The QiRanger Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Television

The end of another month…

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September is over! It has been an awesome month, but the best thing about it has been the cessation of summer temperatures.

Fall is in full effect, bringing with it beautiful days and cool evenings. It’s also bringing with it several busy days. On the heels of SeoulTube, I stepped into several filming projects, most of which are not for my YouTube Channel. This is a breath of fresh air, as it lets me revisit some older topics and present them in a new, more stylistic manner.

Today, I went out to the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. It’s a great place, and a must-see (in my opinion) for anyone living in Korea. While out filming two projects, I was interviewed by KTV for an upcoming documentary they are working on in preparation for the G20 Summit later in October.

It was a fun experience, but for me very challenging. The interview portion was easy, but I constantly had to retrain myself not to look at the camera while talking. Shooting your own videos for YouTube, one must always look into the camera to engage the audience. However, this isn’t what you’re supposed to do in an interview… and after four years of trying to talk into the camera, looking past the camera was a stretch.

Here’s a quick little video I did at the pond while shooting:

I’ll post more about some of the other projects as they near completion.


Written by Steve Miller

September 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

The Pick-up

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Today was the awards ceremony for the most recent Korea Brand UCC Contest. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I was unable to fully participate; however, I did manage to make it out to Seoul for a while today and meet with the fine folks at the Presidential Council on Nation Branding.

At first I declined to attend the ceremony, not because I didn’t want to meet everyone, but because it takes about 90 minutes to get from their offices back to Dongtan. Since the ceremony was going to be at least an hour, it meant there was no way for me to be at their office and miss work. My solution was to go early (with their permission), and they agreed.

As this was my second award, both parties were eager to put faces with names. When I received my award certificate, it was also shared with all those in attendance that I was a repeat award winner.

It was great to finally be at their offices and mingle with other award winners. There’s an incredible amount of talent in Korea, and the contest brought out the best in everyone. They announced two more contests for the remainder of 2010, and I might enter them as well. For now, I we’ll see how my free times stacks up.

As mentioned on YouTube, I thought I’d answer some of the most common questions regarding my travel videos. I’m going to do that now, since I’ll be delivering my computer to UBASE on Friday for a hard disk upgrade, and I’m not sure when I’ll get it back. Couple that with SeoulTube 2010 and Chuseok (추석) next week and I think you’ll see that I’ll be away from the Internet for some time.

So here are those commonly asked questions:

How long does it take to make a travel video? On average, the 4-minute videos I produce on YouTube with a travel theme take a full day of editing. Meaning that it may take 8 or so hours to produce the 4-minute program.

How do I choose where to go? This is really more of a team effort on Jo and my part. We both love to travel and see as much as we can during the time allotted. This means researching our destinations and scouring over maps to see what may be interesting and off the beaten path. Once we have an idea of where we want to go, we set about researching the Internet and consulting tourism organizations and books for details.

Are my videos scripted? Not really. Based on my research, I know what bullet points I want to cover, but rarely do I actually write out each line.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting. If you’re in Korea, I hope you have a great Chuseok and I’ll see you soon!

Travel Videos: Editing

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Here we are… the final entry in the series. This is where it all comes together: Editing.

Believe it or not, this is the most fun and challenging part of the process. Once you have all your footage sorted and music chosen, it’s now time to package it. When I first started making videos, chronicling my travels, I used to use every bit of footage.

I mean, if I took an hour of footage at a palace, I would end up using most of it. The result was a good video, but very long. This might be great if you’re making a long video for television or a short movie, but since my broadcast medium is YouTube, videos longer than 5 minutes usually don’t do well.

That’s the reason this past year, I’ve really had to make some tough calls when editing. I might have a great scene, but it doesn’t fit in the time I’ve allotted for the project. For example, in my Bataan video, I have a great clip of the clouds rolling past a window from atop the Shrine of Valor (Mt. Samat), but it didn’t fit within the video scheme, so I cut it. It was a tough call, but something that had to be done. Doing this is key, since it really places you in the chair of your potential viewer. When the entire process is over, you should not only be proud of your video, but be excited to watch it (time and time again). So only pick the very best of your clips to tell the story. If the clip is great, but doesn’t tell the story… it needs to be cut!

Once you’ve completed your edits and you have your project rendered, watch it a few times to make sure it flows like you want it to. If it doesn’t, go back and make some changes to get it to where you want it to be. The final step is to de-interlace the video.

