Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Making “Cool Stuff” media things

Many years ago, I went to many/most/all of the Multimedia Conferences at the start of this “zero trillion dollar business” (Steve Jobs words). Many trips to San Jose.  It was exciting actually. All those trade show booths with huge explosions looping on PC monitors like it was all a Hollywood Blockbuster.

Rather more to it than recording and producing a synthesiser based album, for example.

Combining sound and text and moving images and making cool new things.  Now, for a brief time there was Myst and a few other cool game things. But that seems to have mostly fallen by the way side and games like “Call Of Duty”, “Assassin's Creed”  or “Grand Theft Auto”  seem to be what it multimedia evolved into.  Kind of interactive button mashing movies.

And the technology behind it that we now have easy access too, is pretty much desktop video, 3D graphics and sound editing. Pretty amazing really, but they are just tools,  that are free or cheap and run on any PC you can buy.  Top end versions of these things are now what Hollywood uses.

I was inspired. So with these great tools, or cheap versions of them, I have tried over the years making “media things” and releasing them. To see if anything stuck.   Short answer: "not  much".

Back in the early days of Quicktime I did some stop frame animated puppets and space craft things (that I also physically sculpted and fabricated) and put it all

together using Premier, a sound editor, MicroLogic and a Roland D110 sythesiser.

 I ended up being in an episode of a Japanese TV program called “Super Modeller” about the making of them. But that wasn't what I was trying to achieve.

Skip forward 15 years and we have some 24 music tracks on SoundCloud and 32 videos on YouTube. BUT, only 2 of the YouTube videos are attempts at short little Animated entertainment things  I originally envisioned.

This one on Race Car Aerodynamics

And this one on Race Car Turbocharging

These “ The History of Cool Stuff” clips combine some limited talking head animation, a funny voice and script, original background music and “blackboard & chalk” like illustrations showing the development of something.

Kind of a Podcast but with moving images, but not a talking head video. A really low cost , low overhead cartoon that a single person can do in a short period of time. And by short I mean one day. Much simplified over what I thought I or anyone else would do, but basically it is a lot of work even with great tools.

I have a rather long lists of topics I could cover, but after making just two, I didn't think it was worth the effort.

And you think maybe there should be some point to this rambling?

I always wonder if some different combination of promotion, celebrity, quality, technique, production and all the other things that go into making something like this would work better. And if so, what?

......They haven’t been a viral success…. so we try something else...

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