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2nd Unit Television
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Old June 27th, 2006, 11:33 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kang
Recent article in todays Wall Street Journal talks about YouTube and the amount of video viewed on it. Over 60,000 clips are submitted everyday and over 70 million clips are viewed on You Tube. Competition has caused the website My Space to ban You Tube until it's users complained so much that they brought it back, along with their own content streaming program right after.
less competion for a professionaly produced product, but you'll also start
Hey John.
Just because MySpace, YouTube and such serve millions of people it doesn't mean that that account to anything. I was in the middle of the high-tech industry during the Netscape craze and the .com bubble. This is another one of those. Remember that Amazon didn't make any money of its own for years and years. YouTube can give 2nd Unit more exposure but to whom? We don't want to show this to everybody. The show is for a very targeted audience: aspiring film makers. We toss this inside YouTube and it goes together with "Americas Funniest Animals", bad karaoke tapes and the like. And what we gain? Nothing. Also, the quality of those videos is way substandard. That is one of the reasons why I made a specific clause for CruiserCast, my Vodcast, that makes the video freely distributable but prohibits people to post it on YouTube, Google video etc.
The WSJ did not see the .com bubble and there are plenty of so-called financial analysts that are totally clueless when it comes to high-tech and new techno trends. It's not a coincidence that a good chunk of the movie business has been ruined by he lawers and accountants that seem t be running the studios nowadays.
We are going to add a Vodcast version of the show and we will publish it in the iTunes music store asap.

Just my $0.02 :)

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Old June 27th, 2006, 12:54 PM   #77
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As long as the criticism is constructive, John, it's always welcome at 2nd Unit. Do our feelings get hurt when someone denigrades our work here? Of course because we care so much about what we're trying to bring to the independent filmmaking community; a community that is a family, a poor family compared to its rich Uncles the studios but a family none the less. If the criticism is constructive, we look for the validity in it and employ it in future efforts. If it's simply meant to attack, then its simply dismissed out ofg hand and forgotten. There will always be individuals out there who for some strange reason feel it necessary to belittle people on this and other boards, attacking them personally under cover and protection of the Internet as if it somehow makes them look bigger. Actually, it's simply cowardly and, in the end, they'll reap the rewards of their actions. We're just doing our best to bring professional insight and information to the independent filmmaking community and trying to give its members what they want instead of what we think they want. And that's what separates us from the vast majority of the sites and the magazines and the other media out there. I mean, what other site do you know of that asks so many time of its viewers, "What do you want to see? Who do you want to talk to?"


The bottom line is this, John. We want your constructiuve criticism and any recommendation that can bring in revenue from sources other than our members to off-set the cost of doing this is welcomed. But as for the recommended business models, I don't want passers-by taking up expensive bandwidth because they have nothing better to do with their time than cruise the web looking for content that they can soak up for free and provide nothing in return. Our prime objective is to provide information, education and advice on filmmaking to the independenmt filmmaking community; things that the average filmmaker would never see, hear or know if not for 2nd Unit. Paolo's right this time. It's an exceedingly targeted audience which is going to be kept targeted and thus the small monthly fee; a cost that's insignificant compared to what we're providing the viewer IMHO. Let's look at the recent CineGear. Even though you could download your pass for "Free", there's simply no getting around the fact that there was a cost to attend. Even if it was only 10 miles from your house, round trip it took you 1 gallon of gas to get there and back. That's about $3.25. But when you got there, you got to see a bunch of cool stuff, ask a bunch of questions and see some icons of the movie world on the stage talking and answering questions. Then, when you left the pannel discussion, you were hungry so a burger and drink was $7. Then, if you're anythng like me, you bought something there. Now, add the wear and tear on your car, the time in transit and everything that a business model has to take into consideration even down to the wear and tear on your tennies walking the circuit, the soiling of your shirt and pants that have to be washed when you get home, it could go on and on but you get the point. All of a suddent when you take everything into account, that the "Free" trip to CineGear wasn't really free at all. It was at least $3.25 and more likely like $25. Now compare that with a month of 2nd Unit. We have George Dibie, Laszlo Kovacs, Rob Kositchek, Rodney Charters, Jody Eldridge David Leitner and a dozen others scheduled to appear on the show. We're reviewing things like Sony, Panavision, Tiffin and a dozen other manufacturers who are going to appear and discuss their prodcuts. We have people like Dr. Steve Mullen to go over his 300+ page book on the 100HD and excplain things that might be a little over my head at least. We have disounts avauilable at major cine stores because you're a member here. Add it all up and there's plenty of reason for members to pay something like $5 or a gallon and a half of fuel to access the site. We're not getting rich of this, believe me. The fee is to do two things; 1) help offset the cost of producing the content and 2) keep passers-by from hogging the bandwidth and leaving nothing in return. That's it. We're not making "Gone With the Wind" or "Apocalypse Now". That's the responsibility of our guests. We're simply giving the viewer to see, hear and feel what it's like to be on set with NCIS through DP Jody Eldrige for example. So please, keep the constructive criticism coming in but remember, the prime objective of 2nd Unit is simply to be a conduit from Hollywood directors, DPs, gaffers and the like straight to you. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:06 PM   #78
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Jonathan, did you ever get a chance to watch the Screen Savers on TechTV? It was a computer show that did exactly what you are trying to accomplish- They brought you how to's, product comparisons, and interviews with software, hardware, and other developers. They also had a fun, entertaining format, with just a little eyecandy.

