ExplorersWeb was built around exploration and tech. The downtown Manhattan office was hub for adventurers coming alive on the early internet.
Dave parked his motorbike by his desk. Others would pitch tents.
Fast forward almost ten years. ExWeb headed West to software Mecca San Francisco. (Tom and Tass Sjogren in image.) Image by Tina Sjogren courtesy ExplorersWeb, SOURCE
Dave climbed Everest... Image by David d'Angelo, SOURCE
...and joined the adventure film industry. Image by David d'Angelo
The only thing sure about the future is that it'll be amazing said Arthur C Clarke. Image by Tina Sjogren courtesy ExplorersWeb, SOURCE
Adventure film and television, one more for the road final: ExWeb alumnus David D'Angelo
Posted: Jan 11, 2013 05:17 pm EST (Tina Sjogren) Social TV, GoogleTV, personal 3D videocams and rent-a-theatre concepts: Internet disrupted print media and some say TV is next.
In an attempt to predict what the future will look like, ExplorersWeb asked documentary producers, cameramen, folks building special interest platforms and other adventure film makers around the globe for their take. The interviews ran as a roundtable through December 2012. And then one more entry arrived.
Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week in Las Vegas was about connectivity. Sensors and gadgets improving our performance alongside new formats for entertainment. Accordingly, the final entry in our adventure film roundtable with Everest climber, cable TV adventure cameraman and ExplorersWeb alumnus David D'Angelo touches new medium and new tech.
ExplorersWeb: So called Second screen providers wywy.com (Germany), GoMiso.com (SF) and Viggle.com (NY) and others offer viewers a loyalty program where they can earn rewards on their smartphone while watching TV. Do you have any experience of this and if yes, does it work?
Dave: Not really - If I’m watching something on my smartphone that’s streaming it’s from Hulu, Netflix, HBO on demand, or showtime anytime.
ExplorersWeb: What about personalized TV (single-viewer units, mobile, pads). How hard/expensive is it to adapt to all the new platforms?
Dave: That end of things I really don’t deal with, but once you have your program as a file, you can transcode it to anything.
ExplorersWeb: Do you have any experience of Social TV (interactive - tweets, polls etc)?
ExplorersWeb: How could you as a film maker create products that viewers can interact with? Would you adjust your filming and editing technique to the way people interact with the content?
Dave: I personally wouldn’t. If you watch something and find some part of it interesting, most folks either have their laptop and smartphone - they're one google away from finding out more about it.
ExplorersWeb: Have you seen demand for adventure related Web TV (short and episodic videos created specifically for YouTube, Blip.tv etc) at all?
Dave: With the exception of Felix’s jump, no.
ExplorersWeb: What about that then, truly live adventure video (such as the Space Jump), does that format have a future?
Dave: Absolutely, it needs to be an amazing event though. The Space jump was utterly fascinating.
ExplorersWeb: What about the new online platforms (EpicTV, WildTV, etc). Often well funded some even sponsor productions: will they be "the new Discovery" channel giants only online?
Dave: I haven’t even heard of those guys - will have to take a look and see what I think.
ExplorersWeb: How will they hold up you think vs. YouTube channels, Vimeo, Hulu, Netflix?
Dave: If anything maybe they’ll get absorbed as a channel within one of the giants.
ExplorersWeb: The most interesting internet media platforms you've found?
Dave: Hulu, Netflix, HBO on demand and showtime anytime. There’s great content on these channels.
ExplorersWeb: Anything cool on mobile?
Dave: Same platforms as above.
ExplorersWeb: Could we see the birth of an entirely new medium? What kind?
Dave: I don’t.
ExplorersWeb: A polar skier recently told us kids don't watch adventure video; they don't go outside at all in fact but stay indoors to play computer games. Can we create adventure cinema that is as exiting as computer games?
Dave: It’s entirely different. And it depends upon the kids’ parents. Computer games you can play over and over again - a film, you can only watch once.
ExplorersWeb: Could we merge the two, that is use gaming tech and bring in sensor information?
Dave: I’m a purist - a film is a film is a film - watch your film/show, then play games. I don’t want to interact with my TV, I just want to watch it.
ExplorersWeb: There is a merger of web and traditional TV (Google TV etc). Seems like a good idea to check statistics, maps, gear and stuff while watching an adventure documentary but currently most such attempts have flopped. Could it be that we just want to relax when we sit down to watch TV? Or is it only that the concept needs time?
Dave: Exactly - I just want to relax. And if there’s something I want to find more about, my laptop is usually close by. I don’t want something flashing up on the screen in front of me.
ExplorersWeb: Some believe experience, i.e. giving fans something new they can't get at home will revive cinema. How could that translate to adventure? Rock climbing documentaries with mobile climbing walls? Dinner-and-movie ticket serving Sherpa stew?
Dave: I did go to a theater in Kansas (Warren) where I was able to sit down and eat real food and drink beers while watching the movie - that place was amazing. I’d do that more frequently if we had one near us. A movie is a place where you go to sit down and get entertained for a couple hours. I don’t think folks want to be doing something else, especially of a physical nature while watching a flick.
ExplorersWeb: What has been the biggest innovation in terms of gear lately? (cameras, power, format etc).
Dave: All these DSLR and large chip cameras. Having the ability to shoot in low light is key - and we’re seeing more and more sensitive chips that enable you to shoot using the ambient light. This makes is a lot easier to film.
ExplorersWeb: What about 3D? It's spiking but Cameron (Avatar) is not convinced it'll stick. Is 3D a hype or here to stay? Would you recommend it for adventure documentaries and if yes: post-conversion or 3D camera?
Dave: I was never into 3D - it’s a huge pain to film and edit with. I do see a future with 3D sports thought, more along the lines of football and other live sporting events.
ExplorersWeb: New kind of tools are emerging: drones, contour cams, various robotics with built in cams for extreme shots - what cool gear do you know of out there?
Dave: There’s all sorts of cool stuff. The GoPro’s are everywhere - great for cutaways and tight spaces. The drones are supercool - cheap aerial shots? I think we’re going to see a lot more of these out there.
For me, I’ve started shying away from the gadgets and gizmo’s of filmmaking as of late. These days I see a lot of tinkering and cool shots, but all the effort goes into that and not a good story. Cool shots are great for short clips, but for something longer, they’re just one small part of it.
ExplorersWeb: It's easier to shoot HD on increasingly smaller devices and smartphones - is this creating demand for how-to courses? (You and Michael created the adventure film school at SeracTV.) And will folks like you become redundant in the future then; will everyone make their own videos and will that suffice?
Dave: I haven’t been with Serac for a couple years now, but I recall that the demand was there, especially with younger folks. What most people are doing is filmming small snippets of content - something happens and it’s captured on film. We’ll be watching those short one-scene clips for the rest of our lives on the computer. For longer format stuff and an engaging 30 minute plus show, you need to know what you’re doing. Making TV is hard, real hard work. I sure hope I never become redundant!
Last word by the editor:
Future of technology predicted in 1964 by British science fiction author (2001: A Space Odyssey) in BBC's Horizon programme: