Help Me Election Center, You’re My Only Hope.
During this election season there have been a massive amount of unnecessary, yet, “cool” tools that the news organizations have rolled out for television coverage; Items such as large touchscreen maps, which every network seems to have, there were instant feedback meters for the debates, virtual rooms, but tonight, well tonight every nerd watching CNN had a simultaneous Star Warsgasm. CNN came hard with the Virtual Hologram which allowed one of their on the scene reporters in Chicago, covering the Obama happenings, to appear as if she were live in studio at CNN. “And it goes a little something like this, hit it!”
As graphic as that caption above may be, while it is an exaggeration, it’s not far from the sentiment many Star Wars die hards felt or will feel when they see it. It is almost exactly what is depicted in the movie, which gives it two key nerd factors; “Tangible” Sci Fi tech in “real life” aka practical use and hot chicks who they can’t actually get. The trick is done with 35 HD Cameras in an enclosed tent on location wheresoever the reporter, or “talent” as they say in the industry, is located (that’s right bitches, I majored in Radio & TV for two whole years at Palomar Community College). They arrange the cameras in a ring pattern (similar to bullet time) and do live stitching of the image to build a full 3D visual with motion, both of the reporter and camera; they also program the in-studio cameras and the hologram cameras to talk to each other to maintain smooth, unbroken images during in studio camera pans and other movement and full camera switches, which all makes it look as if the “talent” (Two Years. Palomar Comm. Coll.) is in the building talking to Obi Wolf Kenoblitz. I do find the tech to be cool and it worked perfectly on air, but I also think it’s superfluous, they could just show the woman on location the way television has been showing people away from the studio for 50 or so years, but practical don’t always bring in the bucks and election night is their Super Bowl, Olympics and World Cup in one, so I guess this is worth it for them. Now before you round up the mighty 501st, clip on your padawan hairpiece, crack your limited edition double bladed Darth Maul light saber from it’s prestigious case hanging above your mantle and all the Jedi and Sith converge on the CNN studios in the name of your respective faction; remember, it’s only an optical illusion for those watching on TV, Wolf Blitzer may seem to be looking and talking to the woman in the image, but he can’t see shit. He is staring at the other side of the studio, trying to fixate on the marker they give him and keeping eye contact with air. But the implementation of it is cool and a fun lil’ gimmick, I just want to know where the viability of this technology lies for CNN after tonight?