I’m reading a lot of people talking about how the Strikeforce show didn’t look much different from EliteXC. Well folks, that’s because it’s still Showtime. It’s not like EliteXC had a hand over how the production looked (except everyone’s favorite dancers and $kala music) but it’s Showtime that chose to focus their cameras on them. It’s the same production company, the same cameramen, the same director, the same everything except the people who bring the fighters (which is important, no doubt). Oh, and a different canvas designer because I used to layout some of the canvasses for EliteXC. The vinyl ad in the middle caused nearly every fighter to slip at some point in each match.
I do however think they should have changed their graphics. It’s pretty lazy to go with the same exact graphics package and even the same show opening sequence. Though, I did enjoy their teaser with the press conference. Remember when I mentioned how cinematic the lighting was for the press conference because it wasn’t for the press, it was for Showtime? Well, I finally got to watch what they did with all their fancy RED cameras in action last night and it was amusing to see us members of the press being used as extras. If you slow down the footage, you’re likely to see all the major MMA journalists and photographers somewhere in frame.
One of the Showtime shooters came up to me and asked me about that article, saying I criticized their lighting and said it was meant for their show. I know that. It still doesn’t keep me from getting chills and feeling like I’m part of a sci-fi film. It looked nice in the introduction to MMA 2.0 (I think 1.1, they clearly don’t know how version numbering works, it needs to be a significant upgrade). Maybe if it was in 3D or I guess that online “experience” could be considered 2.0, but the show itself is pretty much the same with just a few more toys. I don’t know if anyone noticed how many cameras were around the cage but they had their RED there and a 5D Mark II in addition to their many broadcast cams.
Later I’ll be comparing my live notes with the broadcast, but I just wanted to address people’s thoughts as to why the new Strikeforce show looks so similar to EliteXC. People just have an adverse reaction to EliteXC, so anything smelling of the old days makes them cringe. Overall, I thought the live production was great, commentating was fairly solid (though weird muscle dude animations), and again, I didn’t like the graphics the first time around, still don’t care for them, and think the package could use an update.
**Edit: I should clarify what graphics I am addressing. I meant the matchup graphics and lower thirds and clock. That red and silver stuff. I liked the name graphics for the lead-in pieces, I thought those were nice, and new at that. But the “tale of the tape” stuff was the same old same old. Not to mention they didn’t white balance and match the head shots. But the intro pieces were slick and really quite lovely. **