13 January 2015

THAT Video Package


In the days and hours ahead of their relaunch on Destination America (and at the expense of attending the first live show in person) TNA President Dixie Carter embarked on a media blitz to promote the company's new home and field some pretty probing questions about the circumstances surrounding the signing of the new television deal and her thoughts on what the future held for TNA on Destination America.

In one particular interview with Brian Fritz of SportingNews.com on the day of the relaunch, Carter was asked whether fans would be seeing more live episodes of Impact:

"I think that where we want to go from a production and a feel standpoint from the show does not work going live.  It does not allow us to do the kind of things that we're going to want to do because there's just a lot of post-production time involved in it. [...] I think where we're going to try to take the show is definitely going to take post-production time and we're not going to be able to pull off all the bells and whistles we want if we try to go live."

Perhaps I am just a natural born skeptic, but whenever I read interviews I am usually trying to read between the lines.  What is not being said, asked or answered, is often a lot more telling than what is being said. Whether it is a politician, celebrity, or indeed wrestling promoter, there is undoubtedly some PR guru standing in the shadows that has prepared their client ahead of the interview.  Dixie Carter is likely no exception.  After all, this is a lady that was in charge of TNA's marketing and publicity before she became the company's President.

So when I heard Dixie's answer to the question about Impact going live more often, I instinctively dismissed it as rhetoric.  We all know the problems associated with the pre-taped blocks of Impact; spoilers, photos of empty seats, dirtsheets pre-empting storylines and trying to shit all over them before they have even hit our screens.  I suspect these problems were the motivation behind the question, and rather than acknowledge these problems and concede that the decision not to produce more live shows was a matter of cost and necessity, Dixie was putting a positive spin on her answer and suggesting that it was a conscientious choice that would allow them to create better shows.

I didn't hold it against Dixie, it was her job to tackle negative criticism and try to turn it into a positive for TNA.  But I wasn't buying it either.

That is until I saw that opening package for #DestinationIMPACT on Wednesday.

It is without any shred of exaggeration when I say that the opening sequence to TNA's debut on Destination America was one of the most polished and well thought out pieces of production I have ever witnessed on a wrestling show.  What began almost as a movie trailer, transitioned into a backstage vignette outside the Manhattan Center, before turning into a live action brawl inside the venue itself.  It was beautiful to behold, and I was honestly blown away by it.

Going into Wednesday's show I had two minor concerns; would the first show be doing anything to cater to potential new fans, and what feuds and storylines would TNA be continuing following their month long hiatus?  In my eyes, this video package did a lot to address both of these questions.  It gave any new fans a glimpse of who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in TNA, and it gave us existing fans an instant idea of some of the key players and factions that they will be pushing as we embark on this new journey on a new network.

The care and attention that went into this two minute video was evident, and the people responsible for making it deserve a firm pat on the back.  If this is any indication of the kind of post-production work we will see to accompany the pre-taped shows, then I am happy to take Dixie Carter on her word that fewer live shows could result in a better quality product.

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