RetroSmash - Episode 1: Rubik's Cube

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Bill Loguidice
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Claiming minor inspiration from Matt and me, Marty "The One Man Party", has posted episode 1 of his new series entitled, "RetroSmash". Good stuff. Someone forgot to tell Marty that you're not supposed to do so great on your first try!

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Mark Vergeer
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Excellent intro, but...

Excellent intro it does take up 1/5th (20%) of the total length of the video. Excellent video though 5/5

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Mark Vergeer
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Cool!

PS3: MarkVergeer | Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | Mark's Tube

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Martin Touhey
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Episode 2 is now up

For those who enjoyed the first episode, the second episode of RetroSmash is now up on youtube. Check it out..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nffttf_VLMg

Marty "the one man party" (not verified)
RetroSmash reactions are great!

Hey everyone,
Marty "the one man party" here and I just want to thank everyone for their positive input and comments, they really make the work worthwhile. To answer Matt's question, the video took me approximately 2 and a half weeks to write, shoot, and edit which is why I'm looking to make it a monthly thing. I still work a full-time job as a graphic designer and also have to divide my time with my girlfriend and my own video production/graphic design business, so my time to do these episodes are limited.

I was initially inspired by Matt and Bill because I felt that there is a good sized niche of people who are interested in the same things as I am, so why not give my own informative views of the old-school things I like? Matt and Bill seem to have a great following and their videos are always fun to watch so as a result I wanted to create something that was just as fun. I'm also inspired by The Angry Video Game Nerd which is where some of the more comedic elements are drawn from.

RowdyRob said "I'm a stuttering fool, especially when doing a "speech" as opposed to a conversation."
I'm pretty much in the same boat Rob, but that's where the magic of editing comes in. I contemplated doing a blooper reel of all my screw-ups, but that in itself could be a complete episode. I completely flub my lines and I'm not the greatest at improvisation, so scripting is a absolute necessity. If I ever have to do something live then I'll be screwed.

Bill said "I think that can be worked around to a degree by the host himself moving around a bit and placing the camera at different locations so each time the host "drops in" in the video it looks a bit different. I can't be sure, but I think that's what he did there."
That's pretty much exactly what I did. The entire episode takes place in my bedroom and I just picked different spots to film myself. I wanted the show to be interesting, but still have the host aspect. I could have easily made the entire video with voice-over, but I think that gives it a less intimate feel. I think people relate better when they can see a face with the voice.

If anyone has any questions, criticisms, or comments then feel free to post them. Episode 2 is almost completely written, so I'm off to shooting. Take care all and thanks again for the great reception.

Marty "the one man party"

Rowdy Rob
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Retrosmash is a smash!

This was obviously an excellent production. I wish "Marty" would get in on this discussion and post his insights.

I think one of the keys to having a successful production is the host him/herself. It is also why I don't do videos; I'm a stuttering fool, especially when doing a "speech" as opposed to a conversation.

Another thing about this "Retrosmash" episode is that it features a physical object that can be shot from a variety of angles, plus it is an interactive object. That adds to interest, since a Rubik's Cube can be twisted, turned, and "solved." Matt Chat doesn't (generally) have that advantage, since you can't shoot "software" from different angles. AATV has some flexibility here, since Bill can feature things from his hardware collection.

Therefore, you guys have to do a lot of inserts, cutaways, and other alternate methods, such as the cool "Mancopter" special FX sequence, to keep the viewers interest. And it's working, of course. But it also sounds like your production schedules are much tighter than his, being weekly shows.

Bottom line is all three shows are watchable, and the "retro" community should be glad to have yet another quality show to watch on Youtube.

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Matt Barton
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I run into the same problem

I run into the same problem when lecturing. Students have an extremely difficult time just focusing on a speaker standing rigidly at a lectern, even if he or she has good diction and elocution. I've noticed preachers having the same problem. The better ones move around and run through the gamut of emotions, sometimes raising the voice in anger or indignation, dropping down to a quiet voice to cover some delicate material, indulging in mockery or humor, or stopping altogether to ask a question or to call on a student by name. One trick I learned was to work a student's name into the material. If a student hears himself being discussed, he will pay rapt attention every time, and will generally continue at least for awhile.