THIS IS KEY and a personal pet-peeve of mine. While videos shot in 720p or 1080p are by default de-interlaced, some titles and sped-up or slowed-down footage may not be. The end result is a distracting experience to the viewer. I see this all the time on YouTube and it instantly makes me want to click off. What still surprises me is when I’ve seen it in professional circles.

I hope this short series was helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know!

Written by Steve Miller

August 7, 2010 at 4:23 am

Amazing Adventure Awaits!

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Each year teams of two embark on an adventure around the world. They must complete challenging tasks, overcome roadblocks, and navigate detours. Their goal is to land on the mat first and claim their prize as winners of The Amazing Race.

That show is probably one of my favorites on television, if not my favorite. The way it’s produced keeps it entertaining, plus I get to see and learn a little bit about the world. When you look at the reality television market, there are many viewing options, but nothing, in my opinion, comes close to this show. Perhaps that’s why the show has earned an Emmy every year.

Jo and I enjoy watching the weekly updates as teams continue on the race. Some of our favorite “games” are picking the teams we really like, hate, and who will be eliminated each week. We also like to guess which legs will be non-elimination rounds. I know we’re geeks, but that just makes us perfect for one another.

Another thing that’s great about The Amazing Race, is it isn’t just on US television. AXN has been running a very successful version of the show.  Jo remembers watching Series One back home and over the weekend we caught up on Series Three. It’s just as gripping (if not more so) as the original US edition. In fact, we really like the focus on Asia.

I bring this up, because one of my YouTube subscribers and Twitter followers is now applying for The Amazing Race Asia 4. Josiah is a musician and moved with his father to Thailand. I have no idea what their chances of getting on the show are, but I do wish them all the luck in the world.

If you have 3 minutes in your day, could you please stop on over to their application video.


I hope you have an amazing day!

Written by Steve Miller

March 29, 2010 at 7:20 am


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Interlaced Image

As I’ve spent more time working on my YouTube videos, I’ve become sensitive and appreciative to film makers that consider what medium people use to watch the end product. In the past, it really hasn’t mattered much, as all formats looked the same. However, with the advent of Progressive Scan and High Definition, it is no longer the case.

What I hate these days is when people record images and fail to de-interlace them. It’s normal to see this on YouTube, as not everyone knows how to do this. Heck, I even have failed to do this from time to time. But, what I do think is inexcusable, is when I see it in Mass Media.

Now it isn’t something I saw a lot of in the United States, but here in Korea, I have seen it on a number of occasions. In fact, I saw it yesterday while waiting for a friend. It was on a major broadcaster and the whole program wasn’t de-interlaced. In an age where most people have HD televisions (at least in Korea), the constant movement of the kids and presenters (it was an English learning program) proved to be quite distracting. Hands, faces, and props were distorted.


Running all footage through a de-interlace filter (or better yet, shooting in 1080p) should be standard for major broadcasters. Failing to do so, makes their products look cheap and lowers the overall production quality. If they’re still using CRTs for production playback, they need to upgrade their systems to reflect changing times. I know once I started doing so, I found my end product reached a larger audience and people were far more appreciative of the time and effort that went into producing the content.

Sorry about that little rant, but I hate seeing major production companies taking the easy way out and not being called on it! On that note… what’s one thing that really bothers you about the way television is produced these days? For me, it’s those damn channel identifiers in the corner.

Written by Steve Miller

January 28, 2010 at 9:29 am

Remember, remember… The fifth of November…

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The classic 80's Series

Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.

… so the film V For Vendetta begins. I find it very interesting that around the same time this year, ABC has launched a retooled version of the V(isitor) franchise.

When I first learned that the network was going to re-imagine the series, I was a little concerned. In many cases, these attempts do not come off well. Let’s look at the history:  The Incredible Hulk was a huge failure. Mission Impossible destroyed what I loved most about the television series. When NBC tried to bring back the Bionic Woman… well, let’s just say that I couldn’t even make through 15 minutes of the pilot. Then there was last year’s Knight Rider

Only a few times have these projects really come together. The most successful of which was Sci-Fi’s Battlestar Galactica. It was the story that we all wanted to see. A great military drama set in space with real issues to deal with. V comes at the show from this angle, and while only one episode has aired, I’m giving it a thumbs up. I’m really looking forward to see where the series goes. Unfortunately, I do remember so much of the old show, so I could quickly identify where all the old characters were going. If only I hadn’t seen it before… oh well, it should present itself with some fun entertainment in the months to come.

