A day at the TV Studio – Cool Stuff Collective

Yesterday I headed up to Camden to the MTV studios bright and early for the filming of the studio parts of episodes 1 and 2 of the Cool Stuff Collective. It was a very interesting and cool experience though being the first 2 shows there was a certain amount of chaos. Archie Productions and the team obviously do lots of work in the industry but piling into the studio is really like starting from fresh again.
It was great to meet Sy Thomas the main presenter, though I got to see him work first from the production desk which is one of the most button laden gadgets you will ever see. It’s like the bridge of the enterprise.
Producer Matt was dashing around doing all sorts of things the level of energy for the whole day that the team had was amazing.
Whilst waiting for my big moment I was in the MTV canteen with the guys from Print-It 3d, Ian and Mike and Anne Marie from Anarkik Angels.
Printit-3d are based in Wales and Anarkik Angels in Edinburgh so everyone had made quite a trek.
Printit-3d had brought along the VFlash Desktop Modeler from 3d Systems they are the authorized suppliers of that and of the new Pro Jet 3d pinter.
The VFlash is amazing in that it is only £10,000 but produces amazingly detailed and complex models. The guys had so many samples that they opened up on the table we drew quite a crowd form lots of other people milling around at MTV.
The system uses liquid plastic but also wax which allows it to print complex moving pars, gears and cogs. The Pro Jet printers much more expensive but the precision and edges it produces on devices feels like machined metal. I have talked about and seen lots of things in 3d printing but I was blown away with how good this stuff has got.
Print-It 3d/3d Systems samples
The Pro Jet sample that got my attention was two plates that were bolted together in four corners, when undo the bottom plates were two blocks that slid together on rails. All of that got printed in one go.
In the picture above you can also see a complete plate of prints in the tope left the build platform on the VFlash is about the size of a small laptop. The guys had a sample of an entire chess set printed in one go. Each chess piece wwas very intricate with hollow areas in the rooks with small spiral twisting staircases inside them.
Whilst I was waiting and checking the script to fill the time and calm any nerves I decided to rehearse the flow in Opensim.
Cool stuff collective script
The flow of the piece went from showing a regular printer on the left, then an intricate chess piece, then the printer, followed by the description of the transition from computer model to printer. The layered planes toward the right of hte picture are for the description of the process. Then a table full of samples. The brick wall was to mention printing houses and finally the big sphere is saying how this changes the world.
A little abstract modelling but as this worked for my other presentation flows it was good to give it a go 🙂
Anne Marie had brought the Falcon Haptic device and AnarkikAngels brilliant Cloud 9 modelling package. Everyone who creates a sphere or block in this and then pushes on it with the force feedback device gets an astounded look on their face. Andy Piper captured some of this back in 2009 when Anne Marie visited Hursley.

At some point in the afternoon I was called into the studio, the Haptic device was up first, which was interesting as I was more mentally prepared for the 3d printer but it made sense to go that way around.
Part of the programme is that Sy Thomas is the disbelieving, confused one across it all. He is the main draw for the show and it was great that he was so cool about me just turning up. I felt pretty much at home, though some uncharacteristic nerves meant I managed to fluff my first line. Sy had a few goes at some of his first as whilst scripted the proof of it is when its done for real so it is adjusted.
This was also a live demo, in I that the plan was not for me to drive the device by for him to do it. That worked brilliantly as he just got on with it and then described the wow experience that we all get using it for the first time. Whilst he can and does act in this case this was the same genuine wow which I thought was very cool indeed.
It was then a quick tshirt change and the 3d printer and all the samples and prints were wheeled in.
Tv t shirt
The Tshirt was one I threw together on cafe press as an example, the production team then went ant got a stack of them made up in different colours. So g33k will be replacing my stripey leather jacket in personal branding stakes if this all works out 🙂 Several people in the foyer at MTV asked what G33K was 🙂 which I guess was the point.
Whilst doing the tshirt change and heading back into the studio I practically bumped into Brandon Flowers who that had said was recording next door. How rock and roll it that ! Years of Wimbledon star spotting though I was nonchalant 🙂
The 3d printer item went pretty well. The VFlash was going to be opened to reveal the chess set but the second take we did of the item seemed to be flowing so well that opening the cupboard door felt like it did not fit.
I hung around after that was a wrap and ended up in the tail item for one of the shows too. I wont spoil the suprise.
Hopefully my little 3 min set called Ian’s world in cool stuff collective will work in the edits on Monday as they programme is put together. In two weeks time we do it all again, but it will be much easier.
Hopefully some of the devices that we are chasing will be a bit more forthcoming once the Cool Stuff Collective airs on 5:00pm Monday 13th September on CITV Sky 621 Freeview 72 Virgin 734 Tiscali 307
You can see the trailer here with Sy doing his thing.

10 thoughts on “A day at the TV Studio – Cool Stuff Collective

  1. Sandy Kearney

    I’ll try to act nonchalant that I know a “new star” and by the way do you remember the “everything will be 3d statement” and let’s talk about 3D Internet, not just Virtual Worlds? The valley of the shadow of 3D ….the gap is closing! Great work Ian.

  2. 🙂 I think we have all sorts of variants of immersion and 3d. The printers, the haptics to feel whats going on. More immersive interfaces, AR and the basics of virtual worlds which of course are more obvious to the kids from games like lego online.
    Likely to have some other surprises too. Fingers cross it looks good when it first airs today.

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