Monday, April 09, 2012

Lit Event Coverage

Michelle Tea and RADAR are undeniably important to San Francisco's literary community. They deserve to be profiled on Culture Wire. The only thing is… it's just pictures of people reading.

There are only a few shots- Wide, Medium, and Tight. Fortunately, there are several authors each night… but it still doesn't add up to much. Three authors times three shots only equals nine shots per night. A camera operator costs me $65/hour, with a four hour minimum, so I'm looking at $1,000 just for acquisition. The only thing that makes this a good expenditure is that the subject is very evergreen. I can play this video for over a year.

Aside from the budget problem, the rest of it was a lot of fun. Michelle is delightful, the crowd was welcoming, and using the 1990s Indie Rock was an un-ironic pleasure for me.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nobody Loves Me!!!!!

Actually, nobody loves SFGovTV. When I post YouTube stories about arts organizations, the views all depend on whether they promote it on their own Facebook wall, web page, or Twitter feed. SFGovTV doesn't have many fans- we're a service organization without any brand identity.

I recommend -

Do not post video after 3pm. People won't see it and won't have time to share or re-tweet before the end of the work day.

No thumbnail on the video link? Delete it and post it again. And if it doesn't work, wait an hour and try again. You have to have a thumbnail to get clicks.

Do not make multiple posts at the same time. Facebook doesn't share if you overshare. You have to allow a few hours gap to make sure people see the video, instead of your other reminders.

Post to your own wall. Don't sign in as "you" and post to your organization's wall. You have to post as the organization for the video to be seen by your fans. Even if a fan posts on your wall before you do, you have to go ahead and re-post the video as the organization to spread it.

Post it again first thing on the next Monday morning. "Hey, in case you guys didn't see this last week…"

It works. Trust me.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We were playing in the pocket by the end of the set.

A wonderful way to spend August and September- recording and editing 11 jazz concerts around San Francisco. "People In Plazas" was a discretionary budget project that I had been wanting to do for a while. This past July, the FY projections finally looked solid enough that I was given a green light.

Each concert was awarded 21 man-hours for production: three crew members for a half day, then eight hours of editing, and one hour of closed captioning. These productions had to have conservative zone-play camera operators who could keep their heads in the game for a full 60 minutes. That's a bit more of a sports analogy than I'm usually comfortable with, but that was the situation during these weeks.

The wide shot was a lock-down camera that recorded four channels of audio. The audio operator did a live mix-down on a three channel Shure feeding channels 1 and 2 on the camera. Channels 3 and 4 on the camera were direct feeds of audio from the bass and snare drums, which didn't need much babysitting during the show.

As the coach, I had to cut a few people from the roster. I gave camera ops a detailed explanation of what I wanted. If they didn't do it, I showed them their video and repeated what I was after. When they failed again, they were cut from the team. I'm sorry, but we're only doing 11 of these and I have been waiting years to see this project approved.