Monthly Archive for April, 2008

Hello, Fiver. The new look Five Life.

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UPDATE: Download high-def versions of the idents here (70mb) and here (54mb).

Two days ago UK broadcaster Five rebranded its multichannel Five Life as.. Fiver. The new look channel is an attempt by Five to jump start is fledgling digital expansion, which also includes the Five US network.

Fiver is being touted as a “younger, faster, louder re-invention of Five Life”, and an attempt to capture some of the male audience scared off by the Five Life brand.

And musically, the first of the two idents feature the track ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, not sure about the second video sorry the second video is ‘I Get Around’ by Dragonette.

The new look of the network revolves around the cursor motif, and were designed by the team at We Are Seventeen, London. Keep reading for a Fiver promo..

Continue reading “Hello, Fiver. The new look Five Life.” »

You may love May on the ABC.

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“You may love May”.. Are they suggesting there’s a chance we won’t? That’s the ABC’s confidence lacking tagline being used in this otherwise resplendent promo.

And while its obviously in reference to the month its the kind of thing your unlikely to see on another network. The ABC received some bad press over a recent Logies promo that went to air, so this deliberately low key outing is probably welcome.

Outside of the ABC however, May should be an interesting month for Australian television with a new look SBS set to launch, and Arena’s Bravo-style rebranding.

The Irish idents of RTÉ Two.

Download the whole H264 bunch in one swoop here (266mb *.zip).

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Somewhat surprisingly these idents from Irish broadcaster RTÉ Two date all the way back to 2004, which in the world of design seems like decades ago.

And while Irish viewers may very well be sick of them, design wise they’ve stood up to fickle ravages of modernity for nearly four years now, something most on-air looks could only wish for.

These idents were created by Piranha Bar, with 3D and compositing MV75.

- Thanks to Morten for the videos.

BBC News 24 is no more.

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More of the white space infused refresh of the BBC’s news output, including the new BBC News Channel, BBC News at 10, and regional BBC News service Points West.

The BBC have actually blogged about the changes themselves here and here, and have also compiled a video montage of the look of BBC News over the years here.

Among other things they explain the dropping of the 24 from their news channel:

BBC News 24 becomes simply “BBC News”… The channel is not just at the heart of BBC News. Now it is BBC News.

For videos from the newly renamed BBC World News channel click here.

- Thanks for the videos Craig.

The new look BBC World News.

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BBC World is now BBC World News, and BBC News 24 is now just BBC News. The renamed networks got a not particularly dramatic brand refresh as you can see.

UPDATE: Check out the rest of the new look BBC News here.

For a look at the before videos check out my previous post here.

Name changes for BBC World and BBC News 24.

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In a branding move where apparently “more is more” the BBC’s international news channel, BBC World will change its name tomorrow to BBC World News.

Proving its ability at being truly impartial however, the Beeb is giving BBC News 24 a facelift as well, this time taking the “less is more” approach by dropping the 24 from its name and relaunching as simple BBC News.

Along with the new names will come a new look designed by Lambie-Nairn.

For now though, a look back at the old branding, with videos from BBC News 24 and BBC World, on the eve of their rebrand. And for more from BBC News have a look at their earlier looks from 2006 and 2007.

- Thanks for the BBC News 24 videos Craig.

BBC Four gonna get Medieval on your ass.

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BBC Four launched its season of Medieval programming last week, linking a series of documentaries, dramas and other shows around the central theme of Medieval history. This detailed, and creative trailer for the season, accompanied by a cover version of Purple Haze brands the season as a “trip into the Medieval mind”.

The concept of creating a programming season, dedicated to exploring a specific topic seems a rewarding exercise for not only the broadcaster to promote itself, and its schedule, but also to engage viewers on a wider basis, something that is sorely lacking at times on Australian screens.

The UK seem to embrace the concept more than others, with the promo for BBC Two’s ‘White Season’ earlier this year generating a touch of controversy, and the beautiful trailer for ‘The State of Russia’ season on More4 winning a Promax.

The closest things you see to a themed “season” of programming on Australian television would be Ten’s current retrospective on Jazz Funk Hip Hop, also known as So You Think You Can Dance.

The cult of Louis Theroux.

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At the intersection of comedy and tragedy lives documentary film maker Louis Theroux. His engaging, funny, heartbreaking and intelligent documentaries have only recently been introduced to me, but I haven’t been able to stop watching.

For the uninitiated (like myself until recently) Louis Theroux is a British broadcaster who started his television career on Michael Moore’s TV Nation before moving onto his own shows with Weird Weekends and When Louis Met.., and more recently a new series of one hour documentaries.

His programs generally involve investigating a curious subculture such as the life of swingers, rappers, televangelists, Thai brides, or white separatists. But what makes the programs so involving is Louis himself, who leads you into these sometimes abhorrent environments and allows you to see through his eyes, sharing the shock, laughter or heartbreak with him.

Although his style has been criticised as “faux-naïf” I find his disarming, often comedic, and sometimes baffled demeanor to be his greatest quality, he is almost Jim Halpert-esque at times, especially useful when entering as intense environments as San Quentin prison or the home of a Neo Nazi.

And while other film makers may chose to only observe, Louis often forms what appear to be quite genuine connections to the people he is investigating, whether it be his fondness for a particular prostitute in his program about a Nevada brothel, his impassioned attempt to bring clarity to a member of the Westboro Baptist Church or the truly incredible and bizarre turn of events that occurred during the filming of When Louis met the Hamiltons.

The comedic elements of his films are at times on par with the best of modern sitcoms, from the subtle to slapstick, the humour flows from the most unusual of situations, and is further intensified by Theroux’s own thoroughly likable self.

I haven’t been this taken by a personality or program since I first watched Top Gear or discovered The Office. His work transcends the gap between traditional documentary and scripted sitcom or drama, creating a narrative where at times I have completely forgotten I was watching real people.

Whereas many modern sitcoms are fake documentaries, at times Louis Theroux has managed to create the exact opposite, a real sitcom, or a real drama, an incredible achievement and a genre melding exercise that has left me giddy, enthralled and unable to think of anything else for days.

Welcome back NBC.

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The Office, Scrubs and 30 Rock are three of the best shows on television, they’re all broadcast by NBC on Thursday nights, and they all made their post-strike returns to our screens just a few days ago.

These three shows have all received Peabody Awards in recent years, and given the chance I’ll happily go on about how important good comedy is.

NBC has a strange place in my heart, and although its unfair to judge any network by the sum of its parts, its undeniable that NBC has some amazing individual programs, and from this outsiders opinion appears to foster quality in its programming, sometimes at the expense of immediate ratings gratification.

Whether its The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, Friday Night Lights, or Saturday Night Live, no other network delivers as much of my television content as NBC, which is quite an achievement, and also a little sad that its not an Australian channel.

What do you reckon? I know I don’t care.

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Mitchell and Webb poke fun at the maddening world of television news “interactivity”, because really..

What possible reason could there be for you not to email us, certainly ignorance shouldn’t be a bar.

News parody has filled many posts on this site, including Jeremy Clarkson’s commentary on the state of news, Melanie Bellamy with the standing news, Dead Ringers high brow jab at Newsnight, and of course all that Chaser stuff.