Wednesday, June 24, 2009
All Hat, No Cattle
Just because I'm picking bits of beach out of my teeth, doesn't the rest of the world is on holiday. In fact Alex Lindsay of the ProVideo Coalition has been quite busy building a shoulder mount rig for the new iPhone. Sure, it's nothing less than ridiculous - but the implications rank right up there with the buggy whip. Think about it: When every other resident of Earth is packin' a cell phone that shoots and uploads video to the web, do we really need legions of professional lenslingers with their laughably large dino-cams? Well ... yeah.
Folks with user-friendly phone-cam in their pockets are still no match for a network of news cameras wielded by pros. After all, some idiot with an iPhone still can't craft the kind of b-block schlock I so specialize in. C'mon - can you even imagine some schlub turning a report on a school bus rodeo or a dog in a funny hat with a camera the size of a candybar? I think not. But here's the rub: The market for feel-good video fluff is - much to my chagrin - on the wane. No, it won't vanish overnight, but with news divisions dwindling, viewer habits collapsing and the twin tubes of the internet overtaking every aspect of communication, there just ain't alot of call for the waterskiing squirrel.
But it isn't just silly features. No facet of broadcasting will remain unchanged by the revolution already in progress. A teetering economy, a tsunami of new tools, the ubiquity of the web ... it's the perfect recipe for a brand new paradigm. This ain't news, of course - but the advent of cellphones that's a TV camera and a TV set will no doubt be seen one day as a watershed moment. We're still not quite there yet, the iPhone's camera is reportedly clunky, but its ease of use and ability to instantly upload changes EVERYTHING. Looking forward to the next large plane crash, terrorist attack, Sasquatch invasion? Few of us are, but when that next unwanted schism occurs, don't wait for the networks to catch up. Go to the web, where the pictures, interviews and impressions will be scattered on-line before the first news anchor can get their dimpled chins on it.
Now, say cheese...