Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Video nearly killed the radio star // A look at the production of our F1Minute and F1 Rewind videos

Published by Mr. C

Somewhere between the time we started Sidepodcast and present day, we manage to attract some fantastically creative individuals to the community here, and those people never cease to come up with endless amounts of brilliant ideas and together solve all sorts of unimaginably complicated problems. Those same people also ask a lot of questions.

Christine... on the Internet
Christine... on the InternetCredit: Sidepodcast

Last week Christine and I, under the guise of F1 Minute, launched a short video trial, investigating into how the current F1Minute audio podcast might translate to the small screen. It's a challenging problem to solve, because video production typically takes considerably more effort than audio production and Christine already manages to fill every waking hour with audio work. How in the world can an order of magnitude more work be squeezed into that same timeframe too?

The simple answer is, it can't.

This didn't come as a massive surprise, given we attempted to bring F1Minute video to life at the beginning of 2008 before the real world got the better of us. Last week's trial almost slipped through our fingers too, had mother nature not kindly intervened and given us a couple of snow days to catch up with ourselves. We're ambitious, but ultimately held to account by the same invisible force as everyone else.

In a typically Sidepodcast fashion, we made and launched our video trial without any preconceptions or expectations. The shows could've been a worldwide smash hit, or they could've vanished without a trace. We were only really interested in figuring out how long each one took to make, assuming it was possible at all.

Then questions came from the smart people and we couldn't answer them. We didn't know how long we were planning to make them for. We didn't know when they would be available. We didn't even have a logo prepared should someone wish to plug the show.

You'd never guess we'd been doing this for three years already.

Now though, we are slightly smarter after the fact. We know roughly where we are, what we can do, and where we might be going... sort of. We know that making a daily 60 second video on the subject of F1 is possible, and that given the right finances they can be made mostly by one person on a part time basis. We also know we have most of the right equipment, but that a laptop really isn't the correct machine for the job.

Clearly we now know the initial run of shows would only last for five days although we probably assumed it would be more. We also know that there are other options to explore and that we're not done experimenting yet.

As discussed on the F1Minute blog HD video is a priority, so to is optimising a tardy workflow. It's been requested that Christine feature more throughout each show, and while we originally filmed just the top and tail of the programme, a better model would likely look similar to F1 Rewind from days of yore (except in shorter form).

Looking around for the competition, only Autosport's autoplaying video channel appears to offer anything of a similar nature, and you'll need a magnifying glass to see that. GP Update have the occasional stab at video production, and Eurosport appear to occasionally put some F1 news content online. There really isn't anyone else out there doing something along these lines, and that's the main reason we wanted to have a go.

At it's current level the series isn't sustainable without an income. How we find an income stream for it is a problem for another day, in the meantime we have more to do and more to learn. Expect more F1Minute video before the season begins.

If you had any thoughts, ideas, suggestions and questions this past week, now is a good time to throw them out there.