The Future of ENG/EFP

Repost from

This is just like “2001 a Space Odyssey”. Not sure if you remember the scene with the reporter taking pictures. But his camera was very small, well guess what the future is finally hear. I love using my Kodak Zi8. It’s actually a nice little production camera.

Stephen Knapp in the photo. Photo taken by Tony Gasbarro

I think all filmmakers, content creators and bloggers should have one in their bag of tricks. Well filmmakers should have 2. Why should a filmmaker have two? I’m sure there’s many times you have extra hands on set helping you out. This is a perfect time to hand them a camera and have them get behind the scenes footage or do a quick interview.

It could be used in your extras, blog or promotional material. The image quality will come closer to the look of the film you are shooting. Plus it won’t look like a completely different format which tend to make extras look like a after thought. IMHO

If you’re a hyperlocal news person or blogger this camera and future cameras like this will be the future ENG/EFP cameras

What makes this camera a great ENG/EFP camera?

-HD Video, already off to a great start with full 1920×1080 HD resolution.

-The mic input. With this adapter you can plug in any kind of microphone. Like a reporter type mic, shotgun(that’s the one I use), even a Lavalier mic (you could even plug that in to a wireless system). Don’t forget any extension cords you might need depending on what kind of mic you pick up.

-Replaceable battery. If you do a lot of shooting you’ll want extra batteries. Get at least one extra but 2 are always a better bet. Here’s a charger for when the camera is in use. Want REALLY long life? Check one of my earlier blog posts.

-SD Cards. Need more recording time pop in another card, up to 16 gigs!

-Still images. Check out these, at 5 megapixel they are great for any broadcast situation

Macro setting


This one was aided with a wide angle lens, more on that in a later post.

Here’s a tip need to do a V.O.? Set the camera to a lower video resolution and use your external mic to do your V.O. That way you get a make shift audio recorder since you don’t need the video track it will just make it more manageable.

Kodak the only bit of advice I have is make the door easier to use to get the card out and you can drop the USB port. I’d never dangle that thing from my computer unless I was desperate. Oh and maybe make an audio mode.


This is just a fluff piece, but it’s fun fluff… We will be holding more of these events, so let me be the first to toss out some ideas for you.

If you’re a filmmaker and you need a crowd scene come shoot at one of our events. Everyone would love to be in your film!

If you’re a photographer and you have an idea for your next project that involves a crowd. Why not use us as your subjects?

If you’re a musician and you want to see if you can get mold us into your musical instrument. Then you should be there because we like making a lot of noise.

Okay I’m just getting started here but you get the idea. Chicago is a creative community so you start tossing our some ideas.  Leave them here in the comments or send us an email and see what you can come up with. Just let us know and we’ll be sure to let everyone know, who’s coming and what’s in store for them at the event.

But it’s more than just that, were building something here and we can’t do it alone. We’re looking for input and involvement. We want an engaged community that knows what everyone else here is doing and can help spread the word about Chicago and the Midwest.

You can find us on LinkedIn and Facebook, soon we’ll have a website along with other ways you can join the group and be a part of what’s happening.

Too shy to leave a comment or share some ideas contact any one of the founders directly we’ll be happy to talk.

Sean, Gregg, or Tim

New Media and The Midwest

How is Chicago and the Midwest working towards these goals that Leo Leporte is taking about in his speech to Online News Association? Here are the three main points you should watch out for as a content creator. Here’s your chance to share and let us know what you are doing or things you know are happening. Don’t you think other people want to know this stuff too?

1. Anybody can do it.
2. Reach.
3. Engagement with it’s audience.

Let’s face that day is here where anyone with a mic or a video camera can be a star. I don’t care how long you’ve studied your craft the individual now has a global reach. There’s no stopping it, but how are local broadcasters and publishers of content taking advantage of this? Are they reaching out to local content creators and looking for ways to integrate them with their online or broadcast channels. Could they be missing out on the next big thing?

What Tools are we making? The one button solution is right around the corner. Who in the Midwest is working on that? One button means. I click buy, subscribe, unlock whatever, now all that content knows how I enjoy my media and it delivers it to the any and all devices I happen to be using at the time.

Do we really care what our viewers think? I do! Here’s why. Pretty soon it won’t be the advertiser paying our production bills it will be the subscriber. I bet you’ll listen then.

