Rating the videography of TV

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Existential Angst, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Awl --

    It might be interesting and useful to discuss what people think of
    "standard" pieces of TV work, video-wise.

    Iow, just *how well* is stuff done out there, that most viewers might be
    familiar with?

    I'm thinking pop-TV type stuff, without the super-special effects:
    Charlie Rose, various infomericals (Oreck, Bowflex/Total Gym/P90X, Billy
    Mays stuff, the old Carlton Sheets real estate stuff, cooking gadgets, etc),
    PBS's fund-raising stuff (Amen, Dwyer, Ed Slot (the finance guy), the oh-so
    annoying Progressive Ins spots, etc.

    Michael Jacksons Thriller, I think one of the most expensive music videos,
    gets a 10, for a variety of reasons.
    But ito of pure camera work, I don't know that it is fundamentally that much
    different than, say, P90X, which seems to me to be pretty well done, albeit
    without pyrotechnics.

    How bout these rap videos?? Some of those seem pretty sophisticated,
    content notwithstanding -- a little booty-oriented, but still sophisticated.

    Maybe some insights into some of the visual details that separate so-so from
    good from great videography would help.
    And this, visavis the editing process: How much can editing help crappy

    Examples that are familiar to most would be helpful. And some general
    insights into how a DIY-er might approximate some of that quality would be
    super helpful.

    Yeah, I know, fixed cameras are not a great start..... :)
    But, I've watched the P90X stuff in some detail (the program itself, not
    just the infomercial), and there are I think two roving cameras, in a
    tight-ish space, but I'll bet there are at least 3 fixed cameras as well.
    I'll re-view the program, see if I can tell for sure.
    Existential Angst, Sep 25, 2010
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  2. Existential Angst

    Don Stauffer Guest

    What drives me up the wall is the mixing of aspects I see on broadcast
    tv. O see things that were obviously shot with 16x9 cameras displayed
    as 4:3! People look like comic book figures or something from a
    political cartoon. I see a few narrow screen shots displayed in wide
    screen format but not nearly as much. Anyway, it doesn't seem to me it
    is asking too much for the engineers at the stations to sort this stuff out.
    Don Stauffer, Sep 26, 2010
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  3. I guess I'll contribute to myself here.... LOL!!!

    Apropos of SW's very thoughtful excellent responses to my fixed camera Q's,
    this notion came up:

    That it can be hard for the *untrained* viewer to distinguish between so-so
    videography and great videography, depending on what the *content* is. The
    proof of this is youtube stuff -- heh, webcams indeed! -- with millions of
    hits having most often to do with sex, or some with hot babes doing
    half-assed fitness, parkour or free-style running (very impressive stuff!!),
    "World's _____ -est " shows, police footage, etc.

    Iow, content seemingly can render the technical fairly moot.

    Even TV commercials get a very high FQ (forgiveness quotient) for stuff not
    particularly well done, because of humor/content. Altho not included in the
    OP here, if computer graphics/pyrotechnics were to be included, the E-trade
    baby comes to mind -- hilarious stuff, but with obvious glitches.

    In fact, along these lines, altho SW pointed out that enormous staff exists
    for stuff like Kate+8 (which my stomach won't lete my watch, and I've
    tried), I think it's safe to say it's not up there with any Oscar-nominated
    films, technically.

    Which is, fwiu, PRECISELY one of the main reasons RealityTV is being shoved
    down the Public's throat, cuz cost-wise (SAG + equipment+etc), Reality stuff
    is 1/100th -- poss. LESS -- the cost of even a sit-com!! Perhaps of even
    just one salary on a sit-com!!

    In fact, the latest movie being hyped (by Will Farrel, sumpn about a Still a
    Virgin) is essentially a 2-hour Reality ditty, but with more of a plot.
    Sasha Cohen's stuff (Da Ali G show, Borat, etc), is another example of stuff
    that seems a little technically rough, getting great acclaim.

    Perhaps "technical roughness", in certain contexts, is its own pastiche,
    Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm is perhaps a perfect example of this.
    CYE is famous for being mostly ad-libbed along "index card notes", altho no
    doubt with better ad libbing and better-formulated index cards than what
    I'll ever do/use -- altho CYE does use roving cameras.... :) :)

    CYE, imo, was GENIUS co-existing with rough technical exterior. CYE
    ECLIPSES anything Seinfeld ever did in his over-paid and over-rated life --
    a show about nothing, indeed. But proly technically perfect, eh??
    Before I die, I will buy two things: The complete Da Ali G series (in
    England as well), and the complete CYE series.

    So the argument I'm making is that content CAN, from a youtube "hit" or
    Nielsen pov, eclipse the technical.

    Heh, for my sake, I hope I'm right. If rough is charm, I'll be one charming

    Existential Angst, Sep 26, 2010
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