The Escapist Film Festival 2009: Kounter

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Kounter

Kounter is a video game debate/discussion show modelled after ESPN's 'Pardon the Interruption'. Two average gamers: the passionate and experienced Shane and the reasonable, intermediate Alex, discuss the news stories and issues that all gamers talk about, albeit in more formalized fashion. The primary focus will be video games but all areas of geekdom are up for grabs.

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Okay, I like the idea of a debate show for gaming, but when you were debating it seemed more like Shane was doing most of the 'debating.'
Even though this is your first video you could have chosen a different setting for your 'debate room,' and it would have helped the atmosphere a lot if you both would have dressed up into a suit and tie.

We will take that into consideration if we get the chance to make another! Our green screen didn't work out, and we didn't want to come off to hostel for the first episode. Alex punched me right after we shot this. If there is a second episode I will put it in the blooper real in the credits!

I'm Alex and I did hit him right after we shot this. And I'd do it again.

We do need a better set if it becomes a series. But we were under time and budget restrictions.

Budget or not, that green fabric was damned expensive. I can still feel the hole in my wallet it burnt.

And damn it we are to friendly to each other! We really need to beat the crap out of each other come episode 2.

i think this show has a lot of potential. sometimes, you just don't feel like having all the sarcasm, and just want a sensible debate. i hope you get the chance to make more videos, because i think you guys could do a great job.

Thank you very much, we hope we get the chance as well!

A new background is promised for whatever comes next.

sorry...i only made it 50 seconds in

I know the feeling. My friend and I did the "But I Did It in a Videogame" vid. Costuming took us over budget before we even started, which required a few changes to the script :P I liked your debate style. I'd be really interested to see the bloopers!

Umm so this is like Fox News for Video Games? I like Intermediate Alex, I can listen to him. Shane could ditch the hoodie for something more appropriate like a Sports coat and a jinx shirt. I like the idea. The topics you've picked were so/so with the exception of Natal project. Also for this to work I feel like you would have to back up your debates with polls and numbers.. not just opinions. Has a good potential. Still saving my vote though.

Lex Talionis was done on AU$100, i know this because i had to round up donations from everyone in order to purchase some legal music; everything else we did was sourced. I'm sure you could have done something with the background: paint a landscape, or even sit in front of a shiny wall or anything. I have attempted green screen before and its so tricky it can be almost an inviable option.

About the video, i feel that its a mix-cross between ENN and the general articles weekly on the Escapist. Hence it does not bring anything generally new to the site; however it does directly present contrasting views, which can save some gamers (myself for instance) from doing all the research upon the game to make sure its exactly what they want before spending the cash. Overall it has potential, but lacks a little in polish.

I love this idea. It would be fun if you could get other gamers on the show though.

If your gonna do a debate show then you should try and have a panel of something featuring gamers and non-gamers, but was aight vid.

Angrypudding:
Umm so this is like Fox News for Video Games? I like Intermediate Alex, I can listen to him. Shane could ditch the hoodie for something more appropriate like a Sports coat and a jinx shirt. I like the idea. The topics you've picked were so/so with the exception of Natal project. Also for this to work I feel like you would have to back up your debates with polls and numbers.. not just opinions. Has a good potential. Still saving my vote though.

I was wearing a blazer, I think you mean Alex :P

Ok.
1) Green screens are there to be used, not to be background. They just look terrible otherwise.
2) ENN, ok different idea and different content but still two news show related series isn't going to work as you'll be constantly compared to the Loading ready run crew. And no offence if its a choice between you and them, it'll be LRR.

ok video...but nothing special, since you guys have similar views

idea: Great! outcome: left me desiring more...MUCH more. i think when it comes to contests like this it's about maximizing your resources with your ideas and creating the best possible outcome. you had a green screen, and you can do SOOOOO much with them. even if it's putting in a black background or the set of CNN or SOMETHING! you need distractions when watching debate shows. why is ESPN so successful? because not only are the hosts entertaining, but they have news tickers, information on the bottom of the screen and so on. other than debaters, to make debate enjoyable to the common man, you need flash.