But to return to the subject at hand...I did try the multiple angles thing a week or so ago. Basically what I wanted to do was shift between a close-up, intimate view for certain bits and then a longer shot. It proved extremely difficult to do given my manner of composition. To do it right, I'd have to plan even more in advance so that I could break to the other shot in a way that made sense. Of course, I've also seen shows where the person's voice continues, but the shot is just the person walking around or perhaps doing something else (the voice becomes a voice over). That wouldn't really make sense given my setup, though. Of course, you would have to have a camera operator to do some of the fancier stuff, such as slowly swinging around or tracking your movement as you walk or lean.

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Bill Loguidice
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Yeah, it again is a pity as

Yeah, it again is a pity as usual that we don't live closer to each other, as we'd have the camera operator thing, among others, solved. I think that can be worked around to a degree by the host himself moving around a bit and placing the camera at different locations so each time the host "drops in" in the video it looks a bit different. I can't be sure, but I think that's what he did there. It's just a matter of thinking a bit outside the box, I suppose, even if it breaks some of the "rules".

The 15 second rule I think is just for interviews, not for host segments. Hosts tend to be on for much longer, but I agree that they should be in brief spurts. I think as far back as Carl Sagan in Cosmos blathering on in an engaging manner at length, though of course for a lot of time he had someone with a camera following him around, so even though it was just him talking, he was doing things with his hands and what-not at the same time.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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I heard Tom say that he

I heard Tom say that he didn't like to see a talking head for more than 15 seconds. That's quite a feat, so I think I'll shoot for 30 seconds in my next video. To do it right, I guess you need to make sure you say things that lend themselves to images. I also noticed that Marty "digresses" a lot (thinking of the bit with the guy's last name), perhaps that's a good way to keep from being so monotonous. Most people stop watching my videos after about the 3/4 mark. That means I need to either limit myself to 7.5 minutes or so, or come up with more segments and transitions. I do sympathize, though I do enjoy a much larger attention span than most people seem to have these days. I still maintain that you're better off with a tight 5 minutes than a loose 10 minutes.

I also liked how he shifted between close, focused shots and rapid transitions. Seems to give the video a more intimate feel than the long shots I tend to use. Of course, it'd be ideal to have a camera operator who could make those shifts for you, but difficult in practice. I think it looks cheesy in documentaries when they keep shifting angles seemingly just for the hell of it; the guy talking usually has to retrain on the moved camera, and that looks worse than if they'd just kept it still. I've seen Fox get around this by scrolling some text or putting them against a colorful background or the like; even then you start to feel "strained" to keep watching the head for more than a few minutes. All in all, though, I like how Fox is willing to just show talking heads for so long, whereas the others seem to want to make so many cuts. In any case, it of course helps when the talking head has a lot of facial expression, good speaking skills, and an obvious stance (such as O'Reilly's scathing cynicism, Limbaugh's cheerful jingoism, or Beck's "common sense" skepticism). When you get away from the obvious stereotypes the speakers have to go so far out to keep interest; consider the huge range you get out of somebody like Jon Stewart compared to any of these guys.

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Bill Loguidice
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Yes, he's humbled and

Yes, he's humbled and inspired me as well, so if what he says is true, then it's right back at him. I love his editing work. It definitely gives me pause that I need to put more effort into that in my own productions. I'm going to keep episode 3 as-is, but definitely try and work more of that in for episode 4.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
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Matt Barton
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Marty has really done an

Marty has really done an exceptional job here, Bill. If indeed he was inspired by us, at least for my part I feel the student has surpassed the master. He's really shown what one guy can accomplish with the right mix of technology and talent. What's more, he makes it look easy.

A few things I noticed was how seamlessly the pieces fit together, and how often the visuals change to emphasize, accentuate, or punctuate the message. I also noticed lots of tasteful video effects, such as all the shots of his working with the cube. This is really masterful stuff, and he said more in 5 minutes than others (myself included) can get across in twice that time. I don't know how long it took him to make this, but he seems to think this will be more of a monthly rather than a weekly thing.

At any rate, he's definitely humbled and inspired me, and I only hope my next Matt Chat will compare favorably to Marty's masterpiece!

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