Production Quality: What gives?

Production Quality: What gives?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

tagged: cnn, youtube, video, quality, randypausch, videogames

Photo Credit: billNWMSU

I thought I'd expand on a particular angle of the uncanny valley which I posted about recently.

There is such a variety in production quality. We're in a YouTube world, where we accept crummy video quality for reporting: embedded reporters, soldiers camcorders (or mobile phone videos)... And yet we force movies and video games to have ultra-high production values: Assassin's Creed, Halo 3, Mass Effect...

The juxtaposition is harsh on CNN: they might cut from an embedded reporter with YouTube quality to Wolff Blitzer working the touch-screen with graphs & reports.

I wondered for a while what the difference was. I think my previous post is the difference. You can do gritty and real or you can do ultra-polished. Both work. Do one or the either, not both and not something in between.

There is also something about the audience perception of it. Gritty and real feels like a camcorder: some person capturing reality - not editing or polished (read: "not slanted"). Whether that is true, that is the general perception. Truth and reality are also available in polished, but the expectation is different.

Consider the difference in perception if:

  1. Wolf Blitzer mispronounced the name of a political candidate
    • An "embedded reporter" mispronounced the name of a General
  2. The nightly news anchor stated that "the war was harrowing"
    • Soldier into camcorder: "I heard a mine go off probably about a half of mile from our HMMV. How many more are out there?"
  3. NewYork Times: "people with pancreatic cancer have less than a 10% probability of being alive in a year."

Sunday, August 24, 2008, 12:00 AM

tagged: cnn, youtube, video, quality, randypausch, videogames