Videoing an Interactive Live Event

Q: We are holding a live event to share learning and experience between top ten performers and would like to either video it or produce a DVD for disseminating the learning to other colleagues.

The event will include a speech from a government minister. Is this something you can help me with?

Communications Manager
Government Department

A: The secret to producing a successful record of your live event isn’t in the actual filming, which we’ll look at in a moment. It’s in packaging and delivering of the information so that it’s easily accessible as disseminated learning for other colleagues.

I would recommend an interactive DVD. Here’s why.

You need to offer choice.

Many live events, once filmed, comprise over lengthy sequences, which may be full of nuggets of information, but require the viewer to watch lengthy tracts of video information in order to get to the parts that interest them. They have no choice but to sit through this stuff, waiting until it gets to the relevant parts, if they exist (the viewer doesn’t really know for sure what’s in the video)

An interactive DVD will solve this problem by dividing all the material up into easy-to-access menu-driven chapters. You offer choice.

For example, the main menu could have 10 chapters, one for each speaker’s key learning area, with clear descriptive titling, video icons, and possibly voiceover, briefly describing the topic. So immediately the viewer could select, say, Topic A.

On clicking Topic A, they would be taken to a submenu. This would be organised into segments of that topic in 3-7 minute bite sized video chunks. And each segment will be titled meaningfully. For example “How we got our Initiative through XYZ” and “How the Initiative developed over Quarter 1” and so on. And there would be a Play All button, which would obviously play all the segments automatically one after the other.

Taking this approach avoids the pitfalls of:

> Obliging the busy viewer to wade through lots of video that may be irrelevant to them.

> The viewer not bothering to view anything because there’s too much irrelevant material

On the positive side, what this approach will give you is:

> A much higher likelihood that people will use and enjoy, and therefore learn from, the DVD event

> Choice, which allows busy people to navigate to where they want in the time available.

The net result will be a far greater likelihood that the knowledge contained in the event is actually passed on successfully which, in your case, is best practice models from expert speakers.

So I’d budget to allow for detailed interactive DVD authoring, with possibly voiceover.

Filming your event isn’t too difficult. You’ll need three cameras, with one for each of the two speakers, and one for the overview. This means that if a third speaker interrupts or comes in to make a comment, you’ll have enough cameras around to pick them up. A Director with talkback mikes to each of the camera operators will guide events.

For sound, you could provide each speaker with a remote clip mike, and have a sound recordist sat away from stage with a mixer. This avoids cables. If this is prohibitive in cost, you could have a couple of remote handheld mikes for speakers to pass around, which the sound recordist will monitor and mix.

Everything would be set up the night before, with any cabling taped securely down, and safety signage where required.

Obviously, you can expect to pay more than a day rate for crew that come in the night before.

Good luck with your live event.
© Studio Rossiter 2006

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