Things Change

treet.tv logo
treet.tv logo

Sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better.  Sometimes it is hard to tell whether it’s one or the other.

As many of you will know, Prim Perfect has a sister programme on Treet.TV – Designing Worlds.  It originally started as a Homes and Gardens show called Meta Makeover back in January 2008, and has grown to become a show about design and designers in virtual worlds.  It is one of the highest-rated shows on Treet – and we are hugely proud of it.

The phenomenon of virtual world television has long been an interesting one. Unlike machinima, which is often short and intense, television shows have followed formats that echoes more closely the TV medium in the wider world. Treet has pioneered the way in live filming – filming and streaming in real time, so that audiences could attend in-world shows such as Tonight Live! with Paisley Beebe in the studio, while others watch on in-world TVs or else follow on the web, with the opportunity of taking part in interactive chat.

treet shows
treet shows

This has been a revolutionary use of TV as a medium, and of virtual worlds as a medium too.  And its success has been, in large part, down to the work of talented producers and directors on the different shows, but above all, to Wiz Nordberg, Texas Timtam and Starr Sonic, who have proved immensely talented at providing the filming of sometimes highly complex scenes and events – ranging from the frequent challenges we throw at them on Designing Worlds to the wonderful anarchy of the Giant Snail Races.

Today, in a message sent to all Treet TV producers, Treet has announced a major shift in their focus – that, due to real life issues, they are cancelling all live video production indefinitely.  However, this does not mean Treet are shutting down the website, live streams, or that their work will stagnate.

In a letter to Treet producers, Wiz said, “What is really occurring is a shift of priorities for us.   Because the market is still quite small, Texas and I need to engage in Treet only part time.    Using 100% of that time to film has left us with time for nothing else. Exciting changes to the website, new promotional features, and an exciting “Timeline of Virtual History” archive site never even have been started, not to mention many improvements in distribution, iPad and iPhone support, etc. We feel such innovations are necessary in this industry. So, shifting our priorities away from live filming is important for us to create more enabling technologies to help people contribute shows, manage shows, and get the most out of archives.”

Wiz added, “We are committed to enhancing and enabling the community.  Our website, resources, and streams will not only remain live, but we’ll be seeking ways to expand their availability to more and more people, and establish programs for showing people how we’ve achieved what we’ve achieved.”

Treet TV Studios at Relay for Life 2009
Treet TV Studios at Relay for Life 2009

The end of live filming is a very sad occasion for many who have enjoyed attending the filming of Treet’s various programs, and there will also be a period of adjustment for the station and its scheduling. Some shows may close and Designing Worlds, which has fairly heavy filming demands, will be looking for ways forward.  But the opportunities for new developments are exciting, and something to look forward to.

Some people may be wondering about how this will affect the Relay for Life Telethon.  That will be going ahead, co-ordinated by Mal Burns at Metaworld Broadcasting with input from Treet and other stations as well – watch this blog for details!

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21 comments

  1. Things do change Saffia I hope Designing Worlds will still film and be seen on Treet.tv it is indeed a wonderful show. I also wish Texas and Wiz well with this new direction, it is unexpected, but could be a positive change. I wish all the Prim Perfect and Designing Worlds team best wishes. regards Paisley

  2. Thank you, Paisley!

    As for Designing Worlds, we will be working on a final couple of shows which we hope to bring out at our regular time over the coming month. After that, we will be taking a break – longer than our usual three-week breaks – as we attempt to put new filming arrangements in place. All being well, we will be back later in the year. If things change, we’ll keep you informed through the blog.

    As part of our planning in this area, we would like to hear from virtual-world HD videographers who would be interested in helping us build a new production team for Designing Worlds, and perhaps additional ventures in the future. Our intention will be to establish a streamlined “record as live” two or more camera production workflow with as little editing time overhead as possible. If you are interested in working with us on this project, we’d ask people to contact Saffia, Elrik or Aisling via email at designingworlds@gmail.com.

  3. Though I seldom have time to attend the live sessions, I have been delighted with the process and the feeling of immersion when at the studio during a broadcast.

    Everyone involved is to be commended for the fascinating technical and media savvy involved.

    Perhaps something can be arranged in the way of live special events? Live broadcasts from RFL spring to mind first, as that is an annual event with special preparations.

    1. We do run a telethon every year. This year we think some other broadcasters will be involved,

      And although Treet won’t be filming any more live shows, there will certainly be pre-recorded ones and there may also be live shows filmed by people other than Treet. THis is going to be an experimental time for us all!

  4. While I know this is a difficulty for Designing Worlds, I have every faith that it will be a ‘hiccup’ for someone as resourceful as you, Saffia. In fact, I can see a model of pre-recording working very well for you in terms of being able to broaden your scope, and as well there is no reason you can’t have segments ‘filmed live in front of a studio audience’.

    In terms of Treet, and looking at the bigger picture, I see this as GOOD news. Wiz is absolutely right: keeping up with technology is imperative, and I for one am very excited about the potential of projects mentioned here.

    I have no doubt that things will change and move forward for the better. Best of luck to EVERYONE!

  5. I’m actually saddened by this news. It feels like cushioning for a heavy fall..

    Sometimes change is good but then sometimes it’s bad. A wiseman once told me….If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. Will treet.tv become more commerce laced, with greater attention paid to whatever induces revenue. The path of treet.tv is for all to see.

    1. Hopefully there will be new and exciting shows in the new era! I’ve heard three mentioned today by different Treet people (one of whom was me!). But to do them, we will need to build up a team of people who want to be film crew within virtual worlds. That is our current challenge.

