How We Set Up VirtualStudio.TV
17th July 2010 by Sean Malone
Very occasionally you come across an idea which is so good that you simply can’t pass it by - the start point of VirtualStudio.TV was one of those life-changing moments: it occurred, whilst sitting drinking wine in the garden.
It was July 2009. We’d just returned from a show in America and settled ourselves in the garden of our offices; glass of wine in hand and huddled around Rachel’s laptop watching American junk TV news. The programme was playing out on some software we’d bought ourselves whilst in the States. What we were looking at was the first wave of an amazing ocean of CGI technology which eventually will enable any organisation, or business to broadcast their news in a virtual environment.
The visual detail which the software was capable of generating was quite stunning, albeit that the stock “television studio” was cheesy and not very realistic - but it did set light to our imaginations in terms of what the possibilities could be.
Like all great ideas it couldn’t have come at a better time. Three important things were happening in our business. Firstly we’d been utilising green screen for quite some time as the fail-safe background when producing fast turn-around videos. Shooting the subject against the green screen meant that during the edit process we could very quickly add a suitable background, or cut in a video box, or shift the subject around on a plain white background.
Secondly (and on a completely different tack) a whole bunch of us had been grafting away delivering 3D animation solutions to our clients in the form of glossy opening videos for big shows and animated logo stings – and Jamie’s very good at working in 3D.
And thirdly, we were witnessing the explosive growth of self generated video which has enabled YouTube’s phenomenal expansion, with 4 years of new timeline being added to their site every day. There’s a big change coming in our industry: soon big companies won’t need anyone to produce their videos for them, because they’ll be capable of producing those videos themselves. The larger organisations and businesses will change from video consumers to video producers.
Back to the scene in the garden: what if the those virtual studios were so good, so realistic that you couldn’t tell them from the real thing?.. what if the virtual studios could easily be changed to match the client’s logo and corporate image?.... what if we could offer a service where the client works-up a script, picks a presenter and then we mix everything together (in a single day) to produce a stunning video in the client’s very own branded TV studio - faster, better, cheaper than anything that’s ever been done before?
And so, the idea of VirtualStudio.TV was conceived and the news adventure for Jamie, Lorna, Rachel, Sean and Simon began.
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