FridayPhile: All the news that’s fit to invent

Breaking News:
Steve Jobs busted smuggling Ninja Stars out of Japan!


Funny! This story was all over the news services this past week. It all came about as Japan’s Spa Magazine reported that someone with a private jet (allegedly Mr. Jobs) was caught trying to clear security with Ninja Stars in their carry-on baggage. Of course, Jobs vehemently denies thisbut that’s not the real story here!

Take another look at that video. This surrealistic animated visualization is the product of Taiwan’s Next Media Animation, a creation of Hong Kong tabloid tycoon Jimmy Lai. Lai wanted to re-enact hot news stories with CG within hours of the news breaking. Everyone thought he was crazy, but he somehow pulled it off by setting up an off-shore CG sweat-shop in Taipei. His crew of 200+ animators get breaking news recreations online in a fraction of the time conventional CG is produced. Staff animators manage to storyboard, build and render a clip in just a few hours rather than weeks. Wired Magazine’s website has an interesting article about Next Media here. Poke around on youtube and you’ll find NMA re-enactments of the Tiger Woods incident, the infamous Jet Blue flight attendant and scores of other videos.

Next Media’s Newscasts are hosted by faux-sexy ani-anchors…

But that’s ALSO not the real story here… while amusing, Next Media’s foray into the broadcast information market marks the first step in virtualizing (and dumbing down) the news. If this technology gains widespread popularity and eventual broad audience acceptance its only a matter of time until major news and information providers start replacing actual video and live feeds with some story-boarded visualization in an effort to save money and cash in on a trend!

I have enough trouble believing CNN, Fox News and the rest when they’re using REAL footage…

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