Well I promised news of a new project but it took a week or so longer than I anticipated to get it to a place I was comfortable announcing it. But here goes. Thanks to an astonishing and generous cooperation and joint sponsorship by the remaining rivals for the photo retail world in San Diego – Nelson Photo and George’s Camera – I’m now actively engaged in the early preproduction phase of the creation of a “magazine” format video show called “The Photo Report.”
A “Magazine” format show is one that is in the broad category of “infotainment,” i.e. one that presents information in an entertaining fashion. Generally, like the hard copy version of the same name, a TV “magazine” has various recurring segment areas that make up the overall issue – or, in our case, episode.
The first phase of the project is a trial “proof of concept” period to produce five episodes by the end of January 2019. While those trial episodes may only appear initially on the sponsors’ websites, my blog here, and perhaps YouTube, if successful (meaning the sponsors are happy with the results and wish to continue funding it), the current plan is to parlay those “trial” examples into a weekly series for local TV access. Each episode will be created to fit into a standard ½ hour / 30-minute time slot (about 23 minutes of program with the remainder for advertising. Thus far I’ve identified seven types of segments (e.g. photographer’s profiles, equipment introductions and demonstrations, tips & tutorials, photo resources and events, etc.) where two or three segments would be used in each of the larger “themed” episode. The targeted audience is anyone interested in photography from beginner and student levels up to the working professional, and in all genres of the art and industry.
It should be interesting juggling topics and equipment demos and introductions to keep two hard-fought rivals both happy. I was really surprised when Larry and Nancy at Nelson Photo suggested, and David at George’s Camera readily agreed to work together to sponsor this concept. The good news is, that must mean both see some real value in the concept; but It also means I’ll have to work all the harder to produce something worthy of that openness and cooperation. For a producer, those are fun challenges to have.
I’m truly excited by this opportunity and looking forward to getting it seriously underway. Unfortunately for someone such as myself, for whom patience is not a major strong suit, there is a huge amount of preliminary work to do before even a second of video is captured. I learned from my days doing corporate, industrial, and training video programming, that success is totally dependent on planning and creating the proper foundations for a given program. So, anxious as I am to go out and start shooting, I am gritting my teeth and practicing what I preach and only working now on those early pre-production steps. It is hard to keep my mind focused since I keep seeing footage to do for each episode playing in my mind.
Once the sponsors agree on the topics for the trial episodes, then I’ll identify the onscreen experts and “guests” that will need to be captured and settle on the questions to elicit responses directed toward the specific episode’s theme. Those preliminary “interviews” will help inform the scripts to make sure there is consistency between the basic host’s (me) narration and the material being presented by the experts. Then, with that hard data available, we can also identify the equipment, props, and even shooting locations that will be needed for the actual episodes. Also needed will be the graphics and any animation needed for the intro/roll-ups, outro/end credits, plus the visual-aids needed for the specific episodes and segment topics.
Did I mention that I’m excited by this? I think this is a cool project and obviously so do the sponsors, but this is a tough market for photographers of all levels. It is a great place to come and study; it’s a great place to shoot… but it is a miserable venue for revenue purposes as it is, at this point at least, home to rates lower than they were in the Rockies when I left Colorado to come here and teach in January of 2000.
But win, lose, or draw, this should really be a fun project and I am anxious to get underway.
I know, I know… patience, David, patience…