Shel, Feldman – In The Internet, Low Budget Doesn’t Mean Bad Production

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Shel Israel and Loren Feldman are fighting. Yep, a good old, ego driven, social media fight.

This clip started it all:

and Shel responded by saying

Now Matt, let’s talk about GlobalNeighbourhoods.tv, which you deemed “unwatchable” because of my ineptitude as a videographer and because you think my interviews are unfocused and boring.I think you are being a bit harsh on the interview skills. I have lots of experience over a good number of years interviewing all sorts of people and my work has been historically well received. But what is true is that I suck as a videographer and my worries about that have so far hurt some of the five video clips we have posted.

The fact is that FastCompany.TV is being treated as start up, which is exactly what it is. That means low budget. While FastCompany is talking with several companies, there is no sponsor yet. The top priority for what we will do with a sponsor is to get an AV professional to work with me on a format for the show and to be with me for all my interviews. This will allow me to focus on the interviews themselves, and area where I am pretty confident.

Shel – I am all with you. It is hard to do good videos. But, in the Internet, you can make great looking videos with simple equipment. That’s the whole thing with videobloggers. Kathryn did a low cost production which looked great. Galacticast guys are shooting in their living room, and their show looks great as well.

There are some basic things that can help – editing, editing, audio and editing. It can be done with your own Mac. Nothing fancy. So let’s not blame lack of budget for all the things that are wrong with Internet video. I think there are couple of other things there too…

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10 Responses to “Shel, Feldman – In The Internet, Low Budget Doesn’t Mean Bad Production”


  1. 1 Kathryn Jones April 6, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    kfir… you are right about vid production…its not easy but its doable…step 1..get advice, aid and instruction from a video expert- move on from there.. I am constantly amazed at the lack of effort that goes into online video production, I mean, I wouldn’t slap together some code and advertise my web site… a trend I often see is a a slick sophisticated intro and extro with extremely amateur production values in between- in the um… CONTENT part…

    however… the Shel debacle brings up a far more important issue for me that has nothing to do with video production or quality. The new media’s high school like, personality centric popularity contests have done little to set us apart from the main stream media we say we wish to better. If the new media community continues to celebrate, link to, blog about, and twitter about people who use bullying, intimidation and hate to get attention we continue to pave a future for ourselves that far more closely resembles the fox news sensationalism of the past then the brave new world of media democratization and integrity so many of us have envisioned.

  2. 2 Kfir Pravda April 6, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Kathryn – mmmm…. well, honestly, I think that media is just media. the social part is irrelevant for me in the sense that it doesn’t CHANGE what we do, it just enables us to do that. Simple. so, you are write, it is a major issue, and things are getting dirty, but this is the way every media organization evolves. Or not?

  3. 3 Bill Cammack April 6, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I made my specific response on Shel’s site.

    In general, the problem that I see repeatedly with internet video is that people and companies don’t want to budget for quality. Instead, they choose to focus on the ‘bottom line’, which is hits. As long as they can get people to go to their site and click play, they have no incentive to make quality videos. It doesn’t matter if their videos are 19 minutes long, so long as someone presses play. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t any editing or poor framing or poor lighting or shaky-cam or ANYTHING, because it’s all about page views and video plays.

    Unfortunately, and I’ve seen this IRL @ NYC meetups… There is a divide between content creators and the people who strive to make money OFF OF content creators. Most of the time, you see mass numbers of either, but never together in the same place. This is because the content is seen as a product and not actual video. The content is merely something to draw people to the site so they can sell advertisements and make their money back.

    This creates a cycle, because the money-makers strive to get content cheaper and not better. When someone offers them a quality solution, it’s outside of their budget range because it works against the ‘bottom line’ AND they can’t demonstrate an ROI for doing better video.

    IF companies were interested in quality, the obvious solution is a distributed workflow. Let everyone play their position and do what they do best. Let the on-air-talent do the interviews, let the editors edit, let the coders and designers handle the site creation. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this is actually going to occur in most situations, as companies rush to take advantage of the latest fad, UGC.

    The only way a difference will be made is if someone actually DOES a quality production and can demonstrate the ROI for budgeting Quality Control into their productions. Show people the numbers, and they hop on the bandwagon… as usual.

  4. 4 jerryf April 7, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Talk with interesting people, ask them a series of thought provoking questions and edit, edit, edit.

    It’s the hard work that Shel and Robert do know how or aren’t willing to do.

    The result is hap hazard videos that are painful to watch. Camera work has little to do with it.

  5. 5 Robert Scoble April 7, 2008 at 8:10 am

    jerryf: editing costs money and takes time.

    I’ve found that doing a daily video show is far more important than doing something that’s highly edited.

    In fact, editing often works against people in this industry. Why? Because I get access the others don’t. Why?

    Well, one CEO told me about his experience being on CNBC.

    They used his time for 10 hours. 10 hours!!! And then they used two minutes of that.

    Me? I shoot for an hour and probably use 45 minutes. If it’s interesting, more. If it’s not as interesting, we will only shoot for 20 minutes. But I don’t hack them up to make them look slick or be entertaining.

    If you want entertaining, go watch the puppet show.

    If you want to hear from the guy who mentored Tim Berners-Lee then watch http://www.fastcompany.tv

    It’s not perfect, but where else are you able to get that kind of depth and conversation? Hint: no where.

  6. 6 Kfir Pravda April 7, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Robert – yep, you are right, CNBC can be a pain. However, there is a middle road. Not saying that doing 45 minutes is bad, just that there are other ways to do that. An edited daily show is a challenge.

  7. 7 Kathryn Jones April 7, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    One word kfir… INTEGRITY… without that, content is just as cammack implies, a monetizable commodity,like a barbie doll or an eggplant… web 2.0 is by definition social… without the community it is simply tv on the web, and bad tv at that.. I aspire to far more..

  8. 8 Aaron Koh May 5, 2008 at 3:20 am

    I guess the problem lies with the expectation that video made for Internet is as good or better for TV.

    It is as if Internet TV will replace TV so it should be way much better.

    I just launched a food videocast called Blogger’s Treat that brings bloggers to their favourite food places in Singapore.

    Since launching it, we had couple of critics on how it is not as good for TV.

    But we admit to them that yes, we are not TV professionals, but we are working on improving the production as we go along with more episodes.


  1. 1 “A One and A Two…” (Or How to deal with Loren F*cking Feldman.) « chartreuse Trackback on April 6, 2008 at 8:55 pm
  2. 2 Bill Cammack Trackback on April 13, 2008 at 9:20 pm

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