(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
unlocked 11.23.06 - YouTube link added 01.29.09
2:33 PM, Tuesday, November 21st, 2006:
11.21.06 - The Test Show
"Hello again fellas. Welcome to your 30s. Hope the last couple of years were good to you. I see Cameron was able to pry himself away from the monitor-life so there's hope for you guys yet..."

The boys are most definitely back. Looking at these pictures is kind of a mixed bag for me. I'm excited as hell to see them again, but I'm still in perfectionist mode and these incarnations are kinda like copies of copies? There's this feeling of fakeness with them and it still slightly makes my skin crawl. I have to take some blame for it however. 5 years and 20 pounds will certainly add to the feeling of "something isn't right". The rest is just hair and make-up and this is a great starting point. These guys will look different as we work our way through these next 13 shows.


The green-screening actually did turn out as bad as I feared. If you watch just the full-screen video of each shot it's dirty as hell. In techincal terms that means there's blotches of green flashing all around the subject and on the flip side (as with G's hair strands) it actually makes them disappear from time to time. It's what happens when the green screen isn't lit properly, and other than frame by frame roto-work (cropping out the subject for every frame) there's nothing you can do. Roto is obviously not an option for a piece with such a quick turnaround time, so I settled for the next best thing:

Showing them from far-fuggin-away.
Basically we never get closer than a 2-shot and it's never an issue. It worked fine for the test show, but we have to make sure we nail the lighting from now on because to not be able to have a full-screen shot is really limiting. This angle with Cameron however is a problem. It's anything but flattering and when we cut to the close-up of him it's flat-out embarrasing. I might as well be Brando. No idea how to fit everything into the shot without me leaning back though...
The shots where I had to use the photo worked fine for a "last second save", but certainly stand out in comparison. The lighting is way off and it's just too flat. Moving video will always look different than a still even if you fake a steady zoom-in as I did.
Luckily all of this is the complete geek in me and it's gonna come off fine, especially for a little internet clip. I've also gotten pretty good at looking at things from other perspectives and it allows me to stop screwing with it soooooo much. I'm certain this is more extensive than they imagined.

Which of course brings us to the real drama in all of this: we still haven't come to an agreement on the contract and this test show had inadvertently become my only real bargaining power. Realize that no one at CBS has any clue of what I can do other than that goofy 2 minute clip. So when I try to explain to them that editing this bit is a good 30 hours at a minimum they think I'm CRAZY. It's mainly because it's all effects shots. It took forever to put this together. Now in time, I'm pretty sure I can get this puppy down to 20 hours but that's if we do the same thing every week, which I know they'll want to change.
I have to believe however, once they see this clip...they'll understand. This has to be one of the most complicated "Webisodes" ever produced. It certainly seems out of place for just the internet...and of course that's my goal. I want it to SCREAM broadcast. I mean they're already putting time and money into it...why wouldn't they want to get more out of it? That's why not having a perfect green-screen or hair piece is such a focus for me. I see this as the catalyst to so much more...and we're so damn CLOSE. We'll get there...

For now however I get to wait patiently ALLLLLL night as I wait for a conference call in the morning to see what everyone in NY thought. It's a very interesting stress I must admit. I think I mentioned this back in September, but this kind of stress? It trumps anonymity like a MOFO. I'm in the game. The stress of making the 3-pointer is actually FUN. The stress of sitting on the bench when you KNOW you can make the 3-pointer will obliterate your SOUL.

Until Turkey day...