Speak of TV, I am very thankful, that I’m able to keep up with The Amazing Race. It is by far my favorite television show. I would love for Jo and I to be contestants on it. There’s something grand about traveling the world, learning new things in each place, and competing for the top prize. In this weekend’s episode, they’re returning to one of my favorite challenges: Needle in a Haystack. I remember watching the teams rolling out the hay balls looking for the clue, and how my favorite team was eliminated because after 8 hours, they couldn’t find it. It was a powerful moment in television and was a great example at how quickly things can change on the show. No wonder it is still number one.

Also on the TV front, things are heating up here in Korea with respect to cell phone ads. Those that think that the iPhone is the best phone in the world have a few things to learn about what phones can really do. Anyone who has traveled the world will tell you that Asian phones make those in the US look like crap. Even my “free” entry level phone comes with the ability to watch live TV and send and receive video calls. Something that no phone in the US does.

As a result, both Samsung and LG really make the debut of new models a big thing. This month, Samsung is going to release its latest touchscreen phone that features a 12mp camera (with optical zoom) that even records in 720p HD video. As a photog and videographer, I might just have to put down the Won to get this phone. Not to be outdone, LG has revamped its Chocolate line and is promoting that like nobody’s business. What I find most interesting, is how these companies go after singing groups to not only be their spokesmodels, but build an entire music recording suite around it. I give you two examples:

From Samsung, we have AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) featuring Son Dambi & After School.

I have to admit, since the song dropped in July, I’ve found it quite catchy and have enjoyed watching the girls perform it live on stage.

In the past month, LG countered with Chocolate Love performed by 소녀시대 (Girls Generation/SNSD).

People are really looking forward to the iPhone dropping in Korea this month, but since it doesn’t have many of the features that these phones (and no music groups backing it), I don’t think it will be a major player in Korea.


Good onya Harry!

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Bad Taste

Bad Taste

It’s been in the news around Australia and in several media outlets. I was going to give this topic a pass, but felt that I just couldn’t, since it disgusts me to no end.

Over in Australia, there was a show called Hey, Hey It’s Saturday! Think of it as a three hour comedy-variety show with several segments. It was taken off the air a few years back and recently had a two part live reunion broadcast on Australian Television. One of the segments is a talent(less) contest, that really seems to rip off the Gong Show from what I’ve seen in the published clip. This is where the problem begins.

A group planned to do a Michael Jackson skit.

That’s not a big deal, but was is that they came out in blackface. This is where I start to lose it.

But the man who dressed as Jackson in the segment, which was an encore of the skit first performed on Red Faces 20 years ago, said the group had checked with the show’s producers on whether it should go ahead.

Dr Anand Deva said the act was meant to be a tribute to Michael Jackson and if Hey Hey staff had expressed concern, it would have been axed.

“All six of us discussed this at length whether or not we should put this on because we realised it may be controversial,” he said. “We did go to the trouble of checking with the production staff and they seemed to OK it.”

It blows my mind that no one in the production office that this act would be in bad taste. With all the Australian government has done in the past year to make right with its genocidal acts of the past, I find it deplorable that people still think that demeaning a people as a whole would ever be considered comedy. But then again it wasn’t until 1967 that Aborigines were counted in the census as human beings and not animals – so it’s easy to see why Australia has such a far way to go.

Who would ever think this was ok?

Who would ever think this was ok?

Harry Connick, Jr. was a guest on the show and spoke up instantly saying that something like that wouldn’t fly in the States. Later in the broadcast, Harry Connick, Jr. received an on-air apology, and rightly so.

Since this story came out, there have been two camps. One that recognizes this as a racists act and one that thinks people are too sensitive and not familiar with Aussie humor. The latter camp is also quick to point out that the members of the group are multiracial, so how could it ever be construed as racist?

It’s this attitude that I find disgusting.

It shows a complete lack of thought about humanity. Simply because someone doesn’t intend to do something offensive, doesn’t absolve them of the fact that the act was committed. Furthermore, ignoring aspects of the dialog on race relations highlights one’s own bigotry and lack of compassion.

Blogger and fellow YouTuber, AngryAussie, posted a video (LANGUAGE WARNING – NSFW) the other day that I think perfectly describes the problem in Australia: [Many Australians] just don’t think about black people. I think that these words are completely true, given the controversy last year regarding the apology made to the Stolen Generation. People came out in scores saying that the government shouldn’t apologize for its genocidal policy.

What are they thinking?

Oh, that’s right… they aren’t.

Anytime someone does something that humiliates a people… it’s racism, not comedy. As long as there are people in the world that fail to see this, we, as a whole, can never move forward and live in peace. We need to realize that our actions affect one another and that an act of hate, no matter how small or unintentional, is still an act of hate.

The CNN Analysis: Spot-on!