Remember that first tweetup?

Here we have @sizemore speaking about why he organised the first London tweetup. I will upload some of the other interviews soon but I’m just checking the player embedding first

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This morning whilst tweeting with Fahran Rehman we decided that we would like to organise a twitter event in London with a difference. Twestival and twinterval are great ideas but we’re thinking of doing something over a period of two days that would be like a podcamp but over two days and we need your ideas to make it worthwhile.

Already we have 27 people on facebook interested in the project and another 6 so far on tweetcamp. It would take place in London in the not too distant future normally. The reason for it taking place in London is that there are over 10,000 twitter users theoretically based in London already so we might expect at least two to three hundred to come along to participate.

If you’re interested in participating then put your name down and let’s get the project underway and see how much interest we can gather.

On twestival

The first tweetup I went to saw a crowd of no more than sixty people. The twestival had many more. Enough to fill the Doon club. So many new faces but not many new people to follow. It’s fun to see how big the London twitter community has become.

The usual people were there, sizemore, loudmouthman, documentally, danacea weaverluke and a few new faces like digitalmaverick, amandita, Poppyd and a few more people. Some video was shot of the event but I’m not sure by when they’ll go up. There was no wifi so no opportunity to do some live streaming.

At the same time I’m thinking it’s time for a plurk up of the same scale, since for the moment there are so few people.

Now it’s time for Tuttle.

The drive home – My 400th post

Last night’s drive was amazing. It’s just the type of drive you want to have. It starts in the middle of the afternoon as a friend helps you load the car and you set off for a 900 kilometer drive. At the beginning you have to deal with London traffic/congestion. After this you’ve got part of the m20 that’s closed so you need to take a slip road. As I got into France I was welcomed by a lot of snow coming straight at me, like the windows screensaver from a decade ago. That meant I couldn’t really drive as fast as I wanted. Still made good time. For most of the journey the road was fine.The part I really loved is when I got off the motorway to go via the Jura. At this point it wasn’t snowing too much but as I progressed up the slopes and let the Garmin Nuvi 250 guide me along the path so I saw a little snow, and it started to stick. As I drove I had to stay awake and battle with the ever present threat of loss of adherence. That was the fun part of the drive. The road was covered in a thin layer of snow and people were driving more slowly. At moments I was chasing a snowplow across the mountains as it was salting the roads.At other moments there was no snow plow and I lost traction two or three times but kept the car in control. I occasionaly thought that I wouldn’t make it up the hills but I did, and I loved the view. The trees were covered in snow and they were lit by the grand phare. It’s memories from childhood. I’m glad I’ve spent so much time playing in car parks covered in snow to learn how the car behaved.At five in the morning the last thing you want to learn is how to drive in snow. Luckily I do.It made a nice transition from the student life I’ve been living over the past three years and the job seeking following that. I wanted the drive to be a transition from one phase in my life to the next. Now I’m  an employed graduate who’s working in Switzerland as of next Monday. This next chapter of my life should be fun.  

Twitter – Forget individuals, follow their community instead

For you to understand what people are talking about on twitter there is one thing you should know. When you follow Dacort, Loudmouthman, loic Lemeur, Jeff Pulver or many other people including me you’ve got to follow those that they are talking to as well as those that are listening. By this I mean that twitter is not about individuals so much as community.

If I spend the morning speaking to the English community then there are many names that will appear again and again. In so doin you’re going to be curious to see who’s on the other end. As a result of this you may decide to follow one person, then another and it continues. Over a period of days you may start following a dozen or more, people, maybe even hundreds.

As two people follow two others so the six degrees of seperation comes into force. I have links into the London, Geneva and Paris community for example (in terms of face to face meetings) and many more people via online conversations. What this means is simple. If you follow the right core f people you’ve got easy access to some influential people. In fact you may be one of them without realising it.

If twitter is simply about what you’re up to then that’s quite a restricted way of using twitter. To get the most out of twitter you have to find a good community and add it’s members. In so doing you can participate in some really interesting conversations. I’m within the social media conversation at the moment but over time as more groups participate so the conversation should be tailored to your needs. If you see someone @ another member see whether you can add that person too. Twitter is about the community, not individuals.

the tapeless workflow – Videoforum

The tapeless workflow is a term used to describe video production without the use of tapes. That is to say that from the point the material is recorded in camera to the point it is distributed it never changes from being data. In other words television production has become a profession of data managment as some would say.

A few production companies came to give demonstrations of their tapeless workflow system, at least in broad terms. Red Bee and Virgin Media showed how they have collaboratively brought the post production process to being a tapeless one. In order to do this good networking capability is needed and so is storage. They had to digitise over 40,000 tapes as well as face many more challenges.

Some of these challenges have to do with meta data. Everyone is used to dealing with tapes. you shoot your material, you label it for post production and then store them for later use. When dealing with data though the mentality is different. Some productions have shot straight to P2 cards, backed up the day’s shoots to external P2 hard drives before sending them from China to London for example. Of course when doing this everyhting must be planned ahead.

Part of this planning has to do with the compatibility between recording format and editing. If you get this wrong then you either don’t get the quality you were looking for or you slow down the process. That was part of a case study between Panasonic and two of it’s camera’s during a shoot in China.

