Thursday, March 22, 2012

Future of SPFLDtv as sketchy as the town itself

Yes, I said "town." Springfield is pretty much sewn up organizationally. Springfield, Illinois is and always shall be a loose confederation monopolistic fiefs whose entrance requires either extraordinarily large sums of money or birthright.

This town is locked down and if you try to get in and compete you will lose, of course you first will be drained financially by the cadre of local "support services."

Goodbye SPFLD

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Facebook Post "The Future may be SPFLD.tv" draws criticism from Access 4 Producer's Group..

Access 4 Producer's Group: Fred, are you spamming our page? I would be happy to put a link to your site on our links page on our site if you want, but I would rather you didn't say things like that when we are trying hard to keep Access going.


When I was a student at UIS I was a producer and studio technician for Access 4. Then Comcast ripped it out from under us and the students were out of part-time jobs and some university employees lost their jobs too.

But theres more...

From 1994 to 2001 I was the Photo Classified Advertising specialist for Cable Channel 5 in South Bend, Indiana. When I started working there it was called TCI Cable Advertising. Then TCI sold the operation to AT&T and it became AT&T Cable Advertising, luckily, we kept our jobs. Wait, there's more!

One morning my top sales exec brought me a newspaper clippping which read "Cable customers will finally see 'Buffy' on Cable Channel 5." Two weeks before the Cable Channel 5 team were to received their termination notices, the South Bend Tribune published an article explaining that Cable Channel 5 was to be sold to the Warner Brothers Network. Apparently, customers were complaining about not seeing Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Oh, wait, there's still more!

My boss was embarassed that I found out so early, but I took it in stride and stuck it out until the exit interview and the nice severence package. My boss, Mike Cannon, told me that I was responsible for bringing in $500,000 a year in revenue through Cable Channel 5.

Long after I moved on, I called the office in South Bend to check up on some olld friends. I learned that I was laid off because AT&T wanted to sell the cable system to Comcast. After Comcast bought the unit, everyone but the office manager and one video technician was laid off. The traffic manager committed suickde.

AT&T was shedding as much dead weight as possible because C. Michael Armstrong (in an interview on CNBC) was spooked by WorldCom profits and AT&T was shedding thousands of jobs. AT&T sweetened the deal for the South Bend unit by selling my channel to Warner Brothers.

Later it was discoverd that Bernie Ebbers over at WorldCom was cooking the books. He was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 25 years according to CNBC. Hang on, I'm almost finished.

So I was laid off in June of 2001. Right before the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, right at the beginning of the first of several huge recessions. I searched for employment in the South Bend area for 11 months. I finally wound up working for Lowes, but it didn't pay me enough to keep my house. So I had to sell my house and move back to Springfield where I was born.

I went to UIS and earned a BA in Communication. While I was a student there, I got a job at the Office of Electronic Media as a studio technician. I was interviewed by Dave Antoine and he apparently was impressed with me. At the time, The Public Access studio was operated by the University with assistance from Comcast

Then one day, the university wanted to get a different cable system so some students could watch Al Jazeera, which was not provided by Comcast. What did Comcast do? Stay tuned!

Comcast yanked the Public Access production operation out of the University of Illinois at Springfield, laying off some long-time full-time staff and student employees, INCLUDING MYSELF! AGAIN!

So, that's my hate-hate relationship with Comcast. I applied for work there when I first came to Springfield. Nope. Not a chance. They are beyond redemption.

So. Do you think you're safe in the hands of Comcast? I think not. I would, if I were a producer on Access 4, get a presence on the Internet, and develop a relationship with SPFLD.TV

I wiill gladly provide a link to your website and your YouTube channel. I don't charge anything. I never made any money with this. My equity is entirely in brand distribution.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Comcast, I am not amused

Well Comcast has an uncanny way of pinpointing my exact location.

I live in a house with 3 TVs and it just so happens that the TV in my room is the one that Comcast seems to have chosen, to silence the FX Network (Cable channel 54), with the exception of advertising.

I could hear the KFC chicken commercial just fine, but the film Kung Fu Panda was completely silent. The audio was fine on the other televisions in the house. Do I feel like jerking around with automated customer service to run through the same basic setup steps all over again just to get them to finally realize they have an issue at their end? No.

Goodbye FX Network.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Consumer video camera audio issue.

You can get a cheap HD video camera these days, and quality is really not that much of an issue on YouTube like it is on the FCC regulated broadcast television networks.

You can still put together a video portfolio for a TV station, should you want to work at one, using a consumer camera, but the most important thing to remember about consumer video cameras is that they mostly neglect the audio technology by forgetting to add an audio input jack on the camera.

There are a few consumer cameras that have audio input jacks, specifically, the 1/8 inch stereo phono plug.

You need to have one for an external microphone that has better quality and can be placed more accurately where you want it. You especially need a camera with an audio input jack if you want to use a mixer with a wireless audio transmitter, especially if you are recording live performances.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another symptom of Print's demise

Older people are growing more frustrated with print every day searching for items that are intermittently migrating to the Internet. One glaring example is advertising by movie theaters.

My mother nearly ripped the State Journal-Register to shreds looking for the movies this Sunday. She grabbed the Illinois Times and was frustrated with that too. She saw a movie advertised on television that piqued her again. "What's the point of advertising a movie on television? Once they come to Springfield we forget about them! We never see them advertised and then their gone!"

Older people have lost sight of the changing stream of communication. There is still a need for print as long as there are people still alive who were born before 1950 who never adopted new technology. They still have their pensions, remember what a pension is? It's a salary they used to give to retirees for the rest of their lives. Don't tell me they still have them, if you think you're getting one your being duped.

Anyway I digress. If anyone here in Springfield consistently prints movie schedules for theaters in Springfield, leave a comment on this blog, I'm sure there are a lot of people still around who might subscribe to it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Random notes on compelling media

What is it about a book, play or film that motivates one to cease acting on one's own survival instinct for a period of entertainment? This question was answered partially by the PBS series on "Mirror Neurons." To quickly summarize, some of the same parts of the brain are used when we do something and when we watch others do things.

Reading triggers the imagination in the same way. We have the unique ability to use symbols, letters and numbers, to stimulate images and then stimulate those images into actions purely in our mind.

So, what's so compelling?

One's own fantasies of happiness portrayed by others? One's own ideal emotional transactions carried out to desired conclusions by others? Basically, someone or something showing us what we want to see. What do we want to see?

Children seek expressions of stability, peace, community, comfort, safety, abundance among other things. Basically, visualizations of satiation.

As we grow up we become compelled to see more complex expressions of satiation, such as mere hints or implied expressions of sexuality, control over situations not normally controllable, victory and dominance.

Depending on who we want as an audience or customer, we can distill these expressions from simplistic to extremely abstract.

More later.