Friday, September 18, 2009

Going Live in 5, 4, 3, ...

In the beginning there was television and the movie theater. If you made a film it would appear on one or the other. Then came the invention of the video cassette and you could tape movies then watch them anytime. Rental places emerged and movies or videos could be bought or borrowed.

Later computers, the internet, faster processors and faster connections brought video to your desktop. You could videotape, edit, then display movies on your home PC and in time over the internet too. Today video streaming has become the new media to transmit video to homes across the world. You can make a movie and stream it globally or broadcast live from your own virtual TV station at home or mobile.

We have come a long way in a few years! Just a few years ago the DVD was the big thing, now transferring video virtually and easily is becoming more common. There are so many ways today to get video from one place to another and display it to an audience as there are models of camcorders themselves. But you knew this already, right?

So, how many of these avenues have you explored? Many? None? Perhaps you feel you have nothing to transmit. Or you are lost in the myriad of technical issues just using these new technologies. Some are easy, others not so simple. But people are using all of them.

Where is your audience and what do you want to say to them? Do you want to promote your film, video or products? Perhaps promote yourself? Do you have something to say?
Before you get bogged down in the technical issues with all the new technologies go back to the beginning. As a videographer you are a storyteller and no matter what new thing comes along that will never change. You have a story to tell. The new technologies available are just more ways to get that story to your audience, so don't sweat the issues.

Today the wedding videographer can broadcast a wedding live to a larger audience. You probably already have everything you need to do it. Places like UStreamTV and Livestream are available to send your wedding to every friend or acquaintance the bride has ever met!

Your video company can now broadcast high school football games, pageants, plays and any school event live to the parents, grandparents and even alumni across the world. Yes, you!
You don't need a transmitter and huge network complex anymore, you can do it yourself. You need a laptop, a camera and a fast internet connection. Most schools have high speed for the students so you need only tap into the net and send out your feed.

Many local parks and cities now have wi-fi too so it's possible to broadcast a sporting event live from almost anywhere. If you can't find a connection from where you want to broadcast you can get a satellite system for your company and open up even more possibilities. It's expensive but could be a great way to unchain you from a wi-fi connection. Or perhaps after doing a few live broadcasts on virtual internet TV networks, you may find a market that will pay for the satellite system?

But you don't have to broadcast huge events, you can broadcast yourself too. If you have information, skills, or knowledge people will want to know you can broadcast a podcast. You can do your own marketing seminars, broadcast seminars for clients or just make a daily or weekly talk show. You can upload your movies and put on your own virtual TV station showcasing your work.

It all comes back to your story and what you want to say, and where your audience is. Perhaps you are a tax specialist, you can create a podcast answering questions about filing. Maybe you are a gardener, how about a show on gardening tips? Just about any subject can be made into a tv show, and everyone knows something others do not know. What do you know? Can you teach it?

Perhaps you should consider a podcast or broadcast?
The technology is out there to do it and not all of it is rocket science. First you need a plan, flay out what you want to do. Then explore the virtual TV networks online to see if you can bring that knowledge to a broader audience.

Recently I have been looking into broadcasting virtual workshops live for movie edit pro users. I'm taking the Mastering Movie Edit Pro tutorials idea and creating a live show to help users get the most out of the software. Part workshop, part seminar and some fun thrown in for good measure. I have this knowledge and this is a way to share, teach and help others.

Perhaps as I learn more and deal with the issues of "going live" I can share those issues here and help you learn to do the same with your ideas? I have been learning the software and dealing with problems in getting the virtual show on the road. So far it appears very workable, if not frustrating. For what I'm doing I have already discovered it is not for a one man band, operating the broadcasting software and doing the actual tutorial is difficult at best so I recommend you have a partner or two to help you with the studio so you can concentrate on your program.

At this point it is trial and error and in future blogs I will teach you what I know so you can avoid many of the issues I've discovered along the way. In the meantime, go shoot something! I'll figure this out and get back to you...

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