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Annoying prime time effects

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Mike Cohen
Annoying prime time effects
on Sep 30, 2008 at 8:39:13 pm

Two new shows have introduced two new effects, one newer the other tired.

Fringe - In the pilot of this new JJ Abrams show, each new location features a 3D text super, hanging in the air, seemingly as an object in the environment. This was cool the first dozen times it was used, and kind of clever, but I would imagine this will A. Get old, and B. Find its way into commercials and other shows.

Knight Rider - When it is time for KITT to do something like launch overhead with its rocket engines, the camera flies into the jet exhaust and into the inner workings of the engines. This effect has been used in innumerable technology oriented shows and movies, and in my opinion, it is kind of silly.
Then again, this show is targeted at 13 year olds.

Anyone else have an observation from current programming?

Mike


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Ryan Mast
Re: Annoying prime time effects
on Oct 1, 2008 at 2:04:46 am

I caught some flu-ish virus this weekend, so I wasted far more time in front of the TV than usual. Observations...

* Bloom and Dazzle -like transitions on networks with a lot of reality-based programming like HGTV, TLC, BRAVO, etc. Is that coming into style? It just seems like an easy, cheap trick.

* Mythbusters interludes and titles are consistently clever and fun. I want to meet whoever designed them someday and buy them a beer. Most of it looks like practical shots -- no CG.

* The "Fringe Text" look seems like the next development of text tracking in 2D, kind of like the titles for Psych in the first two seasons. It's kind of a cool concept in its simple-looking application on Fringe -- it never breaks the viewers eye out of the point of view of the camera to a 2D lower-third.



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Mark Raudonis
Re: Annoying prime time effects
on Oct 1, 2008 at 2:15:05 am

dude,

You sound like an old fart! "These new fangled FX are just too fancy for me!"

Come on! The three D text effect is actually quite cool. Me thinks you're just envious you didn't think of it! Sure, it will become dated quickly, but so what? For now, it's fresh, and unexpected and works.

Mark






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grinner hester
Re: Annoying prime time effects
on Oct 1, 2008 at 2:18:53 pm

Employed under the examples above are beginners and creatures of habbit. Both get paid scale or less. This leaves the cream of the crop to make new eye-catching stuff we have not seen before. Truth is, not all productions can afford this, esecially a series not slated for another season. The 3D into the engine was neat in Tokyo Drift.. which is why they copied it but all execs, admitting it or not, do know regurgitation of looks places them other than on the cutting edge and makes their project very mortal.

To me the worst/best example of this is your local news. Man they have cheezy 3D stuff happening in layers and if one wanted actual news, man thats no longer the place to get it. They pay nobody enough money so it's a stair-stepping place for vidiots and filmmakers who wanna make cool stuff.
Then when they make it to the big time, they are told less is more. lol
The irony is they usually get paid about 7 bucks an hour to make bevelled, lit, animated hooha and then later get paid 3 figures an hour to place white text over a black box.

In the end, a production has to have an art director with an art background and if they are wanting to make things work... hands on experience with the content they are making artsy fartsy. It is this lack of experience that creates cheeze.
I mean, it's not as if a car enthusiast would want a shot of the enternals of a car when some cool action is happening... that is the doing of a middle aged white guy guessing what cool is.
Guessing is expensive.





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mark harvey
Re: Annoying prime time effects
on Oct 1, 2008 at 2:36:37 pm

I agree with most of the points made...especially in regards to news. When I tune into to get sports highlights or the sort, I am expecting to see my highlights...I do not need the bells and whistles that transition in and and out of the highlights.

Some shows make good use of effect to convey a mood, or move us to a new place, others scream out, "look, we got new toys, like em ???"

Mark

Mark Harvey
Senior Editor
Le Réseau des sports


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grinner hester
Re: Annoying prime time effects
on Oct 1, 2008 at 4:46:40 pm

my rule of thumb is effects (and T&A) replace content.
If you have good content, no need to result to these things.
If ya have bad content, a dancin' monkey is your only option.




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mark harvey
Re: Annoying prime time effects
on Oct 1, 2008 at 5:21:10 pm

Thanks for laugh Grinner....hehehe dancing monkey....hehehehehe

Mark

Mark Harvey
Senior Editor
Le Réseau des sports


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Ryan Mast
Re: Annoying prime time effects
on Oct 1, 2008 at 5:36:12 pm

The dancin' monkey plugin must be missing from my FCP install. :-(

[grinner hester] "In the end, a production has to have an art director with an art background and if they are wanting to make things work... hands on experience with the content they are making artsy fartsy. It is this lack of experience that creates cheeze."

How does this work, practically? Do you hire a freelance "art director" for a project, or would a production company have someone like that in-house? Do they just do "design" and hand over the swatches/sketches/storyboards to the people who run AE and FCP to build? Or would the art director create the AE or FCP assets and then give them to the editors to insert into the program?



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Mike Cohen
Re: Annoying prime time effects
on Oct 1, 2008 at 10:25:06 pm

I might use the "dancing monkey" line the next time someone suggests some flashy effect rather than focusing on the content.

I agree that the Fringe text is clever, but it gets old, like most effects. I feel it calls attention to itself, which takes you out of the action and reminds you you are watching tv.

Along the lines of cheezy network tv effects, why must they have a beeping or clicking noise when computer text appears on-screen.
By the same token, I have never heard floodlights make a dramatic echo crashy noise when they switch on or off.

Oh well, conventions of cliche practices make us not have to work very hard when watching new tv shows.



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John Wilson
Re: Annoying prime time effects
on Dec 5, 2008 at 12:24:17 pm

I have spent the past 15 years in sports television, mostly live and mostly as a producer. With few exceptions most of the advances in sports have come in the packaging of events. We have seen some new perspectives but mostly it has been "where can we add a new sound effect?" It is one of the major reasons I am transitioning out of sports.

My biggest conversation with clients is about 3 things. Story, story, story. Everything else is about how we execute those.



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