Visual media is crucial to effectively communicating the vision of TMP –probably far more than has been recognized by the FMF/LUF community in the past. Thus it is likely that film and video production will be a very important area of activity for Foundation Media with some amateur video production beginning as part of the Foundation Promotional Effort. Film production here refers to feature film as a content format rather than as a specific media. In practice, traditional film has become obsolesced by video, which itself is now dominated by digital video which, because of economy, will probably be the primary technology pursued by Foundation Media. In time, Internet distributed digital media formats will dominate most distribution.
Foundation Media’s projects in this area will tend to fall into several categories.
These are short (commonly under 3 minutes), typically computer modeled, animations used to illustrate technology, systems, and architecture. They will tend to be used as ‘stock’ media like static illustrations and would be collected in a TMP media library for use in many other media formats and projects. The TMP 2.0 books may use these in CD ROM format as a new form of ‘color plate’ illustration while the M3 game would use a large collection of these for illustrating its units and events. They would also be commonly used to supplement spoken presentations using computer based PowerPoint style presentation content.
In style of format, essentially, infomercials for the overall TMP vision and the individual phases and vehicles much like those commonly developed in the aerospace industry to showcase system concepts, new vehicles, and new weapons systems and those developed by architectural firms to showcase large commercial building projects. In their simplest forms, however, they may take the form of PowerPoint presentations for use with portable computers and more elaborate interactive multimedia for touch-display based kiosk computers. These would often be used as display content for convention and show exhibits and to supplement more formal spoken presentations. Early on, a standard presentation package based on this kind of media may be developed to be distributed among LUF members around the globe.
These would be short features which use more sophisticated cinematic techniques with some live action and narration to present the whole TMP, sub-phase visions, as well as current realized projects in more comprehensive fashion but without the technical detail of formal spoken presentations. They would be crafted with the intent to be marketed to public broadcasting agencies and the newer science-oriented cable channels as well as being distributed as packaged home video.
Serial News/Documentary Edit
These would be serial productions relying largely on live hosts and narrators that provide a running documentary of TMP related activities and/or futurist themes in general. Some may be very general and intended to run indefinitely. Others may document the week-to-week progress of specific projects and settlement development, ending with their completion. Some of these serials could be spawned by different community projects, such as the Open Source Everything project. Likely format would be akin to variety science news shows such as Beyond 2000, Scientific American Frontiers, and the various computer culture shows like TechTV or DIY builder shows like This Old House. Initial productions may rely on Podcasting with Internet distribution and could even be audio rather than video based.
Minimalist Documentary Edit
These would be short and long features which employ a ‘minimalist’ approach to visual documentary presentation as typified by such works as the Koyaanisqatsi Trilogy. One could regard this as visualization style media writ large scale. These would use video, sound, and music without dialogue or narration to depict simple plot lines and showcase the whole TMP vision, its major phases, finished settlements, and actual activities. Intended to be more entertainment-oriented than educational, these would often be created for larger scale show/museum exhibit display, IMAX or CAVE theater presentation, as well as home video release. Initially, these would likely be based entirely on computer rendered imagery owing to the lack of real-world locations offering grand scale scenery for this until well into the development of TMP communities and projects.
These would be features and serials which use the locations and technology of TMP as a setting for drama. Initially, they may be hard-SF oriented and rely largely on computer rendered and studio-built sets. Likely themes would be docu-drama based detective dramas set in TMP settlements and frontier dramas concerning the initial creation of settlements at sea and in space. Later, as TMPs physical settlements are built, they could be used as scenery and shooting locations for contemporary drama by way of community promotion. These would tend toward themes common to contemporary television drama, relying on the architecture and location of TMP settlements as novel shooting locations. Podcast video offers a strong possibility for initial serials based on modest budgets. In the future, more sophisticated asynchronous video distribution is likely as the notion of asynchronous broadcast becomes the norm for mainstream network video.
News/Local Interest Edit
These productions would tend to be produced from individual TMP related settlements and collected into a larger news distribution network –the Foundation News Network– as with conventional network news. The focus would be the news about and from these communities –since the mainstream news networks are unlikely to incorporate TMPs settlements until they become quite large and economically/politically important. These would also serve as a key organ of tourism and settlement promotion as they would showcase, through event and lifestyle features, the general lifestyle offered in these various communities. Initially, this form of production would be quite small, sporadic, and low budget, probably relying on Podcast media. But over time it could rival the major news networks in scale and sophistication and incorporate the full international news network into a solar-system-wide news network. Evolving to accommodate the emerging asynchronous video trend, it would exploit this technology and new format techniques in the distribution of news media across the latency-effected communications networks between settlements in space.
Children's Media Edit
Media projects focused on school aged children would be produced for educational as well as entertainment purposes. These productions would engage children's imagination and promote an understanding of science, environment, space, technology, societies, cultures, and other themes. These may mirror many of the adult oriented media described above with care taken to interest younger viewers as well as invite parental involvement.
- TMP Media Gallery Project
- TMP 2.0 Book Project
- M3 Game Project
- TMP Model Series
- Future Fair/Museum of Tomorrow