from today's Wall Street Journal
 

Discovery Plunges Headlong Into The 1990's.

Posted 1 year ago
 

Sorry, but I have to laugh.

A lot.

An article in this morning's Wall Street Journal is entitled:

Discovery Reviews Production Costs After Saving on Low-Budget Quarantine Shows

followed by the sub heading:

TV network said it saved $300,000 on average for every hour of content shot from home for HGTV, Food Network and DIY

The fact that they are BRAGGING about saving $300,000 every hour will give you an indicaiton of just how badly run that massive network actually is.

So ha ha ha ha.... ha ha ha ha....

Allow me to explain.

In the 1990s I produced a lot of shows for Discovery.

At one point I had a dozen series in production for them simultaneously.

I am, as I am sure youi know by now, a great proponent of the VJ or MMJ model. In those days, we shot and produced all our Discvoery series with VJs. The VJs shot with small hand-held mini DV cameras (the forefunner to the iPhone).

The worked alone. (That't the whole idea).

There were no 'crews', no DPs, no 'Camera men or women', No DIrectors. No Sound people. No nobody, except the VJ (generally a smart 23-year old) and their camera.

We also edited on laptops on Final Cut (the first version).

Our costs were, oh, I would guess about 20% of the Discovery Channel budgets. (Their problem as far as I was concerned).

After a while, I tired to explain to them how we produced their shows.

"I can cut your costs by 75%," I told them. 

They were not interested.

"Not professoinal," they told me. (Whatever that means).

Recently, I was watchig an episode of Love It Or List It.  In the middle of the show, a garage door unexpectedly fell off with a crash.  At that moment, the camera panned left to catch the crash and for a moment, it captured the 'crew' working on the show.  I froze the video and counted 9 people, 9 people to do what essentially it takes on person to do.

I called them up.

"You are wasting money!" I said. (Hoping to be hired as the lower cost option).

"What you do is 'not professiona.' they told me.

If only they knew how many hundres of hours of my not professional shows they had already bought, paid for and aired.

So now, it only took a global pandemic for them to 'get it;'.

But they still don't.

If you want a funny exercise, take a look at the photo in the Wall Street Journal article. 

Note the size of the 'professional' tripod that the iPhone is affiixed to.

The tripod is not only about 50 times the size of the 'camera', it also costs more than the phone.

Crazy. 

Still crazy after all these years.

Got an iPhone?

Go make a food show, a DIY show, a real estate show.

If I could do it, so can you. 

 

 


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