At times, it seems that new technology is having its way with
us. From the expanding digital television galaxy to the constantly evolving broadband Internet universe to smarter and
smarter mobile phones, technology has invaded our lives on
both personal and professional levels.
Whether you’re flipping channels, surfing the most obscure Web
sites or staring blankly at your E-mail on your mobile device when you
should be enjoying yourself at a concert or sporting event, one could
easily make the argument that many of us are simply over-connected.
However, short-form DRTV producers are having their way with technology. They
are capitalizing on some of the most buzzed-about technological advances, including the
growth of high-definition (HD) television, the upcoming digital TV switch and the explosion of online video.
While those in the space see these advances as positives, they are just as likely to speak
about other evolving technologies that are improving the quality of their work, while at
the same time simplifying and making it more cost effective for clients.
Advances in digital editing software and their graphics and animation programs, the
ability for producers to share cuts with clients — as well as traffic finished spots to TV stations — digitally, and the growing use flash memory as a replacement for tape for storage
were all mentioned by a group of short-form producers and branded-response marketers.
Still, the main technological advances affecting short-form production remain HD video
and editing, as well as the growing importance of online video to DR marketers of all
A Post-Production Tech Boom
Sean Fay, president and CEO of Seattle-based Envision Response, says, “There are two
major technological advances that have improved short-form production. The first is the
advent of completely non-linear editing equipment whereby all of post-production can
be done on a computer, almost completely eliminating the need to spend $200-500 an
hour ‘finishing the online’ at a post-production facility. The second advance goes hand-in-hand — the speed and simplicity with which we can upload our work for client review.
We can finish an edit by 2 p.m., upload it within an hour, and the client can be reviewing
it between 3-4 p.m. We can then get feedback for us to work on by close of business the
Fay is not alone in his wonder at the advances in these areas. Ava Seavey, leader of
Avalanche Creative Services in New York, specifically mentions Apple’s Final Cut Pro
editing software, as well as its graphical capabilities, adding, “We can load a hard drive
directly into our equipment and edit pristine footage. We can also create very sophisticated graphics and animations with the after effects, thereby creating a high-end look and
minimizing costs for our clients.”
Chas Kutchinsky, managing partner of Downingtown, Pa.-based iBox Films, concurs.