Saturday, April 16, 2005

Got a camcorder, eh?

One of the best things about living in Michigan was the availability of Canadian television on the cable system. I make a point of watching as much as possible when visiting my sister in Winnipeg. So I'm a little pumped by this news from Wired:

Former Vice President Al Gore's new cable TV channel will go live in August, promising to mix elements of the internet and TV. But the 24-hour cable channel, called Current TV, will be based in part on a 3-year-old experimental TV show from Canada.

ZeD is a late-night, arts-and-culture program from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that mixes amateur movies submitted through a website with independent film and studio-produced content -- the same model proposed by Current TV.

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ZeD receives between 200 and 300 viewer-produced videos per day, has a production staff of 45 people and still finds it a challenge to find about eight minutes of viewer-submitted content for each 40-minute program.

ZeD allows viewers to shoot, edit and upload their own short-form videos to the show's website. If the editors like the films -- and they often do -- they buy them, and include them on the program, which airs on CBC five nights a week. Many more videos are published on the ZeD website.
For those with a message to communicate via video, Current TV has a contest.