Coming Attractions

I’ve been working on an idea since last Fall, and it’s finally just about ready. It would have been ready this evening, except this is a holiday weekend. But I can’t wait to let you know about what it is:

I went to Denver last week to supervise early production of the next phase of This is True โ€” video. Each episode will feature several stories from the weekly column.

But how am I going to fit this into my already crammed schedule? I’m not: I’ve tapped the incredibly clever and talented folks of CleverMedia to produce it, and I chose the lovely Katie Bevard to host โ€” see photos below.

And it’s not just that I don’t have time to be the onscreen talent: Katie has more personality in her hair than I have in my whole body, so better her than me anyway. All in all, it seems like a good division of labor: I write the stories, they do the magic to make it a truly fun video presentation that you’ll enjoy even if you’ve already read the issue the stories are from.

In addition to making sure the script and such worked out the way I want (you know me: I always insist on top quality) and ensuring the staff there (such as director Jay Shaffer) “get” This is True (and they most definitely did), I stepped in and did a few camera bits myself so that there can be a full dollop of Randy in every show. And it’s all watched over by Executive Producer Gary Rosenzweig, who happens to be a good friend of mine.

Check back later (or watch in True) for the announcement of the series premiere!

Randy Cassingham and TRUE video host Katie Bevard
Randy Cassingham goes over the script of the first episode of the “This is True” video series, coming soon online. You can tell Katie is a pro: she knows you don’t need to wear pants on the set (just like Tom Brokaw!) when they only shoot you from the waist up.

 

Randy Cassingham and TRUE video host Katie Bevard
Randy and Katie mug for the camera on the set.

Update

This blog entry relates to the “old” (2007) series. You can still watch it on YouTube.

In 2008 we launched a new series.

30 Comments on “Coming Attractions

  1. Very nice – and congratulations on expanding into the video world.

    I can’t wait to see what presentation you’ve come up with.

  2. I did not think thisistrue could get any better. This will be awesome! I can’t wait until you get it up and running.

  3. “This is True” becomes “This is Cool

    Looking forward to the premiere.

    Congratulations, Randy!

  4. Ooh! How incredibly exciting!

    I know that what’s below your waist is not important on a TV set, but I still imagined someone of Tom Brokaw’s standing to wear a full suit (with pants) and dress shoes. I’m just not sure I could quite respect a national news anchor if I saw them appear in a coat and tie — and shorts.

    (Of course, Brokaw doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who wears shorts. Maybe jeans, but not shorts…)

    I know it’s fairly common for anchors to wear shorts, but have no idea if Brokaw is one of them. -rc

  5. If my legs looked as good as Katie’s, I’d show them off!

    Now, knowing the quality of This is True, I am certain Katie has brains to go with her good looks and that she is not just a “talking head”.

    Eagerly awaiting.

  6. Life just got even better! I too am waiting for the first ‘viewing’. Way to go Randy.

  7. Very, very cool.

    But Randy, where exactly is your hand in that second pic? Not that I’d blame you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I knew someone would comment on that! -rc

  8. Hey, Randy, you claim not to have much personality, but personally I hope we get to see Katie interview you, at least every so often. “Perky” meets “Wise Guy” can’t fail!

  9. I agree, “This is True” will definitely be “This is Cool”. I’m looking forward to the premire. Should I get a tux?

    If we can produce it without wearing pants, you should be able to watch it without wearing pants. -rc

  10. Cool banana!

    Although, is it just me or does Max von Sydow as Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon come to mind? Ahem. Moving alongโ€ฆ

    But yes, I’m looking forward to see how Randy’s punchy comments are to be delivered now that we have visual cues from a face reading them!

    No more excuses from some readers who complain, misunderstanding the essence of any comment since “text cannot convey nuanced speech properly”.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Perhaps they could even have guest appearances … like some of the idiots who are encouraging ZT in the schools.

    Can’t. I already specified that there can’t be any graphic violence in the videos. -rc

  12. Let me add my congratulations…

    I’m going to adopt a “wait and see” attitude — True is great in a written form; I’m not sure how well it will translate to a video format.

  13. Randy – you couldn’t host it anyway, you’re taller than the green screen.

    You noticed that, eh? Yeah, when I was on-camera they put me on a stool to get me into the camera’s sweet spot — and so I wouldn’t tower over Katie…. -rc

  14. Randy, you just don’t know when to stop, do you?!!

    (It’s a good thing for us readers that you don’t!)

    Congratulations on the launch of another in your string of top quality productions.

  15. Way to go, Randy, congratulations! I just rated you with five stars (and posted a comment while I was there). I’ll be spending more time on YouTube from now on, I guess…

  16. Fantastic! I love the YouTube transition for This Is True. The archive footage ads a great twist and a little humor.

    If I had to make any suggestions it would be to shorten the intro title….you know how impatient we are these days…and to ad a page at the end asking viewers to subscribe to True, you know we can’t think for ourselves.

