Jul 302009

Running the Australian Laboratory for Advanced Media production I often have to provide a broad contextual background (as well as detailed insights!) to many of our seminars and labs. Over the past few months I have presented across a range of topics suggested in the blog title and lucky for some these have been captured in video form! So the player below contains (for now) seven separate presentations, a mix of free informal evening ones through to more formal full day workshop intros. The video production value is variable so I add the audio only versions at the bottom too and there are links to the other many great speakers at each session, detailed below the video box. These are unedited and contain the usual umms, arrs, errors, coughs & pregnant pauses, oh and I hope some great content. All are 16by9 apart from the serious games in 4by3, Enjoy

  1. SOCIALIZED TV 2.0 – 17m © Gary Hayes Director LAMP @ AFTRS and CCO of MUVEDesign (slideshares here)
  2. GAMES: SERIOUSLY – 35m © Gary Hayes (slideshares here)
  3. VIRTUAL STORY: THE ART AND CRAFT OF MACHINIMA – 42m © Gary Hayes (slideshares here)
  4. (Seminar Intro) THE RISE AND RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA – 13m (slideshares here) © Gary Hayes
  5. FREE AND EASY (seminar intro) – 10m © Gary Hayes
  6. IPTV FUTURES – 20m © William Cooper Head of Informitv (live Skype video interview with Gary Hayes)
  7. MULTIPLATFORM INNOVATIONS – 22m © Giancarlo A. Mori Senior Vice President, ANIMALLOGIC Interactive. (live Skype video intro interview with Gary Hayes)

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Jun 052007

“Mixed Reality is the merging of real world and virtual worlds to produce new environments where physical and digital objects can co-exist and interact in real-time. - Wikipedia

Mixed Reality Storm 01 - orig photo by Andrew P Brooks

“I think we are really approaching a perfect storm, a mixed reality perfect storm, because we are seeing several things happening. The first one is a long history of games based on TV and films, the foundations are already there. Another force creating this storm is virtual worlds, particularly the exponential growth of customisable ones and more importantly external integration into them including live performance. The third force is audience behaviour. They are involved in far more simultaneous activity particularly between broadband web and TV. The fourth element to this perfect storm is actually what is happening to TV and film, especially live reality TV becoming more game like and film becoming fantasy based. All of these forces together are creating a really potent mix” – Gary Hayes 17 May 2007

While I am in ‘share talk’ mode here is a brief sixteen minute capture of a presentation I gave to a hundred or so Aussie media folk on 17 May recorded live at the at the AGL Theatre, Museum of Sydney (MoS). It took a while to put up as I ran a LAMP residential in Tasmania in between and a bunch of SL work. There were also great talks by colleagues Tony Walsh and Guy Gadney. (orig sea scene photo by Andrew P Brooks)

MP3 recording time 15:46 (7.7MB) Click to listen

Enhanced Podcast – M4v with 30 slides. (8.5MB) Click to download


A short 16m introduction from Gary Hayes who looks at the four forces that are coming together to create perfect conditions for this hybrid form of entertainment. He looks back 10 years at early inhabited TV 3D world experiments when he was an innovation producer at the BBC and then forward to the latest cross-over services where TV properties become virtual and where the virtual world appears inside traditional forms. He looks at virtual worlds such as there.com, second life, PS3 Home, Habbo Hotel, Neopets etc: and how properties such as Big Brother, Laguna Beach, The Hills, Pimp My Ride and a range of consumer brands that are creating engaging and immersive hybrid entertainment.


All LAMP podcasts are also published through the iTunes store.

Audio processed by G Hayes

Aug 122006

I was quite shocked when I heard the news that TOTP (Top of the Pops) is to close down after 42 years and some 2100 episodes. Is this the first of many major ‘heritage’ media brands that are just becoming irrelevant in today’s easy find, on-demand and share with everyone emerging media landscape? Will many major brands simply not be able to turn back time?

Moving recently to the other side of the planet I am somewhat removed now from this cultural icon that became one of a few must see’s during the UK weekly schedule and Thursday evenings (thenFriday) was once THE place to decide what vinyl or CD to buy at the weekend. But I also have a personal connection to the brand having been the producer for six months of the interactive TV pilot back in 1999 which also coincided with a major brand face-lift – more on that later. The BBC News report “BBC Calls Time on Top of the Pops” though captures some of the mixed reaction to this and hints are some of the reasons why this has happened…

In a statement, the BBC said the weekly programme could no longer compete with 24-hour music channels.

“Noel Edmonds said he thought it was “dangerous” to “throw out one of the most recognised brands in TV today. It’s a huge commodity and kids are still listening to music, even if they are downloading it. It’s a tragedy when a broadcaster doesn’t understand such a powerful brand.”
“Top of the Pops has been overrun by video of music on TV.” Said Jimmy Saville. Mike Read, who was a presenter in the 1980s, said: “It was a situation that was obviously coming because of dwindling audiences.”

Top of the Pops – (perhaps paraphrased to ‘best examples of contemporary pop music’) has simply become irrelevant. It appeared to many of its audience as a live performance but, and I hope not to spoil the fantasy, it was never live in the last 10 years or so – I was close to the varying degrees of miming that took place on a pre-record a day before. No TOTP was nearer to a talent show than an up-to date place to really find out about new music. A weekly batch of eight songs selected by a couple of ‘programmers’ prior to a Monday morning production meeting was never going to survive in a world of twenty 24/7 digital music channels, peer-to-peer sharing and the likes of iTunes/iPod. No in the music long tail, a weekly sheduled programme that shows a handful of some of the music at the head of the tail would only survive if it had something truly live or unique.