Frank_Sinatra_:
Okay, I like the idea of a debate show for gaming, but when you were debating it seemed more like Shane was doing most of the 'debating.'
Even though this is your first video you could have chosen a different setting for your 'debate room,' and it would have helped the atmosphere a lot if you both would have dressed up into a suit and tie.

I agree with this. Its a nifty little idea which could also take in user comments to really make forum-goers feel like they can contribute to videos in some way. But like "Frank_Sinatra" said you really need to get in a suit and get a nicer desk and a background.

Well I come from a film/video background. I know that with a bit more time (and a working green screen without hot spots) we could really improve the visual impact on the show. I was pretty happy with how everything turned out. We made this with a small budget and with a goal in mind, making it easy to shoot & edit an episode every week.

If we continue, I think Alex and I really need to have more of a debate. We were simply far to friendly for our first time. Suggesting less topics is actually a pretty neat idea. I think that could be something that we can explore. We both had discussed having forum/viewer topics and mail being a big part of the show, but since this was our very first episode we didn't have any viewers to help us out on that! :D

I wanna thank everyone for there comments so far, I am taking each one seriously and taking notes on how to improve our show.

Yeah, if we win I'll definitely invest in something more appropriate to wear. I think I went for the hoodie because I was trying to not make it seem as if this was something too formal.

And yeah, there are some definite improvements we can make in terms or the set. Shane bought the green fabric to try and make a green screen but it just didn't work. We decided to put it up anyway because other wise, it just would have been a wall with plastic covered insulation behind us and I think the green looks better than that would have.

I suppose at this point, we're really asking you to look beyond our technical limitations to see the potential in the format.

GuiltBlade:
Ok.
1) Green screens are there to be used, not to be background. They just look terrible otherwise.
2) ENN, ok different idea and different content but still two news show related series isn't going to work as you'll be constantly compared to the Loading ready run crew. And no offence if its a choice between you and them, it'll be LRR.

i really don't feel this would be toomuch like ENN.
ENN uses pure amounts of sarcasm, and a sort of SNL style to it
where as this show is more like somewhat serious debate between 2 people about videogame related subject. the only things in common with the 2 shows is that they both involve videogame related topics, and have people sitting in chairs on camera.
he has also said that they will be using a better background in their next video(if they have one)

I have to say like other people, I was distracted by the green background and it's hard to make something like this really exciting.

It showed promise, but this is probably the wrong site for it. The escapist as journalism is admittedly more on reviews and comment than straight debate, but they try to be impartial and they allow plenty of room for debate in the comments.

lacks a bit of attitude, and you gotta decide whether it is going to be newscasterish friendly opinion bouncing, or some passion filled debate, in the sense that you find something you disagree on or you think is completly idiotic or is the best thing ever,
i mean you guys could possibly become a roger ebert and gene siskel for gaming topics, you know more like pundits. not to be rude but this could just as well have been a podcast.

I voted for you guys because I think this series has a lot of potential. Pretty much all of my qualms with this video have been mentioned in the thread thus far. You really need to

A. Get a background. (Self explanatory)
B. Wear some sort of formal attire. (It just seems more professional that way)
C. Needs more personality. (you guys seemed like sort of lifeless, but I really can't blame you, something tells me the more you do this the better you'll get)
D. Your graphics need work. (I know a lot about motion graphics, and honestly your graphics and titles and whatnot need work, they're very bland and unoriginal)

Fix those little things and you've got a winner! Good luck!

Nice idea, I like the concept. You guys had good energy and I enjoyed watching you. Good luck with this, you should really consider just developing this as a vlog if it doesn't go anywhere in terms of the festival. I would watch it.