    A great job. I will pass it along.

  17. I took the 45 min. that it took to download the show. It was very good, the only problem I am stuck on dial-up and I don’t have enough hours in the day to wait for it to download.

    Keep up the good work.

    Yeah, sorry about that, but a lot of the Internet now requires broadband. But glad you got a taste of it. -rc

  18. I just saw it. It was f***ing great!!! Don’t let suggestions detour the development, but rather let the creativity evolve in the direction you’ve envisioned. That was damned GOOD work!

    (And I know what I’m talking about.)

  19. Very entertaining, Randy, an excellent presentation that was made more so by the very cheerful Katie B. She, together with the vintage footage and the story, make for really enjoyable viewing. Thanks for all your efforts.

  20. > where exactly is your hand in that second pic?

    Pappy, you can see the edge of his hand and the curl of his fingers, so no need to get Kit riled up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    > I already specified that there can’t be any graphic violence in the videos.

    Randy, good thing I wasn’t drinking something when I read that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good idea, though; perhaps you can get some of the, er, recipients of such largess to comment on the community reaction and so forth. Or, you could have them read the item themselves, on occasion.

    Randy, have you considered a smaller version for those who are on dial-up? Many who are on dial-up are probably on fixed or low incomes — but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have money to spend when they think it’s worthwhile. Many sites provide multiple versions suited for people on slower connections. Money from someone on dial-up is just as green. I have in the past gone into a store to buy something, but no one could be bothered to help me, so I left and bought elsewhere. The same principle applies here; you can’t sell to people that you aim away from.

    The video is already compressed greatly; I don’t think it can get any smaller and still have any semblance of quality left. However, once we have several in the can, I’ll probably make packages available on DVD. -rc

  21. Is there any way to get a transcript, subtitling, or captioning on it? As a deaf reader of THIS is TRUE, I’m guessing that the video merely is a retelling of some sort of the stories on the newspaper background, but have no way to tell. I’m not sure what the black and white sections have to do with it, either.

    Here’s the irony: Google Video, which was started shortly before Google bought YouTube, did have closed captioning! They’re concentrating everything on YouTube now, though, which doesn’t have it. My bet is they’ll eventually bring that to YouTube too, but they aren’t saying when.

    The longer black & white sections are just the same as the shorter ones, and are just as you probably suspect: just little things of visual interest to keep the action moving along. Sometimes Katie is telling the story over the inserts, other times the inserts have their own “normal” sound effects. -rc

  22. Hey Randy, I like the video. It would be great if this was available for download to my TiVo like the Onion or Cnet.

    I’ve heard of that, and am sure there must be a method. I’ll look into it! -rc

  23. I can barely type, I’m laughing so hard! I can’t even see the screen! EXCELLENT! I’m gonna sign up for youtube just to give you the 5 stars!

  24. I just watched the video on YouTube. Very well done and fun. Hopefully this will bring True to the attention of a whole new crowd.

    One thought I had was that folks who have never read True might not get the delineation between story and tag. What if you did the tag yourself? Just a thought! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’m considering it. The logistics would be a tad difficult, but probably no more difficult to insert than the historical footage. -rc

  25. I just watched your second video and I still love it! Kinda makes me wish I lived in Colorado so that I might have been a part of the production. Looks like great fun. (Denver’s too tame and the weather’s too cold, tho.)

  26. Randy, I like it – although I also like the suggestion by Dustin in California that you deliver the taglines yourself. It’d make the point that it’s your comment on the story, rather than part of the original story.

    It might also allow you to avoid some of the classic ‘misinterpretations’ you’ve had from readers in the past.

    Nah, what am I thinking? There’ll always be a need for Goohf cards!

  27. It continues on as an excellent production.

    One question – how much time do you (or whoever) spend in tracking down the historical clips that are inserted?

    Does the availability (or lack thereof) or historical clips influence which stories get “promoted” to video?

    OK, so maybe there was more than one question there ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yeah, I think so. I don’t know the answer to the first question, but the second is No — they don’t even go look until after the story is shot. I don’t think there’s much difficulty for a creative person to find things that fit. -rc

  28. I’ve just seen the third video and they just keep getting better! I love the mixture of old TV footage and news. Keep up the great work!

  29. I have to rave over your video reports. The content with such appropriate insertions is genius level and shows a lot of dedication and planning…and Katy is perfect. She does not come across as a Hollywood actress trying to be a real person, she comes across as being a real person without any help at all! Great videos and thanks so much for your efforts on our behalf. You look real good too. Keep it up please, and thank you.

  30. Nice work. We had the pleasure of working with Katie and the CleaverMedia team on episode 12 of our show Digital Punch TV. It was great. Best of success.

    CleaverMedia, eh? Does that mean your show is in the horror genre? ๐Ÿ™‚ -rc

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