Â So, I’ve given up on predicting what the heck traffic flow at GamerZone is going to be like on any given day. I used to predict forward by a couple of days, even up to a week. And I used to be right at one time. Then we moved to Delano, and it got more interesting. I can’t predict a week ahead, or even a day ahead. But at least, based on the flow for the day, I can tell you what the total for the day will be, within $10 or so.Â
Yeah, fuckin’ forget it, I give up. This entire week I’ve been off. By a large margin. Today started out ok, then dropped off completely – Biscuts was the only person in for a while, and even he left. Two hours, we were empty. Then the whole friggin’ place almost filled up again by 1 AM, including a couple of new members. Yeah… I give up on predictions for the time being. Usually there’s at least one slow day during the week, but even our slowest day couldn’t be considered slow by my standards (and I’m pretty critical about things.)
I think that maybe (big maybe here) Gamer Zone has finally reached the critical mass I’ve been striving for. We’re now a month shy of two years, and we’re seeing numbers like we’ve never seen before.
Before that sounds like I’m set – well, I’ve still got a secondary exit to pay for, more computers, fix a TV, fix a projector, personal bills out the fucking ass, etc., etc. etc. I’ve still got a ways to go before I can say “life is good” financially. A long ways. But now it sure looks like a conquerable goalÂ
I’m burning the archive DVD for Episode 1 of “The World Of Gamer Zone”. Sure, we’ll probably never have need of the content in there, but, it’s worth making sure it’s all there just so we can look back at it in a year and laugh like hell.
On Tuesday I had talked to the station, and said “Sure, we’ll be down there – the pilot is almost done with edit.” That’s when I discovered some quirks in iMovie (which ended up being what we did most of our editing in. iMovie HD rocks, and while I can’t do some things I’d like to do, the core has pleanty of power to make snazzy output. And I also have Final Cut Pro, which was a waste of money for our purposes – it’s overkill at the moment. Though later… who knows) That was about 5 PM that we had some problems. No biggie – fix ’em and move on. Time to take some video of World of Warcraft with Fraps, and import it. Uh… no dice on that. It’s output doesn’t import to anything on the Mac, and for some reason any attempts to convert it over on the PC side resulted in a world of pain.
So, time to do something radical – I had a TV in card laying around from an old machine, and threw it into Beast (the counter machine). Piped the SVideo output of the Mac to the PC, and recorded it that way. The upside is now I can take video from any source in there, and the 250 card had a hardware mpeg encoder, so things look extremely good when you’re done. Just seems odd to have to go through that much effort just to get some video out of a computerÂ
I went overboard with the recordings – ended up recording an hour and a half of video, so suddenly I had to spend an hour sifting through finding the best shots, importing that into the episode. Cool, job done.
Now for some slick looking transitions…. it did ****WHAT**** to my soundtrack?! Since audio only comes from one camera, and video comes from two, you have to export the audio tracks from the one camera separately, then spend the time to synch up all the footage again. I’ve done this already… four times. After I added the transitions, it totally snarfs my fucking soundtrack again! Hours later, I’ve fixed that.Â
It’s 9 AM when I finished the the pilot, with all the slick transitions and stuff. My meeting is at 10 AM. No time to sleep now – I play a little CoD2 on the 360 until Harmon gets here, and we go meet with the station. Yep, I showed off the pilot on no sleep – and of course no one was the wiser I think.Â
Overall, this whole thing rocked. I also come to the realization that doing this is going to result in even more different forms of insanity that I’m going to have to deal withÂ
Unluckly camera problems prevented us from getting “perfect” shots all the time – in fact, there’s whole areas where we should have had better camera shots, but we didn’t. Meredith is missing from some discussions. Things like that. But it really did look pretty good – compairing it to what you normally see on TV, I’d give it about a “C” overall in comparison. Compair it to most locally developed content, and I’ll give it a “B” rating.
Mary at KTQW said she was impressed how far we had come along already. I looked at her incredulously – I wanted to be farther along already. Ok, so maybe I have some unrealistic expectations, but I want perfection pretty much out of the gateÂ
While there’s a lot stuff that went right, here’s the bad from the first episode:
Camera Work was a problem, along with some tech issues (potentially a bad tape) with one of the cameras where we lost some footage.
