Entries Tagged as 'tv'

somebody gots some splainin’ to do

The current Comedy Central logo versus the proposed Comedy Central logo as of January 1, 2011

The unfair thing about printed network logos, like the versions above showing how the Comedy Central logo is expected to change on January 1, 2011, is that motion graphics can give you lots of visually interesting choices that a flat logo can’t.

But in my opinion (and really, isn’t that the only one that matters 😉 a logo needs to hold its own when it is flat, on paper because that will be one of its uses.

This new logo for Comedy Central falls flat alright, it’s bad. It’s one of those logos that make you look at it and say “somebody got paid for that?!” and then ask “I wonder how much somebody got paid to design that?!” In either case, it is not a complimentary question.

Upside down C’s, an inverted word? Really?

Maybe this a joke…a really great joke. That’s GOT to be the reason because this can’t be a real logo for a national cable channel.

Go ahead, tell me how wrong I am in my assessment of this design. Where’s the mirth? Where’s the vibrancy? What about this logo is visually arresting or interesting? Help me here.

3 thoughts on voice over technology – iAudition, do you?

Like all things gadget and quasi-technical, I think it was Dave Courvoisier who first posted something about the new i-phone application called iAudition which promises: “You can record, edit and send your auditions from wherever you are, without the need for a recording studio or computer!”

It dices, it slices it even make julienne fries! But wait, there’s more!

Well then George Washington, III chimed in with his experience on the device. As I am not nor really ever been a pioneer on technical items, I figured now that these two fellas had tried it, maybe for a penny under $5 I could try it for my iphone.

So I pinged in Facebook that I had done just that and one of the comments I got in response to that post got me to thinking.

Facebook friend and voice talent Don Capone opined “bottom line… it maybe ok for a quick edit or to… but lets be real…the audio recording quality is hideous… but i guess if its a must have situation and u need to do a quick audition…”

I love comments like Don’s because they start me thinking and in this case three thoughts popped into my head.

1. The technology boat will leave with or without us
It is pathetically obvious to even the most unengaged user of technology that as soon as you buy the newest computer at the store, it’s outdated in some aspect of its internal technology. Beyond computers, it the tech sectors business model – always be improving so customers will buy your newer stuff.

This is, to my knowledge, one of the first apps of its kind for iPhone and it’s very specifically targeted my area of business. Obviously my biggest concern with something like iAudition is audio fidelity and quality…so will Don be proven right? Will I hate it?

I won’t know unless I try it and at under $5, I can roll the dice on this technology.

2. As technology changes, so do people’s expectations
As an example: black and white TV’s died when a successful color TV model was invented. HDTV is having the same effect on analog. People expect better.

BUT sometimes people’s expectations for quality can be lowered and those lower expectations become acceptable. One example I site is this: I remember, growing up, that people always dressed up when one flew on an airplane; jackets and ties were the norm. Now it’s just nice if people keep their flip flops on during the whole flight.

In voiceover, the same thing has happened whether we like it or not. Recording studios and their amazing acoustics have given way to home studios where voice talents manage their acoustics with bed foam and moving van blankets…the clients know not the the recording room difference most times when they listen to the finished file.

Remember when voice over agencies ruled the business? Most professional voice talents signed with an agency and the agency did all the marketing for the talent (one might even go to the agent or the client’s office to audition). Now the Voices.com and Voice123’s of the world have changed that dynamic. And while some of their clients offer fine quality audio recordings and performances, some are pathetic in both those measures. But because those lesser talents will work for pennies on the dollar, they get work.

Sacrificing quality for lower cost is an American retail tradition. Which led me to think…

3. What is the tipping point for “acceptable” audio fidelity on auditions?
Whatever it is today, I think it will be different tomorrow. In much the same way America had recording studio quality standards years ago, today radio stations will seemingly broadcast almost anything for ad dollars and I can’t blame them. And video not audio has always been a prime focus for television ads as anyone who has ever watched a local cable ad can attest.

So what about when auditioning? Will clients and production houses sacrifice pristine audio quality on auditions since they are only auditions? Shouldn’t the audio quality of the audio represent the level of the finished product should that voice talent get the job? Or will the client assume that can all be fixed in post?

It’s an evolving answer but as our national consciousness seems to be focusing on faster and easier more so than better and quality, I think this debate in the voiceover industry isn’t but a year or so away from getting a clearer answer.

requiescat in pace charlie o’donnell

Announcer Charlie O'Donnell

For about 28 years, Charlie O’Donnell has been the voice (along with Jack Clark and M.G. Kelly) of the enormously popular game show Wheel of Fortune. This goes back to when the show was on NBC daytime and Chuck Woolery was the host (you mean their was a host before Pat Sajak?). He was still on the show at the time of his death.

He began his television career with Dick Clark on American Bandstand, and then served as announcer for shows like the Oscars, the Emmys and The Newlywed Game. I remember when I worked in radio, Charlie was the intro announcer (and I think fill in host sometimes) on Dick Clark’s Rock, Roll and Remember shows.

His voice for me was unmistakable and always welcome. God’s speed pal.

new network, new logo

Technically, you could rightly say: “not a new network”, because The Oprah Winfrey Network has been around a while. But when the billionairese decides to fold up shop on her 25 year old talk show to focus on her network, certainly one can be assured new blood is about to be infused into the broadcast.

So with such an infusion comes a bigger focus on branding which usually means a new logo and there it sits.

As always, remember that a TV logo stays static only on the stationary and that I’m guessing they have loads of movement and animation ideas for this concept.

Your thoughts? You like? You dislike? Did Oprah hit a home run on this logo or did she merely rob a paint store?

a little commercial surprise

I hope you have NOT seen this commercial before (I’ve just seen it on the web) and the imagery and imagination that when into it I think is just terrific.

Advertising like this works best when the concept is so unexpected, it makes you think/say “what, what was that again?”

truly the scariest video I have EVER seen

I have been involved in broadcasting in one form or another pretty much my whole adult life.

For the four years I worked in radio, I knew many broadcast engineers and I knew some of the perils of their job – not all of it is dangerous but some of it is. One of them was seriously electrocuted by a TV transmission line (he survived and continues to work in broadcast engineering).

But I think I tried to block out of my mind the work done by those few souls who work on broadcast towers. I believe these folks are not always broadcast engineers and in fact the people you are about to see I believe are not broadcast engineers but folks who I would call tower jockeys – people who maintain and repair broadcast towers.

It is insanely dangerous work.

In this video, you will watch two men climb over 1700′ up a single ladder and then free climb to change the beacon on a broadcast tower…that light at the VERY tip top of the tower that lets pilots know there’s a big stick in there way.

IF YOU ARE AFRAID OF HEIGHTS…you seriously may not be able to watch this whole video. If you are not afraid of heights, you may be after watching this video.

My thanks to my friend and great broadcaster/voice talent Chuck Lakefield for the link off his Facebook page.

What you think of this video?