Category Archives: Rosenblum

Now We Are All Filmmakers


Take a good look at the image above.

This is a screen grab from my Instagram App.

This is where I hit the ‘search’ icon, just to see what pops up.

What pops up, over and over and over again, is video.  Lots of video.

In fact, by my totally unscientific count, video now outnumbers still on Instagram by almost two to one.  Sometimes far more.

In the frame above, of 11 offered ‘stories’, 9 are video. Naturally, there is the all to ubiquitous cat video upper right.

Instagram began as a platform for sharing still photographs, and almost overngiht, its popularity exploded.  In 2014, according to Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report, people uploaded an average of 1.8 billion digital images every single day. That’s 657 billion photosper year. Another way to think about it: Every two minutes, humans take more photos than ever existed in total 150 years ago.

And that was four years ago. By Internet standards, those numbers are positively ancient.

What drove Instagram, more than anyting else, was the advent of marrying cameras to phones. It used to be that to take a photo, you had to remember to take your camera with you. And of course, unless you were a professional photographer, you looked like an absolute geek walking around with your Nikon hanging around your neck on a strap.  As a result, most people simply did not bother.

The advent of phones that were cameras (and more properly today, cameras that also happen to be phones), changed all that forever. Now, everyone has a camera with them 24 hours a day, every day.

The other big change was that in the olden days, you were limited to 36 exposures per roll of film, and then you had to send the damend thing off to Photomat and wait a week to get the prints.  And that is what you got – a pack of prints. Try sharing those with anyone except your spouse (and not too often if you want to stay married).

The marriage of the phone and the internet meant that a) no developing and b) instand sharing with the world. Hence, the extraodinary numbers for Instagram.

Of course, professoinal photographers were pretty much driven out of business.

Well, what happend to photography is now happening to video – and fast.

Smartphones today shoot 4K and they too share instantly. So the idea of hiring a professional crew is about as germane as the idea of hiring a professional photographer.  And, (and this is the more interesting point), the idea of becoming a professional video or film producer, in a world in which everyone is shooting video and posting it all day long, makes about as much sense as beocming a professional photographer does now.  Which is not a lot.

This may be hard to countenance, but it is true.

And it is no bad thing.

The advent of the printing press 500 years ago meant that suddenly everyone could become a writer and a publisher.  Scribes were suddenly unemployed, as were legions of Monks.

But writers, who could write and publish things that they felt passionate about (as opposed to the scribes for hire), created the novels and the books and the newspapers that we all read (or read – past tense).

Freed from the constraints of expensive gear and complex production techniques, people are now equally liberated to begin to create videos about things for which they also have a passion.

Let us hope that it is more than cats, however.


The Road to Auschwitz was Built on Hate but Paved with Indifference


The Future of the News Business: A Monumental Twitter Stream All in One Place

great insights into the news business here


Anna Soubry Silkscreen 28×60


New Location for Blog



This blog will now be part of our new website at for a better experience, more community interaction, and more features.  This location of the blog will no longer be updated.

Please update your links and RSS feeds – see you there!

Ski & Shoot


Could you go back and do that again?

I didn’t learn to ski until I was 40.

My ex was a Canadian, and started skiing at the age of 3.

Her parents had a ski house in Sugarbush, Vermont.

I spent unpleasant hour after hour on the bunny slope, learning how to ski.

When you are 3 you have no fear of death. When you are 40, you can only see yourself wrapped around a tree.

Private lessons, goup lessons, frostbite.  After four hard years, I was finally starting to get it. Then, in one triumphant afternoon, I made it down my first black diamond run!  Success!  I was so delighted, I found my ex and told her what I had just done.  I black diamond!

“Which one?” she asked me.

I told her the name.

She paused.

“Oh”, she said. “That used to be a blue. It’s not really a black”.

You can see why I filed for divorce.

Thus, it was with some trepedation that we signed a deal with Vail Resorts to start running Travel Channel Academies in conjunction with ski vacations.

Now, I am glad we did.

March 7-10 we’re going to be running our first Snow Video Bootcamp at the world famous Keystone Resort in Vail Colorado.

This will be great. What better combination than skiing and video making. And evenings around the fire for our famous group screenings.

This is only the first in series of new locations and franchises for the Academy. We’ll be posting lots of other exciting partnerships and locations as we take TCA into the world.

Meanwhile, I had a pair of custom fitted ski boots made a few years ago. The kind where the blow foam into the boot and shape it for your own foot.  Unfortunately, I left these at the Sugarbush ski house.

If anyone runs across my ex, maybe you could ask her for the boots?

KPIX in San Francisco goes VJ


Two down, three to go…

KPIX, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco announced today that they are moving to a VJ-driven newsroom.

The official press release today said:


Feb 11, 2009 3:58 PM ESTKPIX management told the staff today the station intends to go VJ within a year, pending union contract re-negotiations.

The station’s GM said voluntary training will begin in the near future, with lightweight cameras and servers to follow.

The current AFTRA contract permits on-air staff only limited use of technical equipment except in emergencies. The station’s technical unions gave up jurisdiction some years ago.

Reply With Quote
This is hardly news to any of us who have been with the VJ movement for a long time.
In the next few months prepare to see more and more stations in major markets going to VJ as well.
This is the inevitable upshot of the combination of economic necessity and technical reality on the ground.
There is simply no longer any justification for the old 2-man crews and big heavy gear.  As we said a long time ago,
this is going to happen, and it is going to happen everywhere.
Ironically, only yesterday, The Wall Street Journal ran an article pointing out that local TV news stations were in real danger of simply disappearing altogether.
If they have any hope of surviving, they are going to have to cut their costs and make their operations vastly more efficient. The days of employing 150 people and putting 8 cameras on the street are simply over, not that they ever made any sense.
AFTRA’s San Francisco local has vigorously opposed members performing technical duties at KPIX and has threatened sanctions against those who do.The station’s GM said the decision to use VJs as part of a mix with traditional crews was his alone and was not the result of a CBS corporate edict. He said he recognizes the very real possibility of failure but something needed to be done to reduce expenses.