CCP 009 -- Woman Looking At Screen
Can you imagine making a top-quality webcast of a live event with a crew of one? Here’s how you’ll do it...
You’re sitting at your laptop. You’re running CONFERENCE CASTER PRO. You have a wifi router. A wifi-camera on a tripod. And a clean audio feed from the podium.
You also have a gang of workers standing by to make your webcast a multimedia masterpiece. They’ve installed Conference Caster CROWD CAM on their cellphones.
They’re streaming footage to your laptop. And you’re making a top-class video of it. Streaming it live to the world.
THE VISION MIX HUB
The entire left hand side of your monitor shows you low-bandwidth feeds of every CROWD CAM connected to your machine.
You like what you see coming out of a CROWD CAM? Drag and drop it into the live VISION MIX channel. This sends a text message to the screen of that camera, saying, ‘Hold your shot. We’re coming to you in 3... 2... 1... And you’re live!’
One of the other CROWD CAMs looks like it’s in a good position? Drop a text message onto it, saying, ‘Frame up for a closeup. Coming to you next.’
Your screen real-estate is divided into three.
CROWD CAM RAW FEEDS
Left hand side is your raw footage being fed in by all of the CROWD CAMs in the audience.
COMMUNICATION AND ADMIN TOOLS
Middle contains your communication and admin tools. Shortcut icons to drop onto the CROWD CAMs telling people the kind of shot you’re after, telling them they’re next to go live, reminding them to hold their phonecam still. There’s also an empty caption box. Type stuff into it, and drag & drop it onto a CROWD CAM for a customised message.
You also have a camera ranking tool.
In a crowd, not everyone is great with their cellphone cameras. Maybe they’re just not in a great position. Rank them. One star sends their feed to the bottom of the screen.
Some people are just absolute naturals with a camera. Rank them. Five stars sends them to the top of the screen.
This allows you to concentrate on the CROWD CAMs giving you the best footage. And keeps the other feeds in the corner of your eye in case they happen to capture something you want to cast.
LIVE VISION MIX CONSOLE
Right hand side has two parts. A queue of your best CROWD CAMs. And your live VISION MIX console.
The QUEUE is your composition shortlist. You simply drag and drop CROWDCAMs from the left of the screen into the queue. Bottom one drops back into the pool.
The VISION MIX console has a CROWD CAM at the top, and one at the bottom, separated by a slider bar. The slider bar cuts from one to the other. The live camera has a blinking red dot. You can choose to dissolve between shots, or to hard cut. There’s also an audio monitor and control, so you can ensure perfect sound. With extra audio-in feeds.
In order to ensure that you have a shot at any given time, you also have a FALLBACK CAMERA. It’s mounted on a tripod. And you can control it via your desktop. If any of your CROWD CAM operators aren’t in position, you can cut to this feed until your people are ready.
What happens to the show being created? Simple... It’s streaming live to a remote audience, and being recorded for future use. This is all happening in the background. So you don’t have to worry about it.
WHO WORKS THE CROWD CAMS?
People in your audience are your big resource. They have their camera phones. They have wifi. They’re at the event. And they can contribute.
Many people already do their bit by live-tweeting or live-blogging at events. This takes their contribution even further.
Remember your CROWD CAM rating tool in the centre panel of your screen? At the end of the event, CONFERENCE CASTER PRO creates a credits-roll ranked from top contributor down. And allows you to reward those top crowd-sourced people as you see fit. Maybe they get free entrance to the next conference you run? Maybe they get a share of your profits from the webcast? You’ll work out how to make them glow.
WHY WOULD YOU NEED THIS SOLUTION?
In the old days, making a multi-camera production of an event was a rather labour-intensive and expensive undertaking. You needed high-end broadcast-quality cameras. Metres of cables. Lights. And a portable vision mix studio with a crew. You needed communications equipment to talk to each of your camera operators.
And that’s just getting the show into shape. You also needed major equipment to be able to get that cast to reach your audience. That normally meant television or satellite transmission.
For this reason, good coverage of smaller events has been almost non-existent. Delegates might be promised a ‘free dvd of the event’ as part of their ticket price. But that dvd is almost always a single camera view of the event with absolutely no production values.
EASY. INEXPENSIVE. HIGH-END COVERAGE.
CONFERENCE CASTER PRO makes it easy and inexpensive to make a really high end video of your event.
You’re doing a live webcast. Which means that people who can’t be in your venue get a really powerful way to experience the material remotely.
This represents a stream of income. In the privacy of their own web feeds, you’ve got thousands of potential viewers. Thousands MORE than you could fit into your venue. And they can pay a sliver of the price a venue-delegate would pay.
And you’re also recording the show as it’s being cast. You can pop it onto the giveaway dvd. And you can package the material to resell later.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
CONFERENCE CASTER PRO doesn’t exist yet. It needs to be taken from the conceptual creation stage, to the real-world stage.
Roy Blumenthal is the author of this idea. And he’d like to have it made into something that revolutionises the conferencing industry.
Thus, he needs help from people who take projects to the real world.
Are you one of the people who can help?
Conference Caster Pro is an open source project in its infancy. If you would like to contribute to it in any way, please visit the Google Code page: code.google.com/p/conference-caster-pro/
All ten of these pics originated in my Moleskine. They've been modified slightly in Photoshop CS3.