Harmon didn’t get to be as involved with editing as much as he liked, but at the same time anything that I ran into that I didn’t see how to handle well, I made sure Harmon got to see it (up until the end). For the next couple of episodes it’s probably going to work the same way, but we’ll see.
Meredith and I both were trying a little too hard to do things “right”. Trust is – if we would have loosened up a little earlier, we would have made it even better. Both of us have personalities that come across on screen pretty well, and after a couple of episodes under our belts, we’ll look great on screen.
Lighting sucks. Our lighting system sucks. Thier lighting system sucked differentlyÂ
We were ill prepared on our “news” segments – we just didn’t have enough interesting news from the world of games that week. Suckage. On Thursday finally a couple of newsworthy pieces came out, and we had to scramble just before the episode to get it all together.
Meredith didn’t get enough screen time, mostly relegated to “drop in” comments, and the news segments. In the future, that’s going to get better.
I also now have a private net accessable Wiki setup for me, Harmon, and Meredith to coordinate all this stuff. We’re doing an episode a week – needless to say, to keep this all running smoothly is going to require some effort on the Executive Producer’s part (that would be me Â I’ve already laid all that groundwork, and have already start settingup the news aggrigation on the Wiki. Meredith and I sift through it all, find what’s newsworthy, discuss it on the Wiki, then write scripts. Doing it this way means we’re not just regugitating what we read online – we give it context now for anyone who doesn’t read gaming news online everyday. This should rock. Or it might completely suck. We’ll see as time goes onÂ
The pilot will never air, and we’ll never show it online (because it’s too far away from where I wanted it to be). But here’s a couple o’ screenshots to show things off a bitÂ
The show’s title – the music that goes with it is a guitar and drums track that’s pretty slick
Shot from the begining of the show, just as I’m introducing myself after Meredith (my co-host) did.
The titling hear sucks because of the capture from video – it’s much more readable on TVÂ
Funny story here – Meredith is 6′ 2″. I’m not. I have a pillow under the cushin of the couch there
to make up the difference… and somehow I ended up taller than her!
While I’m tempted to always have a pillow under me at all times, I think it might be best toÂ
let reality take it’s course, and just let her be taller. Damnit. Â
Meredith closeup – given how big her smile is, you’d think she was all about bein’ on TV. Far from it –
when I told her the show was official, her first comment was “What have I gotten myself into?”
Heck, for that matter, when I asked her if she’d be co-host, she initally said “Hell no!” Later,Â
without any proding on my part, she ended up joining us anyway. Glad she did!
And a closeup shot of me – ug. Well, at least my co-host is nice lookin’, cause I’m gonnaÂ
need something to counterballance my thinning hair and weightÂ
When we’re doing the next episodes, I’ll probably not be wearing a shirt that hasÂ
anything written on it. I like the “shirt over shirt” setup, but having something
written on it apparently detracts from what I’m saying, since no one can actually read
it. BTW – it’s Pacman and a ghost, and says “Back in the day…” on it – thought
it was rather appropriateÂ
It’s also harder to get a shot of me with a smile on my face than it is Meredith for some reason.
It’s not that I’m always wearing a deadpan look, it’s that, well, most of my looks aren’t smiles Â
This isn’t me smiling – I just had my brain move way faster than my mouth, and had to take a
quick breath and take a second shot at getting a sentence outÂ
Now, if anyone ever says I’m not into games, consider this: I own a video game development company, a video game center, and a TV show about video games. Yeah, I’m DEFINITELY into gamesÂ
O_O toooooooo earlllyyyyyyyy
Posted 6/16/2006 5:57 AM by Aur0raXXBorealis – reply
Alrighty, I need the GZ logo you want me to use for the computer background, and a list of game screen shots you want on there. Any other ideas would be awesome as well. hmmmmmmmm I forgot to ask if I could watch the pilot last night, crapper.
Posted 6/17/2006 12:06 PM by Aur0raXXBorealis – reply
Hahaha – you missed your chance, no pilot for you!Â
Sure – I plan on getting you the logo either today or tomarrow. Depends on my schedule – I’ve got a couple o’ things to get done concerning DDR (see my other post for the day) and the TV show’s website.
And what in the world were you doing up at 5:57 AM? That’s way too early, unless you’re still up from the night before!Â
Posted 6/17/2006 12:54 PM by GamerZoneCenters – reply
haha nope…. driver’s education ._.
Posted 6/17/2006 1:06 PM by Aur0raXXBorealis – reply