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September 2014
Issue: September 1, 2013

Editor's Letter: Web Entertainment

By: Marc Loftus
Not all that long ago, it was thought that programming found on the Web was inferior in many ways to traditional broadcast content. But Web programming, such as series, has come a long way in just a short amount of time. 

Look at Netflix’s Arrested Development, which is nominated for several Emmys, including “Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing For a Comedy Series,” and you’ll see that the quality bar for Web series has been set quite high.

Over and over again, we are hearing about Web content that is being shot and posted in HD formats and resolutions, or well beyond. The Diamond Bros. in New York City, for example, are shooting in 4K, simply because “they can,” says Jason Diamond. Check out page 14 in this issue to see how they created a series of HD videos for the Canadian band Danko Jones — acquired in 4K — and later delivered a 23-minute 4K short for the band with the help of Odemax’s Ultra HD download service.

Eric Rodriguez and Cool Resolution in Boston are producing a brand-new Web series. Hosted by model and fashion editor Natalie King (pictured during a shoot), Chasing The Sun looks at the Boston lifestyle and features interviews with entrepreneurs, fashion designers, chefs, travel experts and health professionals. 

The show’s Website launched earlier this month, and episodes are expected to roll out every 10 days. Each episode will run between five and eight minutes in length — the Web allows for that flexibility.The series’ Website also offers a tip of the day; a blog from King; and on-set, behind-the-scenes footage.

According to Rodriguez, Chasing the Sun is being shot with Canon EOS 60D and EOS 70D DSLRs, and is being edited in Adobe Premiere CC using Dell T3500 and T7500 Precision workstations and mobile workstations. The team is also using Adobe Prelude CC and After Effects CC. The show makes use of licensed music from Killer Tracks and customized material created via SmartSound Pro. 

These are just a few Web projects that refuse to cut corners when it comes to quality. For a look at the production and post of other interesting Web series — including the UK-made The Projectionists, the 48fps-shot Video Game High School, and Rooster Teeth’s popular animated series RWBY — check out our feature in the September issue.