Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Sidepodcast TV and the 2008 Season (Part 1) // A review of how we started in the video podcast world

Published by Mr. C

Now that we're getting into the swing of the 2008 season, and seeing as we're coming up to the anniversary of our very first Formula 1 preview video, I thought it might be worth taking stock of what we're doing in terms of visual content this year.

Because the subject is a bit long winded, I've split this behind-the-scenes post into two parts. You can view part two here.

Previewing history

As you may know, we sort of fell into video podcasting by accident, and only planned on creating a couple of shows a year, filming footage at various events we attended. This idea was based on the fact that we knew Formula One Management had notoriously strict rulings on who could use racing footage, and back then none of those restrictions covered online viewing.

Our plans changed however, when almost exactly a year ago we were watching a motorsports program on television, and the presenter took us on a 3D virtual tour of the Bahrain circuit. They didn't do a particularly great job of the narration and we thought we could do better, so after sourcing the 3D animation and figuring out how on earth Blue Screen technology works, we made the Bahrain preview video.

Looking back, it feels like a lifetime ago.

At the time, we weren't aware of any other web sites doing that sort of thing, although inevitably there must have been some. We knew we were on the right lines, though, when we were asked to help work on a similar concept for Virgin Media.

Since that rather auspicious debut, we managed to hone the idea so much so that by Brazil, we thought we'd done all we possibly could. In fact during the winter break it was largely assumed that we'd drop the concept for this season, in part because we don't like to repeat ourselves, but also because more and more sites were running similar previews and things had started to look a bit repetitive. Given the popularity of online video, we obviously expected even more sites to jump on the bandwagon this year.

Forwards and rewind

The original plan for 2008 was to come up with an entirely new show, and that's why we created F1 Rewind. The feedback was instantly overwhelming, so we were pretty sure it was the right direction to take, but almost every compliment came with the proviso:

...just don't forget the race previews.

Shoot!

As stated, we didn't want to repeat ourselves, and we wanted to stay one step ahead. We knew the 3D animations would be almost identical year-on-year (because tracks rarely change), and also we'd have less footage to play with given the lack of the ING Race Index. Couple all that with the fact we had no budget to buy our way out of the problem, and we were left with a bit of a dilemma.

That'll do for the first part of this behind-the-scenes post, as it lays out the basic problems. Part two will hopefully contain something of a solution.