High-Octane Filmmaking – with Top Gear director Avi Cohen – ON THE GO – Episode 65

In this episode of cinema5D ON THE GO, we meet high-octane automotive director Avi Cohen, and discuss his work on the famous car show Top Gear.

Avi Cohen

With a portfolio of work focusing mostly on automobiles, we knew that fast cars were nothing new to Avi Cohen — we were sure he was going to feel right at home in our ON THE GO Mustang.

Avi’s is the kind of life story many out there would envy. With a late start in filmmaking in his mid-20’s in San Francisco while taking a few film classes in community college, he experienced an instant connection and understanding of the visual language.

After moving to Los Angeles, Avi Cohen picked up a Sony EX1 to shoot content that he found interesting in order to put together a reel. Not having the usual network of actors, directors and other contacts that film school offers, Avi’s subjects consisted mostly of skaters, dirt bike riders and snails.

However, it was during this experimental stage that he honed his skills in shooting cars, and developed his own vision which eventually landed him a role as a director on Top Gear. Check out the trailer for the upcoming season below!

Avi Cohen also tells us about the work dynamics of shooting Top Gear, his interaction with the writers, and how it all comes together.

Stay tuned for the second half of our chat with director Avi Cohen! In the meantime, head over to Avi’s website to see more of his work.

Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE GO coming!

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Watch previous episodes of ON THE GO (& On the Couch) by clicking here. Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

Source:-.cinema5d.

Cash Is Culture in India, but It’s Not Going to Be the Future

Cash Is Culture in India, but It’s Not Going to Be the Future

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cash is not just the norm but also embedded in culture
  • New systems like mPOS terminals are making digital more convenient
  • Apps like BHIM help bring payments from India to Bharat as a whole

In India, cash is culture. It’s everywhere, inspiring Hindi film songs, being doled out by loving grandparents, occupying a key role in religious rituals, and even fuelling a parallel economy. So resistance to any alternative method of payment is only to be expected.

This is amply evident from the way digital transactions, which had spiked from 672 million in November 2016 to 958 million in December 2016 because of demonetisation, plummeted to 763 million (February 2017) once the new currency came back in circulation, as per RBI data. The latest numbers show some growth, but it’s a far cry from the peak in December even now.

It’s a challenge that Digital India is up for. Driving the shift from cash to digital payments are a host of factors – a huge population of young, aspiring people embracing the digital lifestyle, the “India Stack” of four technology layers (presenceless, paperless, cashless, consent), and a robust real-time payments infrastructure in which the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is the crown jewel. But beyond doubt, policies such as banning the use of cash for transactions amounting to Rs. 200,000 or more are also making an impact. In his budget speech this year, the Minister of Finance announced a mission tasked with achieving 25 billion digital transactions in the year 2017-18 through various means including Aadhaar Pay, UPI, USSD, IMPS, and debit cards.

payment systems

That’s a tall order for an economy where 98 percent of consumer payments are still made in cash. Before this can happen though, several barriers lie in the way. The “cash habit” is at the top of the list, followed by the complexity of using digital payment methods.

Cash is easy
The second factor is telling. A huge reason why cash still rules as a medium of exchange is that it is simple and convenient. Digital payment mechanisms, which might be convenient in some ways – (they save a trip to the bank and are easy to carry around) – are actually less convenient at the point of use. To understand this, visualise the process of using a mobile wallet – log in, authenticate yourself, scan code, enter amount, authorise payment – and now compare it to the ease of handing out cash.

Currently, there is friction on both sides of the digital payment transaction. The abundance of payment options with their different POS hardware and procedures is confusing merchants, who don’t know where to draw the line. This isn’t making life simpler for consumers either.

Clearly, digital payments must become frictionless before they can find mass acceptance.

mpos machine eze

Technology and innovation can do much to facilitate that. For instance, Ezetap has introduced a mobile-based payments acceptance device that merchants can use for all types of digital payments. Another good example is Tonetag, one of our partner firms, which has found an alternative solution to NFC technology with a communication mechanism that uses sound waves. Merchants can even accept cards in much the same way as before; customers need to authorise the payment like they do with NFC, with a swipe, password or OTP.

Ezetap, Tonetag, and others like them reduce the friction in payments, but they don’t eliminate it altogether. Some other forces need to come together to make digital payments as convenient as cash.