The TOTP enhanced version, got a a few special XMas airings in a cut down form, but more importantly as a pilot was responsible along with a Wimbledon pilot, for convincing the BBC to do interactive broadcast media. In the pilot, we wanted to explore in one of the many features, a range of ‘extras’ such as those rare backstage glimpses that at least appealed to the ‘goss’ in all of us. But that was not enough. Neither was the ability to sing along in karaoke mode or a link to the video for those who were never keen on the staged ‘screaming kids’ pre-record. One thing I put in the pilot interactive TV version that never made it to the tx versions may have been its saviour (if there was a continous presence on 24/7 digital TV) and that was the web 2.0 elements. Alongside all the ‘insight’ information about the acts I was insistant on including in the pilot community areas that included simple casual games, emails, chat, voting and instant messages from viewers and forums around the show (see the images attached). But most big broadcasters are simply not very good at this sort of stuff, and chicken out, often with excuses of it being too difficult to moderate, or fall back on the technically too expensive excuse (I know we did) – so best leave that to the millions using free, easy to use, open source web 2.0 publishing software then – geez and we wonder why audiences are on a broadcaster exodus. But back to TOTP I really believe that the brand should have been given a chance and rather than a half hearted attempt at the eTV version around XMas specials, a TV 2.0 version would have allowed this particular icon to jump the chasm created by the latest tsunami sized digital wave. But that will never happen and the BBC Worldwide, commercial website, or the weaker bbc.co.uk version, may continue for a while until the brand itself fizzles out in the next few years.

The editorial stance that TOTP had that is now seen as an irrelevant voice to the music youth in the UK must shock other large media brands who believe their editorial team are truly representing what audiences want to consume. I even fear for MTV and those other 24/7 music loop channels who will be very soon relegated to ambient background or occasional party channels as the audience simply shifts to on-demand, shared playlists and only really trusts a global ‘collective recommendation’ system. An individual simply has their own personalized Top of the Pops, which incidentally changes moment to moment. No the editorial winners in the future are not teams sat inside boards rooms, those existing ‘heritage’ aggregators of content (magazines, broadcasters, film studios, newspapers) they will simply be a ‘wisdom of the crowds’ range of trusted filters. An avid music fan in Wisconsin becomes as important as the programmers at MTV or BBC – music will be found by searching for groups of trusted like-minded ‘browsers’ – Top of the Pops becomes Top of the Aggregators.

To put a slightly different slant on it, the distribution channel is now irrelevant for most media consumers, they can get their content in many ways, no now the important thing is trusted sources of links to content. YouTube and GoogleVideo will of course do the same to TV programming over the next few years that MP3 (etc) did to the music industry and TV music programming. The only TV programmes that will survive will not be the ones who simply plop their content a day earlier on iTunes but ones that differentiate themselves from the masses – those who build brand across multiple platforms and more importantly create a web 2.0 blanket around it. If viewers cannot resonate with the content they simply forward it and forget about it. Those brands that do have the ability to receive and incorporate audience content (and not of the “home video show” type – I hate it when some TV folk tell me that is already happening!) – but allow them to offer content and weave it into the fabric of the offering, which becomes effectively what TV magazine programmes used to be – a collection of what people like to see in one package. That will be far more important than anything sixty people, a well equipped six camera shoot studio and the record business can come up with.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006

Mar 142006

Samsung B600Now don’t worry this blog is not turning into somekind of mobile review site – but I am in a ‘mobile-converged-device’ mode at the moment, combined with ‘media journey’ ontology – a sad mix. But without getting hung up on convergent or divergent semantics, here is a device (I shall reveal in a moment) that heralds a new direction and era for creatives who are working in ‘media journey’ arenas. The problem historically with mobile devices is that 1) they are pretty low on storage to carry all the stuff you want with you 2) the quality of video and photos is poor and (3) (why do things come in 3’s?) it is often a pain to show stuff on a bigger screen.

That is why at the moment ‘diverged tech’ people often have at least 4 devices – 1-iPod (MP3, video, pics) 2-Mobile phone for comms 3-Digi camera for good quality stills 4-PDA for contacts, calendars, web stuff, docs…the creative possibilities of having all of the above in one device for creatives, producers who cannot get their heads around a multi-tude of devices each with a bewildering array of functions will be very useful. If we know as producers that in 5-10 years time everyone will have a connected device that does everything all the separate items do at the moment well…

OK so you want a connected tri-band, GPRS/Edge to communicate with the world. You also want that device to come with a 10 megapixel camera to take real high quality photos, and of course a video camera. You need at least 8GB internal storage keep all that stuff you will be capturing. Then of course connect it directly to the TV, oh and bluetooth, MP3 playback etc etc: Well here it is (and no there is no sponsorship going on here;-) !

Samsung have just announced (press release called ‘world’s first (naturally!) on mobique) the SCH-B600. Sadly it will be launched first in South Korea mid 06 – so perhaps Australia will get it sometime in 2008! Some bits from the release:

Samsung’s B600 sets itself apart from its previous megapixel cameraphones by combining the mobile TV technology with the 10 megapixel camera. The B600 offers the same level of picture-taking sophistication that a 10 megapixel digital camera offers and mobile TV capability in Satellite standard.

Moving pictures can be recorded in QVGA resolution at 15-30 frames per second. Users can watch live TV in crisp picture through Satellite DMB function. The mobile phone supports a TV-out function where users can connect their phones to view still or motion pictures.

Also, the B600 comes fitted with a LED autofocus feature, the first time ever for a cameraphone. It also has the “Anycall Band” feature, where each person using this phone can play a specific melody of instruments and arrange it together to create a song for downloading.

It also supports Bluetooth functions, through which users can listen to their MP3 files, enjoy DMB and communicate with other people wireless via Bluetooth headset. The photo-fine chromarich LCD can reproduce 16 million colours, virtually any colour found in nature, earning it the “True Colour” appellation.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006

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