Category: Biz News


IGTV is a thing now but some creators still have a lot to learn

I have spent the last few days scanning videos from IGTV and I must say that on the whole I’m quite impressed by this attempt to bring portrait video as a form of mass entertainment to the public.

One thing that struck me earlier on was the compression that Instagram uses on the uploaded videos to allow for seamless playback. It is quite aggressive but I do believe that most viewers, strangely in this day and age of 4K video, will not complain as they have been using the stories function on Instagram for a while now and have come to expect this level of picture quality and bit rate. 

However, one thing that I feel won’t be tolerated is lazy editing. 

Yes, we want to get our videos out there as quickly as possible and yes, we do want a constant stream of content but not at the cost of a little pre-planning and forethought. 

It all comes down to three simple words from the legacy 4:3 ratio television days. Pan and scan.

The process was simple enough. In order to fit a cinemascope image from say a large Hollywood blockbuster movie for example to a square 4:3 television screen when the film was copied to video the machines they used to ‘video’ the film would move around the frame of the image to get the fit so you would see the actor who was talking at any given time or follow the action without it moving away from your field of view. 

Mainly, this worked and we were able to enjoy the movie without wondering why I am hearing someone speak but I cannot see them. 

I watched a segment from 5 News in the UK and whoever edited that video should know this. Throughout the piece, the two people being interviewed could not be seen but could be heard. This was an example of the very poor use of the IGTV platform. 

Most video editing programs have settings and functions for not only the screen ratio but also allow you to zoom and across the images, you are editing and in a fluid way that will follow the action on screen. 

Yes, it takes a little longer to edit but the results are worth it. 

If you want to win in the world of content creation just a small change such as panning and scanning your widescreen footage (if you have not filmed in portrait) will create far more engaging viewing experiences. 

What does the Bank Of England base rate hold mean for overseas movie investment in the UK?

At the time of writing (10 May 2018 – 12:14 pm) the Bank of England announced that it will hold the base interest rate at 0.5% in a 7-2 vote. Only a few financial broadcasters and pundits predicted a rise of 0.25% but the UK’s cooling inflation picture did not correlate with such a move.

With news of the rate hold the rates and fx market flat-lined prior to trading in the US which could mean that fx traders will wait to see how much further the pound will fall against the dollar on the day before scooping up cheap pounds hoping for a rise in the GBP-USD to $1.40 to the pound.

How does this help or hinder studios and producers who want to make movies in the UK?

In the next few months, there will be a cheaper pound.  Studios and producers will have a small window to secure talent and facilities at a much cheaper price than by this time next year so even if you will not be on UK soil to film your next blockbuster until then if the expected rate rise happens in the next 14 months the fx market will be such that it will be almost impossible to get a cheaper pound. With the uncertainty of what Britain will look like once we leave the EU (this is dependent on any possible trade agreement) a panicked and random FX market could spoil any plans of making a saving in the UK whilst taking advantage of the UK technical and creative talent pool.

My recommendation. Spend the rest of the day tweaking and re-planning your spending again (yes, those film business plans you have may now hold even more savings) and resubmit your projects. What may not have looked like good business sense now could work well as a profit-making project. The UK now has a cheaper lending rate still so even holding on to money from investors or loans for at least the next 6 months could be cheaper than waiting to decide to secure your facilities and talent later.

With the BREXIT picture still uncertain I still feel that there are opportunities for braver investors to make great savings on making movies and television in the UK but this is a limited offer and after August of this year, if no trade agreement is more formed with the EU then any savings that could be made will be lost in my opinion.

To simplify the matter, a 0.25% saving on £30 million is still a lot of money that can be used elsewhere. I understand it is not a simple as that but with the changes in the fx rate today it could be that amount, if not more.