard's demo of multicam in FCP X over until the next meeting, whilst we continued to discuss the intricacies of the video quality/compression problem that Tim brought to the table, and to allow Richard time to learn all about multicam.

I'll be reporting on last week's 'Digital Production Partnership' forum, and we'll all be reporting on last month's BVE.