OMM Media Hysteria

26/10/2008

So 2,000 hardy and experienced fell runners toook part in the OMM. The weather was so bad it was feared that many of them were stranded overnight on the hill. For the national news reporters the most fearful thing about the whole event was that none of the runners had a mobile phone to call for help.  Every participant survived overnight, despite having no mobile phone, because they were very well prepared for the task they had embarked upon.

The next day, 6 participants were winched off by the MR teams and all the rest got down under their own steam. So far we have no evidence that they couldn’t have got off under their own steam. No participant interviewed has said it was badly organised. But already the news bulletins are proclaiming there are many question marks over whether it will happen again.

Is it possible the journalists have over-reacted, being unused to people who enjoy challenge and are grown up enough to decide on risk for themselves?


Whiteboard video clips issues

23/10/2008

I’m making video to be used in classrooms, specifically for the whiteboard. Whiteboards aren’t the same as TV or computer screens. This has good and bad implications for making video clips. The worst factor is how drab a lot of video looks in a lot of classroom situations. This useful technology can be less than compelling in the wrong lighting conditions. What looks marvellous illuminated on a desktop in optimum lighting conditions can be washed out, indistinct or muddy on the big screen, particularly compared to the sharpness and clarity of a flash animation. Over the coming months we will try to solve this problem in shooting new videos for whiteboards. 

 Shooting factors include lighting, film effects, choice of locations, sound, and recording format. We aged old crone movie makers love our arty film lighting but that won’t wash on whiteboards. The director, design team and camera crews will be considering how we can avoid this pitfall, improve the picture quality and avoid any white- or black-outs of the type that can apear in typically artistic scenes. We’ll also see what benefits shooting on HD will bring.

 Classroom factors are outside our control. They include use of projectors, classroom blinds and other ambient light controls, speaker quality and seating arrangements for viewing. We have to assume the video will be seen under the worst classroom conditions.

This is an old problem also. In the past it was poor quality TVs with tinny speakers, 30 kids clustered round a wheel-in telly. No curtains in the classrooom. But in some ways. we’re still there with badly lit and set up whiteboards.