Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tech Story - Live Webcasting Experience. Beware eccentric temperamental technology! Pre-record if you can!

I thought Webcasting a live forum would be a lightweight fun thing to do. That we feed straight to Youtube while live switching between cameras saving on the editing workload of our usual multi-camera shoot. No! No! No! It was all drama to get a setup of temperamental software and hardware to work together and amazing that they did hold together for one hour at the appointed time. I can now compare webcasting with our usual event-filming method which is filming in real time with 3 video cameras then edit the result before uploading to "Youtube".

  • The webcast preparation workload is way more than the workload of post-editing. 
  • The webcast is of lesser image and audio quality because of the limits of real-time uploading and processing. 
 For what we were doing, an indie mock talk show, we could get the same spontaneous live feeling by running uninterrupted with 3 cameras rolling, just like filming a concert. The live feeling would happen during recording maybe 2 days before it appears on "Youtube" which is totally good and OK.

So why even write a detailed article? Some of the tech observations and problem solving experiences do relate to other areas like webcasting for education and studio-style indie production. Our future selves, or other readers today, may have access to higher quality specialist systems like high speed internet connections combined with specialist high powered media servers.

In the meantime, if we absolutely must webcast then let us go into it with the idea that it is a medium which by its nature is not smooth and not clear - looking and sounding like early TV experiments of the 1930s and 1940s. That can have its own kind of artistic goodness, it is up to us to discover and use it in ways that work for what it is. ... which of course we did!

IN DETAIL (link to iafilm website)


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Brave Love" Post 03 - The Webcast Experience


Done! The webcast experience. I was a wreck by webcast time wrestling with the temperamental tech. Big big thanks to all involved for getting us through it. Special thanks to our guest Gerri Kimber for her insights into Katherine Mansfield and her work. For more on KM:
http://www.katherinemansfieldsociety.org/
If I need to do anything like this again I will seriously consider a pre-recording session with conventional cameras and editing. Does this webcast have some magic added value of an "authentic live feeling"?  I am too close to it to answer this question so others need to tell me.
The link here is to "Version 02". Soundtrack upgrade from an audio recorder that I had running in the room. Some editing. Some sub-titles. New "proper" uploads of the video clips. New is a trial edit of Scene 21 with green screen processing applied. Appears at 43min 17sec or start at 41min to see it with another version of the same scene as I filmed it in 1981.
Some comfort to know that others find webcasting difficult:
http://www.zdnet.com/…/finding-a-camcorder-that-works-with…/
Writer David Gewirtz is clearly an expert but he had similar trouble - with only 1 of him and 1 camera. We had 5 of us present, plus 1 Skyped in, plus 1 phoned in, and 3 cameras on the case.

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Link to "Brave Love" Post 01

Friday, January 9, 2015

"Brave Love" Post 02 - "100 Years of Brave Love" - the webcast.

Webcast: 100 Years of Brave Love

On 12 Jan 1915, Katherine Mansfield wrote:

".. actually finished the story Brave Love today and I don't know what to think of it even now…"

On 12 Jan 2015, our indie film-making group takes time out from our production of "Brave Love" to mark this centenary with our guests.
20:30 NZDT Auckland.
07:30 GMT London.
13:00 India, New Delhi.
02:30 New York, USA East Coast.
23:30 on 11 Jan for USA West Coast.

The webcast looks and plays on Youtube like a conventional Youtube video.
It remains available afterwards as a replay.
Planned running time is 1 hour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiCbS5g1QkY

The webcast will be a gathering of cast and crew from the movie talking about KM and "Brave Love" and indie film-making. We plan some interviews in character. We plan to play some work-in-progress clips from the movie. We are hoping to recapture some of the spirit of the kind of creative gatherings where Katherine Mansfield and her "Bloomsbury Set" friends threw around ideas that sparked a major historical burst of creative achievement.  We are going for an entertaining time taking our cue from TV talk shows, with a touch of KM's satirical social comment and how it is still relevant today.

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Link to "Brave Love" Post 01