You should make the time to watch this talk Leo Leporte gives. It will make you think get an idea where content is going in the next few years. Right now it’s still the wild west. I don’t see why it can’t be the Wild Midwest.

Let’s Create New Media in Chicago!

A few of us are having a party or a soiree so to speak!  If you are a new media content creator, small business, entrepreneurs, ad agency, local traditional media, local actors/talent, well the list could go on… That has heard some buzz words about social marketing you should attend this event.  We’ll have fun socializing and talking about all things nerdy.

There are all kinds of crazy ideas floating around out there about this stuff and we’re working on figuring it out like everyone else.

Here’s the gang making this happen but we want to add to this list for the next event!
James Gustin and Andrew Ettenhofer of Fig Media
Tim Jahn of Beyond The Pedway
Gregg Jaffe of Big Teeth Productions
Sean McMenemy, Matt Kern, and David Shelleny of Midwest Media Now!

Hope to see you at the Party! Check out the details below.

What’s all the hubbub?
Chicago has a ton of creative energy and people creating great podcasts, video series, and more! We want to bring everyone together to network and have some fun! This isn’t about watching panels and taking notes; this is about doing!

So what exactly is happening?
Mingle with and learn from new media producers and other creative people! We’ll be showing various productions created by folks here in Chicago and creating brand new content on the spot as well!
The hubbub includes:
On The Spot – Like ‘Jaywalking’ but Chicago-centric, hipper, and starring you! Let’s see how much you know about Chicago!
Local New Media Showcase – A showcase of locally produced new media web series, podcasts, and more.
…and more!

Why should I care?
Because new media can be a great tool for small businesses, entrepenuers, agency folks, and creative people alike! And it’s fun to create! We want new media folks to meet new audiences and create new opportunities for themselves and others.

Who’s coming to this shin-dig?
small business owners
new media content creators
ad agency folks
local traditional media folks
local actors/talent
local production crew (grips, sound folks, etc.)

Who’s putting this together?
This event is being put together by:
James Gustin and Andrew Ettenhofer of Fig Media
Tim Jahn of Beyond The Pedway
Gregg Jaffe of Big Teeth Productions
Sean McMenemy, Matt Kern, and David Shelleny of Midwest Media Now

Would you like your show/video/etc. to be shown?
We’d love to showcase your unique new media content at the event! Simply send an email to Tim with info.

New Media World.

After February 17th I mean June 12th a new age of digital content will be born here in the United States. What does this mean for content creators? Take a really good look at your iTunes or Tivo. Pretty soon you won’t have to schedule your life around the shows the networks and cable gives us. You’ll be able to fit that content around your life.

Early adopters have already started making such changes, and it won’t be long before this becomes more mainstream as the technology makes things simple for everyone to view what they want when they want it.

Content creators need to start asking themselves what this means.

  1. First it means it won’t matter what size the screen you are trying to make your content for, people are going to watch it the way they want to watch it. You can’t do anything about it.
  2. Second, you better have a understanding of how you are going to get your content out there. This won’t mean spending a year on the film festival circuit or waiting for a big break from Hollywood. You are wasting time that won’t help you launch your next project.
  3. Third, realizing you have a lot more control of how your content gets out there. Which means the more you control it the more it comes back to you. The credit, the money, the ownership.
  4. Fourth, be ready to listen. If you’re lucky enough to get fans listen to them, make them happy.

All this is much better for all content creators, bloggers, painter, musicians, filmmakers whatever content you are creating. You will have power and you won’t need to go through any of the publishing machines of the past any longer.

I hope with this site and some of the posts you’ll start finding here you’ll see more and more evidence of this coming around. Let us know what you are thinking and lets see if together we can figure out ways to make sure well all can make our content find a home.

Read these!

Kevin Kelly 1000 True Fans

Kent Nichols While you’re there listen to the interview of Lance Hammer.

LED lighting by PRG Lighting

I was at the Chicago HD EXPO and talked with PRG Lighting about LED Lighting for film and video. We are always looking for ways to keep our subjects cooler and this is about as cool as you can get and still have the light on! Trisha from PRG Lighting explains some of their lighting configurations in the video below. You can find out more by going to their website PRG Production Resource Group.

Some more examples of different light heads.