Hey Alex and Shane. I enjoyed your video and I believe you have a good concept. The only things I would say that could use improvement is the debate. If you plan on using a debate-like format, you need too be more passionate and have at least one topic that you both have a different opinion about. Also, the green background was distracting. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing more in the future. Good luck.

tthor:

GuiltBlade:
Ok.
1) Green screens are there to be used, not to be background. They just look terrible otherwise.
2) ENN, ok different idea and different content but still two news show related series isn't going to work as you'll be constantly compared to the Loading ready run crew. And no offence if its a choice between you and them, it'll be LRR.

i really don't feel this would be toomuch like ENN.
ENN uses pure amounts of sarcasm, and a sort of SNL style to it
where as this show is more like somewhat serious debate between 2 people about videogame related subject. the only things in common with the 2 shows is that they both involve videogame related topics, and have people sitting in chairs on camera.
he has also said that they will be using a better background in their next video(if they have one)

I admit I worded that poorly, I'm not saying their a clone of ENN but they are going to appear as a form of competition with the similar layout.
Perhaps with the more professional approach others have stated then they can overcome this and develop a much more independent style.

This didn't work for me. I could get as good gaming discussions by just being on the forums of Escapist or GameSpot or IGN or whatever, and I could participate myself. In other words, it would be more fun than watching a video of two people discussing video games. If it had humour and satire, it might have worked.

I like it. Definitely well structured to be a series. I am sad that you HAD a green screen setup but didn't use it. It would have been really easy to just put a little graphic or something back there. With the quality of you text and graphics, I assume you have the technology. Was it planned to use the green screen and then never got around to adding a background? Anyway, enough about green screens. I would watch more episodes. I liked the contrasting opinions, that is required to make a good reporting / debating show.

Nice work!

Well as I mentioned before. Alex and I intended to use the green screen for some really nice graphic work to better represent our topics. But we had hot spots and an uneven green colour. It rendered the green screen unusable. So we essentially had to scrap the idea, and since we didn't have time for a reshoot, we had to use this footage.

If we do make another episode, we have a list of things we need to do. Some of these were our own ideas but a lot of them are things you guys suggested as well.

-Recreate and enhance the graphics.
-Create a better theme song (what we have now is just some licensee free loops)
-Use a higher quality camera
-Usable green screen or build a better set
-Improve topics and subjects
-Improve our on screen persona's
-Involve the community more in what we do (this was always in mind, but we didn't have anyone watching yet!)
-Be funnier, give more time to the topics and possibly have fewer topics.

(Also, since we created and own all the material in the video {aside from the topic images used under fair use} it's easy for us to change anything that needs to be changed. So the more suggestions you guys come up with the more changes we can make.)

Someone mentioned this above, yes Alex and I are fans of Loading Ready Run and ENN. However it was not our intention to copy ENN, this isn't a work of satire. The topics we picked are real news pieces rather then the work of fiction. We are trying our best to be unique and to better establish ourselves. The quality of ENN is something we are trying to aim for, but that style is all there own we have no intention of copying them.

I like the idea, this site mostly has humorous videos, so this feels kinda fresh. But it does need a lot of work. My suggestion is you guys start watching as many debate shows as possible, no matter the topic and take a lot of notes. And I think you should try to look at each other when you debate and not at the camera ( Shane ).
P.S. As one of the previous comments mentioned, you could become this site's own Ebert & Siskel, so try to figure out why they are so popular.

I could see this being a good show. I think there are some more deserving entries but keep making the videos and I will watch them. Saying that, The Escapist could do with a game debate show. Preferably with guests over Skype or in person such as Yahtzee.

You won't be getting my vote but good luck to ya.

Yeah, we do need to put a lot of effort into what we are doing. One of our goals was to make a show that we could easily reproduce over and over again every week. If we continue, Alex and I are prepared to make a new episode at the drop of a dime and have it up the very next day.

Well, you have my vote, if only for the idea. The show needs al lot of tuning. The discussions are to scripted (or so it seems), the set is ugly, the discussions are to short and there to much of a good cop bad cop feeling. But the idea of having a show about games with a more intellectual approach to games instead of the usual "it's good, no it's not you butthole" has made me vote for you guys.

it's pretty good, but one thing I noticed was that at the emd of each topic, you both agreed on something, if it's going to be a debate show you really need to get in some serious arguements, and even leave one or two topics hanging. Just sayin.

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