In 2000, Ben Freedman directed, funded, edited, and distributed his all-digital movie Secret Messages – a step-by-step tutorial subtitled “Getting Started with Digital Filmmaking.” Now he’s putting his own advice to good use with Neo-Fight TV.
There are so many consumer report and product review shows out there, it’s hard to keep track. It must be even harder to stay ahead of the pack, but Freedman thinks Neo-Fight TV has an advantage. The techie geek and owner of Roo Productions often disagrees with his co-host, the attractive engineer-but-practical-realist Tiffany Young, when it comes to the electronic and technological products they review. They hope that the “debate” element will attract people of all technological levels to the show and will help their site to avoid the one-sided commercialism found in similar review shows.
What started in April 2006 as a weekly 30-minute show, as of July 2006 became a series of 7-minute installments of technology information, released most weekdays. But now the series bounces between both the long and short-formats.
Neo-Fight TV breaks down into segments – like Headlines, Viewer Mail, and The Spotlight (a look at a specific piece of equipment). Product reviewes range from your typical computer software and music accessories to high-tech lamps and other household products.
It’s shot like any other tabletop talk show with Tiffany and Ben sitting and drinking out of oversized coffee mugs, all in one take (but, mercifully, with multiple camera angles). Both Ben and Tiffany are onscreen during all reviews, though they occasionally fly solo when advertising products, which they seem to do quite often. During the times each week that they spend actually reviewing products, they take turns putting in their two cents, but often interrupt each other and even manage to sway their counterpart’s opinions at times.
Each gives the product a rating out of 5, which is then added to the other’s rating to give a total score out of ten. It’s apparent at times that the two haven’t discussed the product before the episode is recorded – such as when one notes that the Fujitsu Scan Snap S500 can scan both sides of a piece of paper at once, to the other’s surprise. I would say that this adds to the production value, since they seem to be saying what’s on their mind rather than some planned-out, pre-written fluff.
Though it came rather late in the season, a week of shows dubbed “Marine Week,” which focused on water-related products filmed on location outside their studio on a boat afloat a lake in Phoenix, Arizona (yes, you read that correctly – a lake in Phoenix, Arizona), was interesting and a welcome diversion from the software reviews. It also made me wish I’d had a sea scooter with me during my last cruise to the Bahamas.