Archive for the 'Videos: TV' Category

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Goodbye Starbucks, Hello TiVo.

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On the same day that Starbucks announced they were bailing out Australia, another iconic American brand is launching itself here, hopefully with better results.

TiVo, the personal video recorder that became a verb, went on sale around the country today. Backed by the Seven Network, and with no monthy fees, its being positioned as the anti-Foxtel, although slightly steep at $699, the theory is thats all you’ll ever pay.

Check out the iPod inspired commercial for the new device above.

Channel 4 goes live for a Honda advert.

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A few hours ago Channel 4 broadcast what The Guardian is calling Britain’s first ever live commercial during a break in the reality show Come Dine With Me. The three minute ad came live from the skies above Spain and featured a team of professional skydivers demonstrating Honda’s latest tagline “Difficult Is Worth Doing”.

The live nature of television is one of its biggest redeeming features, and while this commercial is certainly full of the novelty factor, its an example of the innovation that not only the advertising industry will have to adopt, but also the whole television sector in general.

For more advertising fun check out a new show that started this week on ABC1 called The Gruen Transfer, a very funny and interesting look into the industry. Or just check out some of my favourite ads, here and here.

– Thanks for the video Craig

Continue reading “Channel 4 goes live for a Honda advert.” »

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.

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.

The beautiful escape of carbon dioxide.

idents

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Captured at 10,000 frames per second, and shot in Australia, this ad for Schweppes by agency George Patterson Y&R is simply stunning. Accompanied by the track “To Build A Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra the 90 second spot creates the kind of inspiring, engaging, memorable and beautiful imagery that drove me to start this site.

Long time readers of this blog may have figured out by now that I have a strong belief that the commercial aspects of idents detract greatly from the creation of a successful spot. Which is why my most favorable comments are generally left to public broadcasters, or more progressive commercial stations who are willing to take the risk to create something beautiful and artistic.

From that you can probably gather that there are even fewer advertisements (purely commercial devices) that I feel strive for or attain the kind of artistic levels that some idents do. The “bouncing balls” of Sony Bravia for example is exceptionally well crafted, and traverses the gap between between ad and art, as does this amazing spot from Schweppes.

For Your Consideration: The Oscars opener.

idents

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While there isn’t an Oscar category for title design yet (the proposal was rejected in 1999) it shouldn’t stop us from looking at the Academy’s own opening credits.

Personally I think TCM’s creative and mesmerising take on the movie montage would have served as a much more eloquent introduction to the 80th Academy Awards.

It’s not an ident, but it is my birthday. Part 3.

idents

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I’m not sure this tradition quite has enough traction for me to continue with it, but when I turned 21, and then again when I turned 22 I posted the latest Bravia ads.

Well I’m 23 today, so here it is, the two latest ads, Pyramid and Play Doh.

All these advertisements from Sony have always reminded me of the kind of installation art Christo and Jeanne-Claude are famous for, and if they weren’t ads they would probably make spectacular idents.

New look ABC from February 8th (with lissajous).

idents

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This morning The Australian was reporting (on page one no less) that the ABC was set to drop the famous lissajous symbol from its on air broadcasts in favour of a new logo. It didn’t take long for the ABC to deny the reports however and assure us all that the new look will include the famous logo.

ABC’s midday and evening news’ covered the story, giving kudos to the blog that leaked it, and clarifying the ABC’s position on the rebrand, which will officially take place on February 8th. They also spoke to ‘media expert’ Harold Mitchell about the impending changes (second video).

Listen to what the director of ABC TV Kim Dalton has to say about the rebrand in the audio below from ABC Radio Melbourne from earlier this morning.

Don’t fight it, if you don’t know what it is.

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It’s Australia Day today, which means its time to count down the 100 best songs of last year with Triple J. The hottest 100 is one of the largest song polls in the world, and while last year the amazing ‘One Crowded Hour’ took out the top spot, this year perhaps my favourite song of 2007 came in at number ten.

The song is ‘Don’t Fight It’ by Perth band The Panics, you might just like it too.

No Cars Go on New Years Eve.

nocarsgoNYE - Twango

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As boring as it is to watch fireworks on television, last nights coverage of Sydney’s NYE celebrations did have one saving grace.. they played “No Cars Go” by Arcarde Fire!

I first heard the song when it was used in a promo for Top Gear, and have been totally enamored by it ever since, listen to the song in its entirety below: