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New NHK World show: Japan Railway Journal


miyakoji

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HankyuDentetsu

Cheers for the replies folks. And this week's new episode looks like it's going to be very interesting. Excellent!

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Kansen Tsushin
1 hour ago, katoftw said:

Cannot watch it yet. NHK are playing games with their on demand again.


Ahh. It might be a while then. It's Golden Week holiday this week. Started last Friday. Might be lucky and they pop it up this Monday, but it might not be until the following week...

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Madsing

Just watched the latest episode: Trains Evolving by Design. It's available now.

It's very interesting and I really enjoyed watching it. Plenty of nice new trains 😀

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JR East

Love it. Really. Nice to see that all those trains are now waiting for ... tourists !

 

 

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Tony Galiani

Watched it last night - enjoyable show and interesting to see some of the design and construction process for these trains.  It seems to me as if the designers and manufacturers take a special pride in doing these complex designs - basic trains are just not challenging enough!

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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Kansen Tsushin
On 5/2/2022 at 3:29 PM, JR East said:

Love it. Really. Nice to see that all those trains are now waiting for ... tourists !

 

 

Japan are actually thinking about relaxing travel restrictions from June onwards. They are probably wanting to take advantage of the weak Yen, where tourists will buy loads of currency for their travels.

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JR East
19 hours ago, Kansen Tsushin said:

Japan are actually thinking about relaxing travel restrictions from June onwards. They are probably wanting to take advantage of the weak Yen, where tourists will buy loads of currency for their travels.

 

I really do hope they'll open again to tourist. If they do it, I'll travel with my wife and my daughter on August. It'll be the 11th time for me in Japan, but only the 1st for my 18 years old daughter. 

 

 

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Kansen Tsushin
6 hours ago, JR East said:

 

I really do hope they'll open again to tourist. If they do it, I'll travel with my wife and my daughter on August. It'll be the 11th time for me in Japan, but only the 1st for my 18 years old daughter. 

 

 


It'll be rather hot and also rainy during that time. From what I heard, they are seeing what the COVID cases will be from Golden Week before making any decisions. Bare in mind that many of the population in Japan are still wearing their masks, indoors and outdoors, so a surge of tourist that won't be wearing masks may have an adverse affect...

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HankyuDentetsu

Really enjoyed the latest episode - great insights into Train Suite Shiki-Shima, the E7, Kagome etc. One of the best JRJ episodes in a long, long time.

 

But for god's sake Cathy, stop talking to your viewers like they are 8 year old kids! The way she over-reacts and speaks in such dumbed-down terms drives me absolutely insane. 

 

Just reminds me how much better things were when Russell Totten was at the helm!

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Tony Galiani

This is sort of an odd question but maybe someone on the forum might know.

I am trying to track down two shows - I think they were on Train Cruise but maybe not.

 

One show featured a local railway and went along the line visiting various stations which had been repurposed to save expense for the railway.  IIRC one station was a Buddhist center, one a pizza shop, one a cafe and so on with tickets available.  Thus reducing the cost of operating the stations while keeping them open for locals and tourists.

The other show featured an unmanned station that was surrounded by cherry trees and received a huge number of visitors when they were in bloom.  Local residents pitched in to keep the stations clean and usable during these peak times.

 

I would really like to watch these again but cannot find them (so far).  If anyone has any suggestions as to which shows/railways they were referring to, I would appreciate that info.

 

Ciao,

Tony

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Tony Galiani

I went to search Train Cruise for the episodes I want to see again and note there is a new release:

The Myths and Legends of Hiroshima and Shimane

first broadcast on May 7th.

Looking forward to watching it tonight.

Ciao,

Tony

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Bob Martin
On 5/7/2022 at 2:09 PM, HankyuDentetsu said:

Really enjoyed the latest episode - great insights into Train Suite Shiki-Shima, the E7, Kagome etc. One of the best JRJ episodes in a long, long time.

 

But for god's sake Cathy, stop talking to your viewers like they are 8 year old kids! The way she over-reacts and speaks in such dumbed-down terms drives me absolutely insane. 

 

Just reminds me how much better things were when Russell Totten was at the helm!

While she wouldn’t have been my choice for a presenter, I’m just thankful the show is still going.  NHK has cancelled so many original shows in favor of quick/news/blogger type shows recently.

 

Several years ago I ran into an ex-host of one of their shows on the street in Tokyo.  They said unless you’re blond and giggled like a ninny, NHK didn’t have much need for you.  Oh, how sad and true.

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Kansen Tsushin
On 5/7/2022 at 10:09 PM, HankyuDentetsu said:

Really enjoyed the latest episode - great insights into Train Suite Shiki-Shima, the E7, Kagome etc. One of the best JRJ episodes in a long, long time.

 

But for god's sake Cathy, stop talking to your viewers like they are 8 year old kids! The way she over-reacts and speaks in such dumbed-down terms drives me absolutely insane. 

 

Just reminds me how much better things were when Russell Totten was at the helm!

 

I must be in the minority then. I prefer Cathy as the host of the show.

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HankyuDentetsu
On 5/12/2022 at 6:53 PM, Kansen Tsushin said:

 

I must be in the minority then. I prefer Cathy as the host of the show.

The section from 1.07 - 1.37 of the Trains Evolving by Design episode made me physically recoil with second-hand embarrassment as I listened to it. I can't imagine a situation where I'd ever prefer listening to this over the previous hosts.

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cteno4

Ive produced a large amount of narration for audio only and for video and worked with a ton of great voices/talent and basically she breaks all the voice rules for presenting to folks over 10 years old. up and down of her voice really mangles heavier content as your attention is constantly drawn to the over enunciated words and squeals. she rarely emphasized the correct words in a sentence. this can work for little kids with simple content, but not adult content, it just fights for your brain's attention with the content trying to be delivered. 

 

this is where being trendy is being put forward of does this present the content the best. similar to many times associates on similar projects to mine would chide me that i passed over "star" names for narration, but i would say just listen to this voice (i had a number of tests that i could play for them) and they would hate the voice until they heard the "star" name. their voice may work in acting in a movie, but trying to be a narration voice only conveying information cleanly with video is a whole different ballgame. I got to where I would not even do star tests when clients wanted to pay for them as just a waste.

 

The only exception was James Earl Jones, he ripped a 30 mintue script out for the studio in a single take that was awesome and he totally got the video (it was on diversity of species) and his voice married to the video beautifully. but he is supremely unique. he was so tickled to do some natural history (this was like 30 years ago) he did it for the small sum we had for voice talent (fraction of his usual talent rate). I got to answer the call when he called to congratulate the script writer as he was so impressed with the film, wonderful hearing his voice for just "hello, is [script writer name] there?" (needless to say i did not have to say who is calling!). It was funny as only one person could go to the session in nyc and the head of the studio pulled rank over the writer, but he only got to say hello and goodbye to him, the writer got a 30 minute gushing and fun phone call from jones that was wonderful. cosmic justice.

 

jeff

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Bob Martin

^^^ well she admittedly is a voice actor for anime, etc.  So I can’t blame her directly.  Falls completely on NHK for putting that type of person into that position. Heck, let Ryo do the show solo.

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cteno4

yeah very different content and very different voice work, like i said its not what you do for this content delivery, breaks all those rules! train nerd aint anime.

 

what you want to say has a huge impact on how you say it. the hard and fast rule is do your homework upfront and really nail what you want to say and that will tell you how to say it, its embarassing at times as things almost design themselves at that point and things all end up meshing in the final product. These days though McLuhan rules, the medium is the message and its the medium/design that then drives content shoved in later.

 

its funny as ive had so many folks in the industry sneer that the content drives everything. ive done exhibits where we had regular people telling stories or bits of wisdom, history, etc. we looked for the gems everyone has in free form interviews. folks in exhibits said no way anyone of regular public will look at this stuff and kids never. well when it hit the floor it had average retention times of 10 min plus (3 minutes is the gold standard to reach in public stuff) and a lot of kids sitting there for 30 minutes. its amazing how honest and clean presentation can suck folks in. Kathy suffers from taking the emotion over the top to where most cant relate, especially to the content that is just more moderate in tone. just clashes. She probably just knows nothing else. ive found this with a lot of voice talent that got so use to one one format that i would hear a nice voice doing ad work, but they just could not do a paragraph. I spent many hours listening to demos and then doing trials that ended up on the garbage... it is very cool when the voice and content mesh, and you can just feel it it flows!

 

Ryo is the perfect nerd/expert to use in chunks with detail where you want authority. they usually have been good at using a more regular narrator for the main story that is generally relatable by most with a clean voice and then usue ryo well as mr wizard when needed. while i may enjoy all ryo, not sure general public would.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Kansen Tsushin
5 hours ago, cteno4 said:

yeah very different content and very different voice work, like i said its not what you do for this content delivery, breaks all those rules! train nerd aint anime.

 

what you want to say has a huge impact on how you say it. the hard and fast rule is do your homework upfront and really nail what you want to say and that will tell you how to say it, its embarassing at times as things almost design themselves at that point and things all end up meshing in the final product. These days though McLuhan rules, the medium is the message and its the medium/design that then drives content shoved in later.

 

its funny as ive had so many folks in the industry sneer that the content drives everything. ive done exhibits where we had regular people telling stories or bits of wisdom, history, etc. we looked for the gems everyone has in free form interviews. folks in exhibits said no way anyone of regular public will look at this stuff and kids never. well when it hit the floor it had average retention times of 10 min plus (3 minutes is the gold standard to reach in public stuff) and a lot of kids sitting there for 30 minutes. its amazing how honest and clean presentation can suck folks in. Kathy suffers from taking the emotion over the top to where most cant relate, especially to the content that is just more moderate in tone. just clashes. She probably just knows nothing else. ive found this with a lot of voice talent that got so use to one one format that i would hear a nice voice doing ad work, but they just could not do a paragraph. I spent many hours listening to demos and then doing trials that ended up on the garbage... it is very cool when the voice and content mesh, and you can just feel it it flows!

