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)

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