Wednesday, February 15, 2012

But I'm a One-Man Shop

The lament of more than one attendee of workshops and panels when they hear about the things we've done first at University of Arkansas and now for the entire university at Northwestern State.

Guess what? I'm a staff of one at NSU, with one GA for video to assist. (FYI at "big" UA I had two video guys and two GAs, but we also ran all the interactives, the website, the streaming and the video boards). The keys to video success in the social space is planning and repurposing.

The next few days on our Facebook page are a prime example. Northwestern State is proud to be the home of Louisiana' poet laureate, Dr. Julie Kane. She gave a public talk on poetry and a reading of some of her works. The Writer's Almanac fans may recognize her name as Garrison Keillor read one of her poems recently.

With a large on-line student base and several distant campus locations (from nursing in Shreveport to down south at Leesville at Fort Polk), capturing talks like this are important educational content. A little thought ahead and we get five days programming from this one afternoon.


I asked Dr. Kane three questions afterward about poetry and the event. That gets cut with one opening highlight into a standard "TV" package.

Three of her poetry readings are made into excerpts -- stand alones.

Finally, the whole talk is rendered for viewing. The four bits -- the package and the three poem readings -- all carry a tag line "To View Whole Talk" and our YouTube channel info.

One afternoon shooting, one afternoon of pretty simple edits -- five days of content.

My GA is working across the office on a similar event, a world premier of original string performance. Same drill, three pieces for next week.

In the fall, we made great use of the GoPro for quick render raw behind the scenes video. These were some of our most popular.

The Christmas Gala became a series of single acts (8 days of Gala leading up to Christmas -- here's one of the most popular, the Hallelujah Monks) and a grand master compilation. We also have rehearsal and behind the scenes video to use next fall as lead-up for the major event. And of course, we'll replay last year's pieces.

As we did on our campus pageant. The FTP package for the regional TV stations goes to our YouTube, along with highlights of each section. Later, we'll add the entire pageant to our stable of previous events.

Let me encourage you -- you can do this. But you have to commit to the process.

As Ernest Hemingway said:

The shortest answer is doing the thing.

I've said it much less elegantly -- we can stand around and you can tell me why it won't work, or we could just go do it; takes about the same amount of time once we decide to do it.

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