Fund stew

Now the Corpse is gonna have to fight for government funding alongside the Privates (and educational broadcasters like TVO). Stursberg is OK with it “provided everyone is one equal footing when it comes to the mechanism for measuring audience numbers.”

OK, wait. Everyone has the same holes in their measurement system. We don’t know how many kids watched jPod or how many of the desired new net-enabled audience listen to Radio 2. We aren’t measuring those people. When are we gonna start? And how?

Now the other thing that worries me: “The realigned fund will favour projects produced in high definition.” That shit is expensive. Remember, the Corpse got in trouble for buying two HD trucks for Hockey Night in Canada even though leasing them would have cost more. People just ignored the cost saving and couldn’t get past the sticker shock: $23.7 million.

HD cameras, like most electronic objects, are getting cheaper. Bruce McDonald shot Pontypool on the hot new Red One camera. But that’s a typical Canadian auteur movie, not 13 half-hours. (Or, more likely for a Canadian show, six.) The entire production lifecycle is hugely expensive in HD. Just moving the multi-gigabyte files around involves a lot of infrastructure. (And did you know that not a single captioning house anywhere has real day-in/day-out experience producing native HD captioning? I know, fascinating.)

So that’s what worries me. What worries the Web kidz? The requirement that the funded programs also be shown on TV. I think they should look at it as recording your album for an indie label that is distributed by a major.

Of course people with long memories will tell you this latter requirement recapitulates Zed in miniature. Everybody loves Zed in retrospect. It’s respectable, like saying you saw the Stones at the El Mo. But U8TV did the same thing – and then some. Perhaps the widely beloved Zev Shalev was a landmark Canadian innovator after all.