The second example was between Red Bee Media and Virgin Media in relation to the creative Village. The idea is that when the material is ingested by Red Bee media it’s saved to a central server from which it can be accessed by a number of workstations, from transcribing to tapelogging, editing and producer’s work stations. it also has to be available in two buildings.

There are a number of advantages to this workflow. The first is that the work is available to the producers when they have the time to check the material rather than when everyone has ten free minutes. As a result the editor can edit a rough cut and a number of producers at up to two hundred workstations may check the edit and say whether they like it. If they don’t then it’s quick to make any changes that are required. It also means that there’s far less mess and expensive equipment is not tied up.

When you’re working on post production dubbing to tape used to take a lot of time, real time and with DVD it’s quickly a messy affair. Files in an edit folder are far easier to deal with.

I really like the idea o the tapeless workflow and i’m going to work on that for my own work, first with affordable equipment and then work my way towards more fun alternatives. It’s what we expect. No more ingestion time, no more dubbing time, just straight editing, agreement and finally output to a number of formats. Of course that’s not as easy as it sounds but post production companies are working on making this a smoother process.

playing with the new macbook air

As I write this I’m playing with the new macbook air and already i-ve twittered and seesmiced from it. The keyboard is fine and the user interface is good. The only idiotic thing is the mouse button is far too small. I don-t see the point of such a thin slither of a mouse.  Now how many people are envious of me testing a macbook air? Now to test the multicontrols 🙂 update: Can’t test the multicontrols. Haven’t put any pics on so can’t test that feature. What a shame. update 2: The multifinger image manipulation is really fun. Everyone should try it. Turn it. Flip it. zoom in, edit, move over a little, more manipulation. I like it. Wait for the tech on some of the higher spec machines though. It’s got some nice technology. 

The London Videoforum – Cameras

From the 30th of January to the 1st of February 2008 the VideoForum event was held at Earl’s Court in London so that Television and video professionals may meet and talk in a number of conferences, seminars and tutorials as well as on stands. During this time I got to see what were the major trends in the video producing environment in London and England as a whole.


Two Red Cameras were on the Showroom floor yesterday, one owned by  Decodeuk and the other I am not sure about. It’s a nice camera in that it can shoot 2 to 4K but the price to rent per day is very high at the moment. It’s a technician’s camera rather than a cameraman’s camera.

Other camers that I saw and thought of interest were the Canon XH A1 which is a beautiful camera and all the controls are in the right place. Two drawbacks are that it seems to record in interlace and that it’s only tape based. If it recorded to hard disk i would seriously think of getting it. The second camera was the Panasonic HVX-200 because the controls are directly accessible from the body of the camera rather than sub menues. It’s interesting because it records as well to P2 cards as to tape so there’s the option of both. The PMW EX-1 XDCAM is another really nice camera. I’m fond of Sony cameras and this is one of the nicer ones. With the ability to take two two XDCAM EX flash cards it has a potential of around 32 Gigabytes. The Flash cards are small therefore easier to deal with and carrying spares should be good.

What I love about these three cameras as well as others is that they’re small as people move towards towards a new filming mentality. Of course you can go for the Sony F23, the F900 or others but these are small. Most of their size is due to the lens rather than the interior mechanism and they’re hand held rather than shoulder mounted. The VX1-E and subsequent cameras were great for shooting and once more these cameras are being made to create cameras that are very appealing to those that shoot video the same way as I do.

The Social Media Morning

I went to the Social Media Coffee event this morning and met quite a few of the usual people including Deek, Sizemore, Londonfilmgeek and others. I got to know a few more twitter users a little better and that’s where I stayed for part of the morning.

I’ve been networking a lot over the past few days and I think i need some time to think about all the new options. It’s good to get to these events and talk to people. Quite a few people are interested in twitter and because I’m edging so close to the 15,000 tweet mark they’re quite curious to know my thoughts on the topic. People are actually interested both in what twitter is and how twitter works. Over the months I have acquired a respectable amount of knowledge and people are starting to seek it which is great.

That’s just one aspect of the Social Media cafe I saw today but there is one thing that’s going to change.

If no one objects to it I will begin to record the conversations as they go on and edit a summary to make available both via the London Social Media Cafe website for people to consult and keep up to date. I am in discussion with Jeff Pulver of PulverTV to see about covering the London side of Social media so if you know of any events that may be of interest let me know so that I may organise coverage if it’s relevant.

The Digital Media Project – Summary

Two nights ago I got an invite from a friend at Kendra inviting me to come to the Friday session of this event. The event was held at Queen Mary University in London. The first session of the morning was to tell us more about the Digital Media project. The talk was given by Leonardo Chiariglione.

What I found interesting about this project and this movement is that it’s looking at the need for DRM as a good thing. It believes that there should be DRM but that media should be free to operate from one platform to another. At the moment we can have itunes, realplayer real and other devices and it’s confusing, even for those who live and breath the media.

They want to create a uniform standard that can be played from all platforms on all devices whilst at the same time protecting the rights both of the user and of the media active. He spoke about a standard of theirs which is now at version 3.1. Version 3 was agreed 3 months ago and the meeting was to update the current one. The document is over 600 pages long… I’m not going to read it.

At the same time iDRM was mentioned but that’s part of another post. Chillout® was also demonstrated.