In the last two weeks I’ve seen three documentaries dealing with communication and networks.
Firstly, a broad and ambitious film from Ericsson, taking on the ‘networked society’ including interviews with David Weinberger, Catarina Fake and Eric Wahlforss.
Each of the interviewees discusses the emerging opportunities being enabled by technology as we enter the Networked Society. Concepts such as borderless opportunities and creativity, new open business models, and today’s ‘dumb society’ are brought up and discussed.
The next film from Nokia brings daily life around networked communication technologies to the forefront, and does it through lovely experiential sequences. However it does come across much more as a branding exercise or promotional piece, and doesn’t offer to explain or explore the practices it shows.
Third is a film by Ben Mendelsohn and Alex Chohlas-Wood about the physical, geographic and material infrastructure that goes into running the internet.
Lower Manhattanâ€™s 60 Hudson Street is one of the worldâ€™s most concentrated hubs of Internet connectivity. This short documentary peeks inside, offering a glimpse of the massive material infrastructure that makes the Internet possible.
There is clearly a need to unpack the increasingly technology-inflected geography, and social and cultural practices of the world we inhabit, so it is good to see films like this being made.
David’s reference to 18 points as the minimum size equates to 18 pixels if you are coming from a web background.
On some iTV projects I have pushed the type down to 16 pixels, but be very careful about colours and contrast, and enquire about the production path to air: if the work is going to be transferred via DV tape, squeezed through an old composite link, or online-edited with high compression, then you might want to leave type as large as possible.
In some cases – such as using white text on a red background – you can add a very subtle black shadow to the type, which will help stop colour bleed and crawling effects. Even if you dislike drop-shadow effects, it will still look flat and lovely on a broadcast monitor.
Safe areas need to be taken with a pinch of salt. The default safe areas in most editing and compositing software date from years ago before the widespread use of modern, widescreen televisions.
Try extending the safe area for non-essential text in interactive projects, and consult broadcaster guidelines for their widescreen policies: many channels now broadcast in 14:9 to terrestrial boxes, and offer options to satellite and cable viewers.
The largest problem is that widescreen viewers often crop the top and bottom of the image by setting their TV to crop 4:3 to 16:9. Some cable/satellite companies remove the left and right of the image to crop 16:9 to 4:3 for non-widescreen viewers, leaving us only a tiny, safe rectangle in the centre of the image to work with.
There are also excellent documents on picture standards from the BBC.
But this is one thing I don’t understand: according to the BBC: “Additional [20 or 26 horizontal] pixels are not taken into account when calculating the aspect ratio, but without them images transferred between systems will not be the correct shape.” Can anyone confirm that this is the case for PAL images?
Mess TV runs every night from around 2am until 12 noon the next day. Television is an effective way of communicating in Norway where the population is distributed evenly across a wide geographical area. The show is used by a variety of communities and individuals needing to connect.
I completely rebranded the show with a visual design that reflected the branding guidelines of TV Norge, refined the SMS and MMS interaction scenarios, and advised on linear broadcast and interactive content.
- The show has a standard layout, similar to other SMS television shows, but with a high attention to detail and clean, compact layout
- clean background colours foregrounds the messy user-generated content
- simple use of fonts and colours to lessen the visual overload of multiple messages
- clear divisions between different areas of content
- MMS pictures can be submitted and displayed as part of competitions or themes
We conducted specific audience analysis on themes and content that generated most interest, and adapted the interface to audience demands.
- Location based services, personalisation and competitions
- MMS video diaries: ability for the audience to submit diaries of community projects or daily life, and to allow for some editorial control over editing and presentation, perhaps through an online interface
Pause: 59 Minutes of Motion Graphics
Type in Motion
The Animator’s Survival Kit
After Effects in Production
Creating Motion Graphics: with After Effects
Sculpting In Time
Time Within Time
Kieslowski on Kieslowski
The Art and Science of Screenwriting
Directing: (Screencraft Series)
First Cut: Conversations with Film Editors
The Director’s Journey: The Creative Collaboration
Film Directing: Shot By Shot
Directing the Film
Making Movies Work: Thinking Like a Filmmaker
Hamlet on the Holodeck
Pause & Effect: The Art of Interactive Narrative
Computers As Theatre
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Interactive Acting: Acting, Improvisation, and Interacting for Audience Participatory Theatre