The World of Content:
Significant Changes in the last 30 years

Ricky using streaming kit at BOA

As First Sight Media continue to celebrate our 30th anniversary we couldn’t help but reflect on some of the significant advancements we have seen within the video production industry from 1993 until now.

We asked our technical producers and creative video editors what they believed sparked a fundamental change within the world of technology. The variation of answers that came back were something worth sharing with you...

Francesco Calvano - Creative Video Editor

Mini-DV – this little critter, of a video-tape format, was introduced in 1999. It was small (roughly 3/4s the size of a bank card). This meant video cameras could be palm-sized providing the consumer video market with a range of cameras you could slip into your pocket. “DVs” became an industry term for content shot on the format, with positions like “DV director” solidifying the technology as a legit and essential workflow in all sorts of factual and entertainment production. One of the most famous uses of Mini-DV was in the post-apocalyptic zombie film “28 Days Later” which used the cameras to quickly capture scenes of a deserted London when the team only had a minute at dawn to do so before commuters started appearing for the morning rush.

Anthony Gibson – Technical Producer

Interactivity is a pretty significant advancement made in the last 30 years. Viewers used to merely consume the content they watched, now they’re the ones fuelling the action. An example of this can be taken from many of the jobs we do at First Sight Media. Often our clients will want to stream (let’s say - a conference) live across their social channels. By teaming up with companies that offer solutions like slido, they’ll provide viewers with questions boxes on screen to be filled and sent straight back to the main stage. From this, the question can later be answered and discussed by those on the main stage. Communication has never been more inclusive than at this point in time.

Candela Lagreca – Technical Producer

Over the past three decades, significant transformations have occurred, particularly in our journey at First Sight Media. Our clients have embraced innovation, and they're eager to enhance audience engagement at their events, a passion we share at First Sight Media. One noteworthy innovation is our 360-degree camera capable of streaming in 4K resolution, enabling people to virtually accompany their loved ones as they cross the stage.

We have been playing with new ways of delivering events, whether through advanced camera technologies or hybrid approaches. Leeds University's hybrid graduation is a good example of this. We live-streamed from the venue to the central office, where the main event was managed, mixed, and broadcast. To add depth to the experience, we introduced an additional camera at the venue, showcasing the entire setup, including the technical table and camera operators.

Matthew Walker – Senior Technical Producer

In my opinion, the most significant advancement over the last 30 years within video is the invention of the H264 codec. The H264 codec, in a very small nutshell, allowed for high video quality to be compressed into a much smaller file size. It meant that video could be uploaded to the internet and paved the way for YouTube.