They also bolstered viewership with contests and give aways. And you know us geeks, we'll do backflips for swag ;)
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:27 PM   #79
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That's precisely one of the things we're working on now and, quite frankly, the more positive feed back we receive, (and I'm not subporning perjury, I want to know exactly what everyone thinks truthfully so we can make it what you want) the easier it will be to get the stuff to contest away. Jody Eldridge and I were talking about the 168 contest and doing that here for JVC owners...ok others can enter too... and giving away things that should be in every filmmakers bag. Give me some suggestions.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:44 PM   #80
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You want suggestions? I gots your suggestions... You are doing a show on filters with Tiffen, right? If Tiffen is a sponser, get them to give you a set of filters (Which probably cost them $20 to make) and use them as a demo. At the end of the show, you select a name from the list of viewers, and send them the filters. Got a show dealing with warm cards? Same deal. And t shirts go over well too. And some of those light pens Chris Hurd was giving out too! It doesn't have to be extravegant. We're easy ;)
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:54 PM   #81
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As to the LitePanels units, I spoke with Jaime and he said the following, "They're not cheap. Technology today is expensive when its the best and as more and more studios are discovering, LitePanels are the best out there. Let's look at Flourescents vs Litepanels. No heat and low power are similar but with Litepanels fully dimmable 0-100% you get virtually no color shift. The flos, however, are dimmable maybe 30% with flickering issues as well as huge color shifts to green."

"With Litepanels, there's no bulb changing with an average of 100,000 hrs of life or about 16 years. The flos average about 500-3000 hrs but usually last a fraction of that 1) because they get broken easily and 2) from the moment they are clicked on, they begin dying and that dying alters their optical values relative to changing color during their life. Most noticeably, if you change one bulb and not the others you will have different color temps so you will have to correct them thus developing different light outputs."

Another issue or challenge with Kino type technology that I've noticed and I have to tell you I've produced enough and been on enough set to see this is lack of projection in Kino lights. Don't get me wrong, I like the Kinos in certain circumstances but for example their ringlight projects up to 3 feet whereas Litepanels Ringlite will project 30+ feet! Add to that the part the e-crew hates, weight. Kino type units have ballasts that have to be used to power units whereas Litepanels can be powered from any battery from 9-30V, 100-240V AC anywhere around the world even off cigarette lighters in cars. All this equates to quick set-up and rigging for example a car shot can be rigged in about 2 minutes as oppossed to 20-40minutes for mini kino type units that don't project! We've used the mini's as eye and brow lights for drivers by attaching (read: gaff-taped!) to the headliner, windshield area and for police lights by gelling a mini w/ red and placing directly befind the driver's head. I've used them as an assist to a practical when I've had a character sitting at a computer in a darkened room like CTU and need to maintain the dark ambience but illumninate the character. I've used them as hair and hi-lites to add texture through glow on individual hairs to a character. You'd be surprised to see the difference between a simple angle shot of a woman without the hair light and adding a mini at a 45 degree angle above and behind a woman's head shining down onto her hair. (Caution! Do not do this with a Telly Savalas character!) I've used them off-camera to cast what appears to the audience to be a window's light on a wall behind a character. I've used them to deepen the shadows on a villian's face to make them seem more ominous and I've used them to brighten the sparkle in the eyes of a fanciful (for lack of a beter word) model just off-lens. (See this week's show Part 2 with George Dibie and the model we use. Look at her eyes.) IMHO, the mini is an indispensable lighting tool and I'm hopeing to get LitePanels to donate one for a contest we're putting together. Most of all, I'd ask Warren Shultz what he thinks of his.

