The ep5 Educational Broadcasting Foundation has produced several mock-ups of public television documentaries as demonstrations.
Please note that these were made with extremely limited resources. Therefore, they are merely stand-ins for the programs which would be produced with full project underwriting. Think of them as trailers that ran a bit long.
Depending upon the speed of your broadband connection, these videos may not always run entirely smoothly. For the best playback, download the files and play them directly from your hard drive.
Commercial hosting services compromise image quality and playback smoothness by intense compression. Over time, we will have all of these programs available in the universal .mp4 format to be played simply by clicking on them. They can also be downloaded from here in their full original resolution. In Windows, right-click on the filename and select “Save Link As...”; for Linux and Mac OS X, the equivalents ought to look similar.
When playing these movies, you can select from three different screen sizes to best match your display.
We have made versions of these videos in the two most common standard sizes: the as-filmed Full HD, 1920x1080p, and the reduced-size HD, 1280x720p. For those of our poor brethren afflicted with Small Screen Disease, there are a few in more modest sizes. Additionally, we have created versions in differing bit-rates, the higher rates obviously providing greater image quality. Generally, the smaller files use more intense compression, while the larger files are less compressed. Over time, the selection of different versions may be increased.
The .m4v format is essentially the same as .mp4 and should play well on all platforms. If not, double your money back! The .mkv files are encoded in Matroska VP9, an open format playable by various free programs, including MPC-HC and VLC. VP9 provides good compression with comparatively few artifacts and flaws. Moreover, it’s free to everyone; there is no company collecting royalties in the dim background. Please note that Windows Media Player does not do Matroska.
Realistically, across the various image sizes, compression codecs, and resolutions, there is remarkably little variation in actual image and sound quality.
PLEASE NOTE: If you experience any problems with these videos, please let us know. In a rational world, there would be only one video format, and it would work everywhere. Since that is precisely the opposite of what really exists, we have made several versions of each of the various videos, in the hope that at least one will work on your device. If not, let us know, and we will try to find something that will fly. In your e-mail to email@example.com, tell us which video it was and what player you used. Thank you!
“You Want to Build a Railroad, Do You?”
In which we make believe that you have inherited an immense wodge of cash and wish to spend it all on building your own railroad. Yes, we know; that’s hilarious. Be that as it may, we consider some of the more obvious and a few of the more subtle factors which will bear on your experience in constructing your own railway.
“To the Junction and Back - Part 2”
This story, entitled “The Line in Winter” and shot in 2010, depicts winter operations on the Arcade & Attica Railroad. Both freight and passenger trains feature in this story, along with the winner of The Most Adorable Train Passenger Contest. Why was Part 2 finished before Part 1? Could it have been because it was the easier of the two to do? And, anyway, we canceled Part 1.
“The Art of Pottery”
This was an extended screen test for two pottery experts. The intent was to see how comfortable they’d be on camera. Both did rather well, given their lack of theatrical experience.
“The Sculptor’s Hands”
A brief look at the creation of a clay sculpture by an acknowledged master of the art, Bill Stewart.
“A Day in the Life of a Freight Train”
We present the train crew’s view of the daily run to Rochester by a freight train of the Livonia Avon & Lakeville Railroad. At no extra cost, we throw in a little history as well as some extremely affordable homespun philosophy. This is a new & improved version of a television program we produced some years ago for the local cable system.
This interstitial – to occupy time left by a program that runs less than a full hour or half-hour – portrays three dramatic and very different railroad scenes, half a world apart.
“A Day at the Races”
This interstitial – to occupy time left by a program that runs less than a full hour or half-hour – describes an idea for a new spectator sport.
This bit of fluff promises no revelation or insight at all. It merely demonstrates what happens when you run a rural railroad on the cheap. It also reveals a little of the trickery that one can perpetrate using video technology, in this instance a telephoto lens.
“To the Junction and Back - Part 1”
This episode, “Scenes From a Railroad”, features a variety of odds and ends from the short-line railroads we visited in 2010 during the shooting of footage for several planned public television documentaries. Production of this episode should be completed in late April. Perhaps May. By June, definitely. Honest. Okay, August, outside latest.
This program has been canceled. Portions of its content have been folded into “You Want to Build a Railroad, Do You?” and “To the Junction and Back - Part 3”.
“To the Junction and Back - Part 3”
Like all other businesses, small railroads must deal with the vicissitudes specific to their industry and their circumstances. In this final episode of the “To the Junction and Back” series, entitled “Hook & Haul”, we examine some of these factors.
This program assumes that you have successfully constructed that small railroad you’ve always wanted and now must figure out how to operate it profitably enough to survive. The best way to negotiate your way through the thicket of forces trying to bring you down? Ask those who have already succeeded how they did it.
Completion is expected in mid-summer. Preferably, mid-summer of this year. No guarantees…
Work on this program has been temporarily suspended, pending cancelation due to lack of interest.