John Canning


[ 00:00:19 ] I look at people like the PGA. And frankly why I originally joined it as a way to connect with other professionals in the field.

[ 00:00:28 ] I mean you can have all the sort of joint bargaining or you can have insurance but frankly what I find these associations are is being able to establish that camaraderie that understanding the ability to work with your peers to share the pain share the understanding too.

[ 00:00:45 ] You know when that one gig ends and you are looking for the next gig I have found so much value that from the guild in working with my peers.

[ 00:00:53 ] And then also being able to expand the knowledge base. Now obviously when you look at like SMP and things like that you’re going after hard core standards and establishing how we’re going to go make things or how to distribute things. But if I look at the guilds and certainly from the Producers Guild perspective for us I look at that as like the real value. You know there’s a lot of benefits but that’s the value to the yes we have an eye on the money or we have an eye for looking for the money which I think is we should think about from the From a producers perspective. Right we we’re with that project from the get go and literally like where is the money coming from. I have a beautiful project. Now how do I get financed to getting it made. We were just talking about our panel somebody was talking about the monetization. How do I make money. That’s one aspect of it. One person asked a question about budgets you know like and as we look at New Media Productions different kinds of productions. And I’m going to say everything from vr to snap chat. The the things you have to answer is you still got a budget. The reality is is typically the line items are similar sometimes are the same but the size is moving around. If we look at virtual reality what was really going on the virtual reality field and 360 production is post has really expanded because posting that is hard. There’s more to it. As I pointed out to somebody you know when you think it’s just a one camera shoot. Well maybe that virtual reality camera has actually six cameras in it so that’s a six camera shoot from a D.A. perspective. So the budgeting for storage for processing all of those things have to be taken into account. We look at monetization of some new forms and I think you have to be very practical and say you know what in entertainment we are it isn’t a I’m going to go make an x ray vr movie and it’s going to be a multi billion dollar blockbuster. What you’re saying is where’s the money from. We look at marketing expenditures. People are paying for those kind of things creating amazing things. Certainly in the enterprise space the Automan automobile industry is making a lot of marketing related projects. There’s dollars there but you have to be practical about where the dollars are coming from. Sponsored projects a lot of the platforms so whether it’s a Google or Facebook or Samsung they’re trying to encourage this medium because they know you can produce all the hardware you want but if you have nothing on it. Consumers are not going to come. So it’s that that virtuous cycle of instigating it bringing it bringing more content to it. And then then the monetization strategies will change.

[ 00:03:40 ] So that’s why that’s a million dollar question. But I think it’s it’s you have to take a step back and think about any project you’re getting into. If you decide to do a documentary project and shoot with three reds and you blow it out and want CGI. Is that going to be commiserate to what you’re going to make on that documentary. Yep same problem right. It’s just different factors. But you’ve got to weigh that in as anybody that says oh I’m going to go make a 30 minute vr piece and expect to sell like hotcakes. Well that’s great but what’s your available market from just people that can actually view like hotcakes can only get you so far when you can only sell 12 of them. You know the market is a bit bigger but it’s not that much better. You have to understand the available market size and how you’re trying to reach. But if so say that’s an interactive vr high and very intensive very small audience. But then it may be a showcase piece and maybe a marketing piece and maybe a piece associated with a major multi million dollar film release then it’s OK because we’re making the highest quality thing for the highest you know output. Then again if you were trying to reach broadbrush in and maybe you’re OK with mom and Skopec B.R. because you’re on Facebook 360 and YouTube and you’re like I want to go for high penetration and I don’t expect this piece to live forever. So it may be a short term piece not evergreen. It’s ok that it is unshod on the biggest rigs having the biggest post-budget.

[ 00:05:18 ] So you have to think those things through you know I think and I love gear.

[ 00:05:30 ] You know I’m a gearhead. But as I look at this you also to some degree are looking at what some of the top end cameras are doing inflexibility and giving to you. Sure you can go do a quick and dirty go pro-reg. If you do it stock off the shelf but you have certain limitations with that. Right.

[ 00:05:52 ] I know almost everybody that’s shooting with those rigs first thing that it was ripped the lenses off and put different lenses custom Rick. You know I see manufactured three vr 360 cameras out there. There are certain limitations certain advantages and if you’re working your productions working within those it’s great. There’s probably like three different classifications a camera I’m looking at now which is the sort of prosumer manufactured camera the pro version and then the custom rigs with the custom rigs being the people out there that are building the harnesses the housings they’re putting bodies into it. And then I’m seeing that sort of DIY. Here’s the the the template to go though go assembly around. So that kind of range is starting to meet. What is the director the film makers desire for output. Is it low light. Is it underwater. Is it Knodell shooting low light close for far.

[ 00:06:52 ] You know can I put an adjustable lens package on it so that variability I think still demands that we have that range of cameras because you don’t need a red dragon or an army for everything but sometimes what you’re going for is is that are you matching it to other footage for example. How is that shot. So all these things play into it.

