Whoa! What’s Kiefer Sutherland doing at the top of the CRE blog? Has CRE “gone Hollywood”?
Truth be told, CRE has been in Hollywood for a long time, if we define “Hollywood” as “the entertainment industry around L.A.” CRE Rentals’ high-end gear (like render farm rentals) and powerful computers (Macs and PCs with the right software) support media professionals from creation through production, post-production and distribution. That last one, distribution, is our subject today – specifically, the new surge of programs going “direct to Web.”
The “old” days?
The year 2000 may not seem like the “old” days, but in Tech Time it’s eons ago. The first “direct-to-Internet movie” debuted that year, a sci-fi story entitled The Quantum Project — it was filmed with a Panasonic DVCPRO50 digital camcorder and good special effects.
When you discover that the movie didn’t stream, but had to be downloaded and watched in Windows Media Player, suddenly it does seem like 2000 was the Stone Age. Finally, a decade after that inauspicious start, the Web is showing signs of maturing into a first-rate distribution channel for original programming, especially since storage aids like Ethernet disk RAID rentals can make workloads shorter than what used to take days.
So where’s Kiefer?
Kiefer Sutherland and John Hurt star in the Web series, The Confession, on Hulu.com, comprising 10 seven-minute webisodes. Co-producer Chris Young of Digital Broadcasting Group says the show sets a high bar “for what is possible in original webisodic content” and is clearly aiming at “motion picture quality.” Young expects a “seismic shift in how content of this caliber is released” and believes that well-produced programs could attract audiences rivaling those “of a hit television series.”
Talented pros of many kinds look to CRE for high-powered help, from our people and our equipment. Our AJA Io HD rentals are a great example of how to tackle a big project with Final Cut, for instance. It takes the same general kind of hardware and software to make a webisode as it does to make a movie – they are just delivered in different formats. Even if you want to compress and convert your production to MPEG-4 (mp4, h264) for watching on iPad Rentals, you still must create it at the highest possible resolution, then “repurpose” it for DVD, HDTV, traditional TV broadcast and so on.