I want to make it clear that I'm not selling Lite Panels over Kino or anything else that works which is why I wanted Jaime to ring in on this post. It's, from my perspective and pocket book, a good investment because we do enough production that the LitePanels save us alot and I mean alot of money through time and labor alone not to mention breakage.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:56 PM   #82
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Okee Dokee. I'll call Tiffen when we finish this week's lens special and see what Sandie the CIC says.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:57 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Ames
things that should be in every filmmakers bag. Give me some suggestions.
- A day on the set of 24. Watch whatever you want to but stay out of the way.

- A DSC Labs chart. We need one, but at $300+ it's probably not first on the list. Actually, I bet you could swing a bulk discount for the group here if you profiled their product and how to use it.

- just about any accessory, batteries, lighting. Many are expensive but anyone who is getting gear reviewed would pony up gear and/or short term discounts for viewers.

Here's a show suggestion that to me is probably most critical:
Get distributors who specialize in movies with budgets under $250k. What are they looking for, what genres work and what don't, what kind of money should a filmmaker expect to make back and how long will it take to get that money.

If a distributor's Son in Law wanted to make a movie in this category how would the distributor tell them to proceed? Frankly, I'm skeptical of distributors because I know their job is to get the most favorable deal they can from a filmmaker. Then they can drop your film in favor of the next new cool thing and there's nothing you can do because they have the rights for the next 7 years or so.

These guys have 50 DVD's on their desk at any given time and they might want to deal with one or two. Which ones and why? Can they point to examples we can go rent that have been financially successful for the filmmaker?

You may want to split TV vs. Movie into different shows. You could subdivide those into genres and budgets. Frankly, there's nothing I'd rather pay for than this info. There are a ZILLION books, videos and websites on technique. And I've already got them. I don't want to pay for product reviews unless I'm positive they are totally unbiased and products get RIPPED for what's not right about them. At that point dealing directly with manufacturers gets tougher.

But the business side is changing everyday. You could have a totally different price structure for that info. I'd pay $100 a month if I knew I'd get a constant update of the market. What's hot and what's not. Indie filmmakers can react much more quickly to trends than Hollywood can. So we should. :-)
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Old June 27th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #84
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Is this a great group or what! This is what I mean by a family. Great suggestions. OK, here's the deal. It's my site and I make the rules and pay the bills. So Joel, First Prize goes to you for the greatest response to me saying, "Tell me what you want and 2nd Unit will deliver". Tell me what Tiffin filter you want and you just won it. We don't have a deal with Tiffin; this is coming out of my own pocket but they did give me a couple dozen filters to look at so we're doing a short selection of filter reviews for you this week. And again, we call it as we see it. Some changes we saw were subtle while some were dramatic. I'm not paying or asking anyone else to pay for a "subtle" filter unless the change really works and makes a difference in their film. So, the reviews will recommend some of their filters and not others because I can't see using a $150 filter that's distinguishable on a 50 foot screen if your viewers more than likely will be seeing your films on a monitor or TV. Now if its an HDTV or if you are doing a feature for the big screen, that's different and we'll tell you when they make a difference on HDTVs and should be used on the big screen. And that pretty much goes to your statement, "I don't want to pay for product reviews unless I'm positive they are totally unbiased and products get RIPPED for what's not right about them". That's what 2nd Unit is all about. I just ducked in on Paolo doing the filters comparisons for this week's show and I think you'll like them! And before you ask, NO, what you see is what you get. There's NO correcting and they're all shot on-set as you'll see with equipment in full view of the "B" cameras that did the testing while the others rolled on the movie.

