Mobile Entertainment and More at NAB 2010
At NAB 2010, MobilizedTV produced two panels on mobile: one on mobile entertainment and another on mobile as a marketing tool for Hollywood. Bart Weiss–founder of Videofest and a professor at University of Texas at Arlington who teaches mobile movie-making–was on the entertainment panel and talked about his experiences on the show floor and on the panel.
Every spring the broadcast industry gathers in Las Vegas to celebrate the latest in technology at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB show). For gadget geeks like myself it is digital nirvana to walk around and see what the minds and imagination of industry can think of. But it also a chance to get a good grip on what is happening with Television each year.
This year the buzz on the floor was about 2 technologies : 3D and Digital SLRs. One is a hope for the future the other is a reflection of the present realities. There were lots of people showing off ways to shoot and edit a 3 D in new ways., but how you get that on to a screen is a bit of a trick,….for now. The hope is that 3D will regenerate interest in actually watching TV, since DVDs and web video have taken eyeballs away. It reminds me of cinema, when faced with the threat of TV, tried 3D and Cinemascope.
There were also lots of iPads out there on the show room floor But there wasn’t much mention of mobile on the floor except for all kinds of transcoders and storage solutions (there was a whole area of them) that will deliver to every format known to man including mobile. Tiffen has a prototype of its Steadicam Smoothee which will give iPhone video shooters the Steadicam look and a good price point.
But there were several good panels about mobile media, some of which were hosted by the editor of MobilizedTV, Debra Kaufman.
One session, which I spoke at, showed what mobile content could be, (it was actually titled “Mobile entertainment: original, repurposed and internet video is here”) And much of it was funny, which is good for a technology panel. It seems that much of the successful mobile media today is comedy.
We heard and saw examples of advertising as narrative storytelling, known as “Advertainment”. This was best shown by Steven Amato from Omelet , who showed a trailer for his series with Fox to add hipness to Altoids. The series about an agency that is trying to get the Altoids account is a hilarious self reflexive series that is kind of an edgier “Office.” Watch more here.
Next up was Frank Chindamo from Fun little Movies who has been producing video for mobile longer than anyone (since 2003) and teaches classes in mobile production at both UCLA and USC. Rather than having one network or outlet, his films seem to be on anything mobile, subscription, downloads or on Babelgum. His films have a light comic touch and are like the name says, funny. Like good comedy in all formats it has great writing and great casting. What I didn’t expect them to have such good production value, while mobile devices are not exactly Hi Def yet you can still see good image quality.
Then came Amber J. Lawson, comedy content producer for the Italian company Babelgum. Bablegum is the one-stop source for so much made-for-mobile content and Amber showed of some of the rich comedy. There is something for every comedic taste there, from family to raunchy. Once you start watching, well lets say I hope you don’t have a deadline looming.
I spoke a bit about the aesthetics of mobile media, gave a bit of perspective to it and showed examples from my student’s work in progress in the video for iPhone class at UT Arlington.
We then took questions and talked about how you can judge success, (eyeballs )And what makes a good comedy, for mobile (one big joke and developing good characters over a season). The attendees had a few practical questions but were I believe mostly struck by the quality and possibilities of mobile entertainment.
While TV viewership is declining, mobile usage is going up, and smart people invested in bringing regular entertainment to a video screens are trying to retool, and rethink what these programs might be. Those folks got their minds into a higher gear at the panel and helped put the NAB show into perspective.
Tags: advertainment, aesthetics of mobile, Babelgum, digital nirvana, Fun Little Movies, iPads, iPhone, made-for-mobile content, mobile content, mobile entertainment, mobile marketing, mobile media, mobile movie-making, mobile production, MobilizedTV, NAB 2010, Omelet, Steadicam Smoothee, Tiffen, VideoFest