Bharat, and not just India
One of these is the digitisation of low-income consumers, which received a shot in the arm when the BHIM app was launched a couple of months after demonetisation with the goal of enabling those with a bank account but no cards, to make digital payments. Another factor is the growth of e-commerce players, who, by accepting card or wallet payments on delivery, have eased even reluctant cash customers into digital payments. The next level of e-commerce, namely smart commerce, will drive digital payments even higher, using AI and analytics to spur consumption.

bhim full

To see what that looks like, you need only look to Amazon, which has mastered the use of consumer analytics to anticipate needs, personalise recommendations, or simply remind customers of something they had shown interest in.

These forces are still brewing at present. When they take firm hold, India will make more meaningful progress towards digital payments. While the timeline for that is uncertain, once the conditions fall into place, the shift from cash to digital will be swift and irreversible.

Venkatramana Gosavi is Senior Vice President and Regional Head, Infosys Finacle, and has been working with Finacle for over 15 years now.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

LeBlanc: Top Gear to ‘expand the comedy’

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc joined Top Gear in 2016

Matt LeBlanc has given viewers a taster of what they can expect from the next series of Top Gear.

The 25th season of the show – due to air in spring 2018 – will see LeBlanc return to host alongside Rory Reid and Chris Harris.

“I think we’ve tried to broaden the demographic of the show,” the presenter said.

“Try to make it not lose the petrolhead nature of it but maybe open it up to people who aren’t so petrolheady.

Rory Reid, Matt LeBlanc and Chris Harris
Image captionLeBlanc co-presents with Rory Reid (left) and Chris Harris

“Expand the comedy, try to have bigger, broader films, but it will be more of the same in the sense it starts with the car.”

LeBlanc will return to the UK in the coming weeks to shoot footage for the show – so far he’s been filming in Norway, France, Italy and California.

“It will be closer to what it was last year versus the season before,” he added.

  • Has Matt LeBlanc ‘saved’ Top Gear?
  • What the critics said about the most recent Top Gear
  • Top Gear: Do overnight TV ratings matter?

The most recent series was more popular with critics than the one before it – which saw Chris Evans on hosting duties.

Evans hadn’t been popular with viewers and he left the show after fronting one series.

But LeBlanc declined to discuss viewing figures, which have generally been lower since the departure of previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans
Image captionMatt LeBlanc was popular with viewers. Chris Evans… not so much

The trio moved to Amazon Prime to start the Grand Tour after Clarkson punched a producer. He later apologised after settling a £100,000 racial discrimination and injury claim.

BBC Two controller Patrick Holland has previously said Top Gear’s last season drew a “much healthier” audience and it should not be compared to the Clarkson era, which was a “completely different” show.

The BBC has also said that younger audiences rated the most recent series “far higher” than they did previous ones.

LeBlanc was speaking from Los Angeles as he promoted the last series of Episodes, the comedy he stars in alongside Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.

The 50-year-old said it will be hard to leave behind the show, which has been a “inspiring, magic, special journey”.

[“Source-bbc”]

The Gear Sport is Samsung’s next wearable

Samsung’s smartwatches come but once a year and guess what folks? That time is rolling around once again.

It seems like only yesterday we were cooing over the Samsung Gear S3 and now it’s all grown up.

Reports on Friday revealed the Korean giant has another baby on the way and the early scans show it’s likely to be a fitness-focused offering.

Related: Best smartwatch

According to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States (via Android Headlines), they’ve already decided on a name. It’ll be Christened the Samsung Gear Sport.

The image provided with the filing suggests it’ll be a full blooded smartwatch rather than a fitness tracker.

image: https://ksassets.timeincuk.net/wp/uploads/sites/54/2017/08/Gear_Sport_FCC.jpg

Gear Sport FCC

Naturally, it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but that’s about all we know. Given Samsung loves to use Tizen on these devices, we’d say that’s a given too.

Whether Samsung chooses to reveal this device alongside the Galaxy Note 8 on August 23 remains to be seen.

The company might want to save it for the IFA 2017 tech show, which starts the following week.

Last year the company debuted the Gear S3 — admittedly its best yet — during its IFA tech show address.

Fourth time lucky?

The company’s smartwatches have struggled to impress thus far. The Gear S3 earned a 6/10 rating from TrustedReviews.

Our reviewer Richard Easton concluded: “The Samsung Gear S3 flirts with greatness, but it ultimately falls short due its gargantuan size and weight, as well as its Tizen OS.”

It has been over a year since Samsung updated the Gear Fit 2 and Gear IconX, so we might see new versions of those trackers too.

[“Source-trustedreviews”]