Monday, January 21, 2013

Small steps and big screens - DPP report

UK readers please note - this DPP is the Digital Production Partnership, not the Director of Public Prosecutions.   This group is the white hatted ones from BBC, ITV, C4 as well as indies and post-houses, getting together to swap stories about digital innovation and generally to push in the direction of open (or at least shared) standards of delivery - primarily to broadcasters.

Last week's meeting in London heard reports from the CES in Las Vegas, as they might impinge on broadcasting and production.   In line with other rumours, it's 4K not 3D: maybe a bit soon for some of us but (personal prejudice view here) camera technology is now leading the way over display technology (let alone transmission/delivery).   Good for high quality of course, and very good for manufacturers of cameras, memory and storage devices, and edit hardware.   The relief is that you can't afford it (the screen, not the camera) yet unless you've got a gold-plated commission.   But it's not going away, and at the moment seems less of a consumer tech blind alley than 3D.

Back in the present-day world of 'standard' HD, the DPP is piloting an app to enable programme delivery by file transfer.   It's more than just sending a .mov on a hard drive:  to be compliant with broadcasters' specs programmes must be delivered with the correct metadata.  In this context, metadata consists of meaningful identifiers of programme technical standards and other production info that will be vital to the broadcasters:  the data equivalent of the tape and programme number on the outside of the box (plus a whole lot more).

The concept is (fairly) simple but how do you go about including the metadata in your delivery:  step forward the DPP's working party, who are offering a free app (Windows or OS X) to do this for you - well at least the packaging up.  It's at Version 1.1 so there may be a way to go, but if you're going to be supplying broadcasters, you need to know this stuff*.   Find the app (or at least the application route for it) here.

If you're in Bristol, the DPP are presenting one of the sessions in the Digital Bristol week (see previous blog post).  Say Phil sent you!

*This may be part one of a series, I realise, with an eye to my 'to do' lists.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

So we are not alone

In a fit of exasperation, after so much of my life was lost in removing 'so' from interview responses, I posted a moan some months ago (here actually).   How gratifying to find I'm not alone (I wasn't then, actually).  Thanks to '' (the home of regional journalism, I read) I've found a super collection of others' pet peeves and annoyances - in this case, what PR companies do to annoy journalists.

The full version, compiled by PR consultancy Twelve Thirty Eight, is here as a pdf.
The initial link and a short summary is here.

My favourite quote (alas, anonymous'):

A special honourable mention went to PRs that preface all verbal
responses with “So”.  “I don’t know where this comes from,” fumed one
technology correspondent. “I suspect San Francisco via Shoreditch, but it’s
worse than nails on a blackboard.

My own theory, after extensive study, is that the Germans may be to blame - the word 'also' in German doesn't mean 'too' but 'therefore' - and seems to perform the same function as 'Er' in English.  Just a theory.

Friday, January 04, 2013

BBC Academy touches down in Bristol

Good day all, and welcome to 2013.  The usual stream of rants and recommendations will start flowing again shortly, but here's some information with a 'Best Before' date.

The good folk of the BBC Academy (or Training as was), in collaboration with the usual suspects in Bristol academe and media groupies, are putting on a week of demos, talks, social events and whatnots called 'Digital Bristol Week'It's all happening at the end of the month (Jan 26th to Feb 1st 2013)

Underselling as usual, the Academy's webpage says:

One of the largest free programmes of events, workshops and panels ever to be held in Bristol is taking place this January in the form of Digital Bristol Week.
The week-long schedule of networking, training and knowledge exchange for the creative industries is being hosted and produced by the BBC Bristol Partnership. 
Each day has a different theme and focus. Events range from presentations on the future of broadcasting to workshops on key skills such as production management, while also taking in technology demonstrations, leadership seminars, social events and much more.

Events are free of charge, and some can be booked already through Eventbrite.

Read all about it here

Work and rehearsals permitting, see you there sometime?