 

Ryo is the perfect nerd/expert to use in chunks with detail where you want authority. they usually have been good at using a more regular narrator for the main story that is generally relatable by most with a clean voice and then usue ryo well as mr wizard when needed. while i may enjoy all ryo, not sure general public would.

 

cheers

 

jeff


It's actually rather interesting with what you've said. In the United Kingdom over the last 10-15 years, the voices that grace the airwaves of radio has changed dramatically from this typical Queen's English accent that you expect to a more localised accent that you would typically hear from young adults. I assume it's because the target audience is geared towards bringing in younger listeners who would typically listen to mainstream pop and dance music and that their voices are more relatable to them.

I would assume that bringing in said person who you wouldn't associate with a typical subject matter would be to bring interest into that subject that they otherwise would not go out of their way to watch it. For example, I don't think anyone would go out of their way to watch the public trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, but as soon as a popular Twitch streamer does a watch party for it, the audience that follows said streamer will take an interest to it, too. Same thing happened with Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares. Does it bring in a new audience? Most certainly does. It's the only logical reason, right?

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cteno4

I would not really put the Heard/Depp trial as much in the way of content really. It’s a trial and it is what it is and very hard to interpret and really only for the jury to decide. It’s more a matter of is the material really being consumed, processed and understood or just clicked on for sizzle. Again I go back to my experience using regular people to present information and it sung with the public when the professionals said it wouldn’t and you had to use some gimmick (ie a star or influencer) to sell it. influencers are the worse as they have the only mission to make money with eyeballs. Yes there have always been influencers but in the past they were much more around a concept than just clicks.
 

If you let the content tell you how to say it you always win. This phenomenon on having to preach in a voice is the only way to reach an audience is relatively new and not rooted in real human nature. It’s more of a cultural obsession than real content presentation. content amounts in both fiction and non fiction have been going down steadily and the bells and whistles up. I just watched a better call Saul that maybe had 60 seconds of story content in 23 minutes of air time, was pretty shocking. I’m sure a lot of it was to make it cheapest per minute of airtime.
 

Currently it’s all about the medium (ie watch party) than the actual content. Again McLuhan had it right.

 

jeff

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Kansen Tsushin
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Yes there have always been influencers but in the past they were much more around a concept than just clicks.

 

I think you hit the nail on the head with that one and you can only blame statistics and market data. One example is Geoff Marshall, a YouTuber who makes content on transport and he told the story of how he became to be and he only got a real chance in building upon his content purely because the company he was making content for saw the numbers that a particular video got.

However, following where the market goes isn't a new concept and it's what drives companies to go a certain direction.
Content is king, but data is king kong...

🐒

Edited by Kansen Tsushin
Adding upon the initial post...
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Kansen Tsushin

It actually occurred to me that the programme on NHK isn't actually catered for transport enthusiasts, but rather tourists who either want to experience train journys in Japan. It then make sense to make content about trains stations that have art installations, packed lunches for trains, themed carriages, etc, rather than the technical aspects that you may expect from a train show. The same could be said about Train Cruise, since it's about the journey and not the train itself.

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cteno4
11 hours ago, Kansen Tsushin said:

Content is king, but data is king kong...

LOL yes good way to put it and King Kong has sat on the king. Use to be like 90% of an exhibit RFP was about the content, now it’s a fleeting few distracted sentences at the end. Most is about bells and whistles and social media tie ins. Totally spun up in the media and customers just say we will figure out what to say and content to stuff in after you design it…

 

data driven stuff also are usually huge self fulfilling loops that lull the users into thinking that since they are analyzing data they are doing science. Well it ain’t most all the time as the data is not properly collected and even analyzed most of the time. controls are almost always missing as well. It ain’t science.
 

In the 90s the film studio I was working with was starting to do more PBS natural history specials and the execs at pbs were screaming that their young adults now grew up on video games and had zero capacity for attention/focus and there was no way then to ever get it so everything had to be in 30 second bits. I would ask how can we tell any sort of a connecting story for the special if everything in 30 second bits. At that point they didn’t care about story, only micro drama in 30 seconds. I would also ask how do you expect anyone to have any attention span if you just feed then 30 second bits max and they would say well that’s what the numbers tell them so you just have to do it. Well it’s a self fulfilling loop as how can you test if there is attention span capability if none of the content you produce has anything past 30 seconds. If culture says only tiny bits are good and that’s all you are fed well that’s what you get. Social media looped into this following on video games and an increasingly frenetic technology culture.

 

My experience has always been the capacity is still there (we have not evolved one inch in a few decades) it’s just not given much good stuff to exercise it on.

 

thanks for discussing this, I’ve spent decades working on this sort of stuff professionally and discussing it with folks I work with, but these days it’s seen as heresy and sedition. I’ve actually had folks yell at me lately when I put forth we need to know what we want to say very clearly before we figure out how we are going to say it.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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