[ 00:07:13 ] But I think it first is stepping back and assessing what is the shooting conditions. So I think most importantly is also having a good DP Right somebody who can assess the shooting situation and say this is what I need to get this shot because that’s what counts at the end of the day. Can you get the shot you need.

[ 00:07:37 ] It’s a good question they’re not a magic bullet. So searching cameras you can talk to anybody if you have a production team that’s shooting for the Ozo And if you go to a third party house to do post it will be more expensive because they don’t know what they’re going to get because even though they’re self stitching they’re not really self stitching right. They do the processing you can run it through there but then there’s the corrections. If you don’t shoot right you can’t fix it in a stitch. So those are all the things that you know do you have to paint something out. Don’t care if it’s a sausage in camera if I still have to paint out a boom or something like that. So those are One-Stop fixes what you see in the advantage of some of those rigs or for live streaming right. So you need that self-searching that immediate mode for pushing out live. If you’re truly going live or even near live because you may not want to go on air in 15 minutes. I don’t have time to do a full stitch and then you’re looking at systems like the jaunt or the Google job which are doing cloudbase stitching because again a self stitching is it. No it’s just moving the stitching process somewhere else. So if you look at the Google process you take that material out of the camera and push it up to the cloud you receive is stitched back. Now that means the correction may need some kind of fixing. But there’s still a process a time factor. Remember that Google camera has I think 17 cameras 17 cards. How much data is that. You’ve got to push it up and bring it back down. So all of these issues. But look if you if anybody looked at this industry right now and said oh this is it we can. It’s a raging river. It’s 100 miles an hour going past you step in and you’re going to be 100 yards down before you know it. And the trick is is that this is constantly evolving. New tools new techniques are coming along. We just see the kinds of plug ins that are going into our editing software to fix these problems fixing stabilization. So it is it is a matter of you know assessing where your costs are and what you need to do. That’s a good question.

[ 00:09:47 ] I think I’ve been fascinated by this evolution of 360 which is just because you have a 360 story doesn’t you know were shot that way. Right. Knodell shooting on high end Productions is something that is again. You’ve got the cost of moving crew moving set things like that but you also have the ability to more tightly control your suiting situation lighting sound directing acting all of those elements if you’re shooting Notably you can have a crew back there you can’t have a director back there. You can do different things with the sound. So if you think about that in some cases you won’t have to worry about that because you’re setting the scene properly and in some cases on the fly whatever situation dictates you may want to shoot full 360. You do have those issues. But then what you see is tools like Ozo has a live preview live preview is something that only a few cameras do as simple as we think of looking through a viewfinder of a traditional camera to see what you’re shooting. We have been able to do that. That is starting to happen more. But that ability to look through and say what’s in the way what can I remove that live preview will save some of that and even the john. It’s not like a preview but you can take a snapshot. I work with TVs and directors that take the snapshot look at what’s there adjust lighting natural lighting move things around and then reshoot that.

[ 00:11:09 ] Taking that moment to to deal with it but also like I said now we’re shooting in 360 producers small projects large projects we’re scrappy right.

[ 00:11:25 ] We’re always looking for funding. I’ve went through a crowdfunding campaign for a documentary I was working on. It’s you got to find your funding where you find your funding. And I think that’s that’s the that’s the long and short of it it’s got to go where you you think you can’t. It’s having a compelling story that you think the crowd wants to buy into and then you know being able to deliver on that. I think the biggest pressure I had when I was doing Crowdfunding is now I got to go make it cause it was a bunch of people just gave me the money they’re hoping I do it.

[ 00:12:04 ] You know I’m not an expert on government funding. But what just personal experience is there was a small group that did the crowd funding friends and family people who are excited about the project. They were like Just go make it. That is a much smaller set than I hope actually see the film. And it’s like sort of that active participation in an audience when you’re doing a show versus the active participation. Right. There are those people that lean in and want to get involved and vote. And then there’s those people who just want to enjoy. And I think that’s to me that’s what it feels like crowdfunding as the people that are really want to see that and just see it happen and may put a little extra in and and understand if you’re selling a ticket. You know if you look at the gaming environment at crowdfunding and games I’ve crowdfunded a game up to what I would pay the retail price and I get that game.

[ 00:12:54 ] So how they deliver how the filmmaker delivers it to their backers. And typically I can take another thought on this. When you look at what you do for your backers what prerelease prerelease screenings you can pay it forward.

[ 00:13:16 ] Only and only my thoughts as I probably even come to the show for over 20 years now and I’ve seen the ebb and flow in the industry and I think it’s wonderful that the show is is hardly not only embracing the mechanics of producing and delivering but is also also embracing the content aspect of it because I think that was something that was missing in a lot of the conversations about how you could see the bits in the bytes and the you know the color charts and things like that. But then it was like What is this for.

[ 00:13:44 ] And adding that content element on top of it I think really brings the richness of the conversation because it is the factor that we’re all dealing with this we wouldn’t be doing this unless we’re trying to deliver something and that what that something is and who’s making it and their connection to it is becoming more and more relevant.

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Backstage Conversations
Backstage Conversation Season: 2017