So, we'll do our part and you do yours. We'll think up the Innaugural 2nd Unit Filmmakers' Contest and have it for you by tomorrow and I'll put up the First Prize myself which is, since I'm such an advocate of better filmmaking and an ardent supporter of the DSC Labs chart, a $325 CamAligh Front Box Series HD Standard. That means you do your part and that's to spread the word about 2nd Unit.tv to get the contestants we need outside of the JVC 100HD forum. I pretty much never venture outside these walls because I simply don't have the time to. But if we're going to do this, if you're gonna make suggestions like that and throw the gauntlet down, we're gonna do it together and we're gonna do it right with enough contestants that people don't have a one-in-five chance of winning. You get enough people's shorts in here to where there's a real contest and we'll put up the cash and design the contest. How's that sound, bucko?!?!?!
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Old June 27th, 2006, 04:45 PM   #85
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How about down and dirty tips from the veterens? Like 1,001 emergency uses for gaffers tape? What tool is a must have? How to hang a light in hard to hang places? Sort of like, when you blow a fuse on a motorcycle, you can wrap it in the foil from a cigarette pack. Only video related :)
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Old June 27th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Ames
Tell me what Tiffin filter you want and you just won it.

Wow, that's awesome. Thanks! I'm going to have to watch Paolo's demo very closely. I'll email you when I choose. Thanks again :-)
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Old June 28th, 2006, 05:23 AM   #87
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Jonathan, Paolo

So what about the interviews I suggested with some of the members of DVinfo, as I suggested?

Also like to add Nicolas Bartleet. He has done some wonderful work with a FX-1 and homemade 35 adapter for professional work.

P.S. about You Tube, I didn't mean sharing your video on sites such as You Tube or other, just meant a similar format of revenue generation, which I believe BrightCove is better for. (Just to make this clear, I am not saying go this route but that this was just a suggestion.)

However, it might be good to send out teasers on sites such as You Tube, My Space, Google Video, to market your site. Think of it as free advertising. They pay for the bandwidth, as Paolo mentioned, and you get the subscriptions.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #88
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I think other interview ideas are great and if you would like to see them, we can do that. There are challenges with this, however, becasue I don't know anything about them or what they do and I say that with, again, all the respect due them. Chris whom I've only met once briefly lives in Texas, I don't know DSE nor a Jim from Red nor most of the people on this board except those few with whom I converse and have worked. The people I deal with daily are typically from above and below the line of the the production side of the industry. These are really two different worlds that we're trying to bring together. So if you know some of these people and what they bring to the viewership, we'd be delighted to bring them into the programming.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 12:40 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kang
P.S. about You Tube, I didn't mean sharing your video on sites such as You Tube or other, just meant a similar format of revenue generation, which I believe BrightCove is better for. (Just to make this clear, I am not saying go this route but that this was just a
Hey John.
Didn't mean to jump on my sandbox ;), it's been a pretty busy week with very long hours. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman
Jonathan, did you ever get a chance to watch the Screen Savers on TechTV? It was a computer show that did exactly what you are trying to accomplish. They brought you how to's, product comparisons, and interviews with software, hardware, and other developers. They also had a fun, entertaining format, with just a little eyecandy.)
In the beginning I loved the show. But, as time went by, the show became downright silly. After Leo left, the show had no technical content at all.

I know Jonathan will not let that happen. He's commited to increasing our understanding of technology so that folks can be better at their craft. Deep understanding is the key to folks moving into positions with greater creative responsibility.

Being able to "push the right button at the right time" will enable one to get a "job" and make money -- but building a life-long "career" requires constant learning. 2nd Unit will be providing you that opportunity. In a field where the fundamentals keep changing every few years -- this is a great service to the community. Contratulations on your first episode!
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