Re: observations 2.2

Richard Lord (
Wed, 7 Apr 1999 21:24:00 +0100

>>That doesn't answer the second part, which, as Richard points out, will
>>remain problematic. It's still expensive and enormously time consuming to
>>produce such piece or products - it's also difficult to get good
>I'd have to take a little exception to this statement. It is expensive OR
>enormously time consuming, I think, not both. It's the old law of cheap,
>fast, or good--pick two. I support my dance habit by designing/producing
>educational CDROMs, and I'd have to agree that the current state of the
>"art" is rather hostile to an accurate representation of most live dance
>work. However, much of the same problem is encountered with other media
>such as video and DVD--namely, few choreographers and dancers are happy with
>the way a 2d medium represents their dance. I'm certainly not...but as a
>videographer/designer, I simply think that the limitations have to be
>accounted for, adjusted to, and developed into further aesthetic features.

Why do so many view media such as cd-rom, worldwide web, video and film
simply as ways to record and distribute work created for live
performance. I've said it often enough here that many probably know my
opinion by now, but just in case - cd-rom is a creative medium in it's
own right. Making dance for this medium involves working with the medium
to create something new. In some cases this may involve repurposing
existing ideas and choreography, but it doesn't mean recording an
existing work. Most of the limitations are only there if you think cd-rom
is something it isn't.

>If you "roll your own" from scratch, you're in for a steep learning curve
>and lots of mistakes that take lots of time...but you can have a decent
>production environment for less than $3000american as an initial investment.

Hmmm. A PC and a Mac (we want this to be cross platform). Macromedia
Director for both platforms. Adobe Photoshop. And a CD-writer. If you're
using video - a video camera. Video capture card. Adobe Premiere. Lots of
hard disk space.

And that's for a basic system - you're likely to want more - scanner,
sound editing software, Illustrator or Freehand, After Effects, Various
Director Xtras, Photoshop Plug-ins. Media Cleaner Pro. Video/Audio
codecs. And don't forget to back everything up onto something.

> On the other hand, for about $5000 you can commission a commercial company
>to produce your project with an entire development team at your
>disposal...until the initial investment goes over budget, and the company is
>bought, etc, etc.

I'd be intrigued to know which commercial companies these are. I develop
cd-roms (and web sites) when I'm not choreographing and, as just one part
of a team, I've never personally recieved less than $7,500 for my part in
the production. I consider a reasonable budget for a good, imaginitive,
interesting, commercially produced cd-rom to be $100,000 minimum,
preferably more. Yes, as I said, you can do it on the cheap. But there
are limits to how far down one can go and how small a team is required to
create the product.

As an example, my favourite cd-rom (which I wish I'd worked on) is
Ceremony of Innocence, developed by Peter Gabriels RealWorld company. I'd
estimate a budget of about $350,000. A team of a dozen people. Production
time of a year. Real quality costs in both time and money.

The CD-ROM won many awards. And they haven't secured a UK distributor
(Even with all the connections RealWorld have) - the only way to buy it
in this country is over the web.

I don't want to put a dampener on things, but I think it is much easier
to secure funding and resources for a live production.