Wednesday, April 29, 2009

TV stuff

Here's a conundrum for you.

If you're not interested in video, then this may be boring as anything for you.

Then again, you might find it facinating.

OK. Here's the deal. A conference, and it's Mandarin. The main speaker is American, and speaks no Mandarin whatsoever. So he has a translator. No problem. Now say you have an audience of 300-ish, and are using live video to show the speaker on TVs around the room so people can see. OK, again, no problem. But, since the speaker and the translator decided to stand far apart, if you show a shot wide enough to get them both, they're so small on screen that it's totally pointless putting them on screen. Usually, I believe, it's normal to just go for a close-up of the speaker. So, then, if you have audience who are all old people and probably somewhat hard of hearing, they'll want to lip-read the translator at least somewhat. So. What to do? Cutting back and forth between two cameras is too much work, and tiring, and probably more annoying to watch than anything else.

I tried to be a bit clever and "TVish" this time, but I still am not totally pleased with it.
If the speaker and translator decide to move around a lot, remote cameras just will not cut it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Long time no update

Hi Blog.

Long time no update, I blame I.T. and specifically I blame Blip, who works in I.T. I don't blame her because it's probably her fault, but because she deserves it. I can't access blogspot, so have to go back to the old email-mum-with-stuff-to-blog method.


So. Many changes in the last few months.

I went on break for a week last port in Manila. Yes, Manila again. So I've been there 3 times now, total of 3 months. Quite cool. Anyway, we only managed to actually get to where we wanted to go for 2 days of the week of shore-leave, but it was so peaceful there. We went up to the mountains, near a place called Taal where there's a volcano and so on.

Back on the ship, AV wise, I've been doing a bit more guerrilla carpentry.

Here's our laptop/workstation. Things to note: the amazing wall-mount for the screen. Made from 100% recyclable natural products. Also, the big screen is showing mac OS. This is from Ant's mac mini which is also hidden in the shot. The laptop is the A/V laptop, and running windows. The big screen can also show the A/V second screen quite happily, just by pressing a button on the screen. So. Two computers, but only one mouse and keyboard? Yep! Thanks to the amazing "Synergy" software, you can scroll the mouse off the left of the laptop screen and it jumps onto the mac, and vice versa! Very cool.

We had a Jazz recording session last monday, our amazing sax player just left the ship, so before he went we spent a whole afternoon recording with the band, and then had an evening for the ship's company to come and hang out while the band jammed in a quiet atmosphere. This is the old 4 channel data minidisk recorder that we found in a closet and used for recording each channel individually as well as the main mix on the computer.

And team changes. Here's one of the mainstays of the AV team, who just left yesterday. She's finished her commitment on Doulos, and has gone back to Europe. I'll miss her a lot. She's American. On the team currently we have a Swedish guy, two German lunatic men, an American videographer dude, or cat, or whatever historical term of endearment he currently is using, one strapping British lad who's currently in the UK for 2 months cross-training/work with the team there (like I did last year) and me.

Notice anything? Yep. All Westerners, and all guys. In a sense, that's pretty understandable. Of the kinds of people who join the ship, the western guys tend to be the group who are into tech/arts. But, it's also quite unbalanced. So in a week's time, we'll have a new member of the team, a Korean lady! She's worked as videographer in a big church in Korea for several years, so that's quite exciting. Both of the Germans will be leaving at the end of this port, around the 30th, and the Brit will be coming back. So we'll be somewhat smaller again, hopefully we'll get someone else soon, but who knows.

Anyway. It's a time of changes. I'm excited, and hope I can use these changes to bring better changes throughout the whole team and work we do.

And finally.

This is proof that the evil sock monster exists. We put all our underwear into bags before it goes to laundry, to keep it together and not let anything get lost, and yet, somehow, I've got here 7 - yes, count them - 7 non-matching socks.

What the heck?!