  6. I am a huge fan of Treet.TV and the interesting work they have done. The format of the shows hearkened back to when television was real and promoted as an interactive medium and I was intrigued by the way Treet reclaimed this technology and once again made it so involving and interactive.

  7. I’m also a fan of Treet TV and this is sad news, I will miss designing worlds very much. I wish everyone involved much success for the future. I’d also like to say a big thank you for all the wonderful shows you’ve given us in the past.

    1. THank you for your kind thoughts!

      Hopefully, we won’t be going away! We need to get a new film crew in place – so we’ll try to use our summer break to get that set up. And with any luck we will be back in the autumn!

  8. I’ve rarely been able to attend a live broadcast recently, or even much in the past. However, I feel that Treet.TV has done a considerable service, and I hope that Designing Worlds will continue to thrive.

    I agree with the others. Special live programming should definitely be considered. And I hope that having a studio audience for highly informative (or just entertaining) panel discussions will continue, even if Designing Worlds (or other Treet.TV shows aren’t broadcast live).

    Not saying so long, but thanks for all the fish nonetheless!

    1. I am expecting that we’ll have more fish soon!

      I think, with a panel show, it would be recorded with an audience and then perhaps broadcast a couple of days later. Or there is the possibility of streaming live to Treet – that would rather depend on how our new camera crew (when we have one) feels about that.

      This is actually an exciting time as we move into a new era for Treet.

  9. Firstly, regarding Relay for Life, the Treet TV coverage of which I’ve co-anchored for the past couple of years, I am pleased to say that we are still planning to present extensive coverage of RFL weekend, and that appropriate arrangements are significantly advanced in this respect with broadcast partners.

    Due to the short timescales involved for the move to alternative production resources, there will be a certain amount of restructuring of our coverage, but I’m confident that we will be able to bring a significant proportion of events to viewers over the course of the weekend.

    We’ll provide more information on how to view our coverage a little nearer the time.

    As far as Designing Worlds is concerned, our intention is that it will continue after a break. We are currently working on a number of options surrounding assembling a production team, and we welcome contact from interested parties who would like to work with us. Assuming that we are successful in originating our own programming, we will be able to stream it via Treet TV’s systems as at present – even including live shows in the event we’re able to do them down the line.

    Apart from an actual live show, my personal favourite as a production method would be to “record as live” with at least two cameras. This is because the conventional approach in RL TV – namely a single-camera shoot where in addition to the interview you capture cutaways and establishing shots – would result in far too much time in editing. Several previous in-world broadcast attempts have failed as a result of the amount of time required for this kind of operation.

    However, if we are able to shoot with two cameras, in addition utilising scene-switching technology in-world, and, post-shoot, sync them with audio in an editor and essentially then “live switch” between the camera feeds in real time to generate a final file to be tightened up and topped & tailed, I think we would have a practical work flow.

    Time will tell, but as it stands we intend to do our best to continue producing Designing Worlds – after a pause while we assemble a production team. It probably won’t be live, at least initially. But our current intention is to continue to produce DWorlds at the current level of content and technical (inc 720pHD) quality.

    If you think you may be able to help, please get in touch!

  10. Well the Giant Snail races will continue on into the horizon as long as we have a place to race and a team to help run them. We wont be streaming live but I will be trying to take over the immense job that Wiz and Texas did of filming and editing and with a little help from my snaily friends I think we can continue to get the Snail races posted on Treet. Wont be live but hopefully just a couple days after the race well get them posted.

    Wiz is hoping that we can use some of our back and forth we been having on skype about the process of formatting and saving our footage into some form of instructional wiki that everyone that wants to can follow and use to get there own shows ready for posting on Treet. This is an exciting time for all of us and maybe room for a lot more new shows since everyone wont be depending on Wiz and Texas to do all the behind the scenes stuff that they did so well.

    Anyway The Giant Snail Races have been going on since November of 2004 and as long as I have a pc and a internet connection Well continue the chaos of snail racing even if I don’t get this filming part of it to work though I’ve already run some test and it’s looking good estimating 2 races 9 minutes each will end up being around 32 gigs of space before editing and ( compressing ) Just waiting on the formula to use on handbrake to convert that into something I can upload to the Treet site then its just a matter of semantics I think to continue with there organization process and make it fit into their slots.

    Exiting times indeed good luck everyone lots of room for expansion.

  11. Aye RacerX! Well Said, we are in it as well, The 1st Question will continue to roar and report through July, the live show will go on and we will deliver more episodes. Then August comes and we will take a 6 week break. Stay tuned for Mid – September, is how I would put it.
    There is always opportunity in change, and we have a great network to still be part of.

  12. As a former Co-Host of GOHA Hockey and Producer on the show last year I know the time and effort that goes into these productions are extremely time consuming for both the Treet staff and the Producers and Talent on the shows they air.

    I for one am very happy to have worked on live productions with the staff including Wiz Texas and Starr and all of the other folks that helped make GOHA Hockey so exciting to watch over the years.

    And I wanted to thank everyone for allowing me to be apart of this great network of talent/producers of such fine programming.

    Treet’s work has paved the way for content creators to dream of something magical and bring it to the masses of Second Life and other media through iTunes and other Devices.

    Even though they will not be at the helm full time doing live shows they still will be there to support and bring new shows into the rotation which is a wonderful thing and I for one am excited to see what lies ahead for Treet as they refocus on the new innovations and the timeline which was a fantastic idea and still is!

    I’m willing to lend a hand on 720p HD Filming my time is limited but if I can work things out ahead of time I’m more than happy to assist in keeping these great shows running new episodes in the future.

    Thanks again to all of the Treet staff!

    Bedtime “The Blue Bear” Bobbysocks

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