Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Goin' large from your organisation

Agencies will deride our poor camera work and lack of quality, but this little gem is letting our organisation go large in ways we've never been able to before.

What's in the box is one of the tools that is giving my organisation the opportunity to go out large no only to its members, but also as importantly, to the staff in the offices around the world.

Using a consumer level HD video camera we're now able to record messages from staff and members, stream events live to members in remote regions, and generally be on-call to record important moments in our organisation that otherwise might have been consigned to history.

Here's just a snapshot of what we've been able to achieve in four months:

+ Senior managers recorded a short bio of themselves for members
+ The organisation president recorded a welcome message for members as he was not able to attend an event
+ The CEO and senior managers recorded a warm-up video for a staff event happening overseas
+ A conference session was live-streamed from Perth into Second-Life

... and coming up

+ We'll be recording vox-pops of members attending our annual Congress
+ Live-streaming more conference sessions for regional members
+ And recording many more staff and member stories

Here's what's under the hood:

+ Canon HV30 HD video camera (we chose the HV30 as its firewire out-put allows us to use the camera for live-streaming, something flash memory HD cameras cannot do).
+ Firewire 800 cable
+ Rode VideoMic for awesome sound
+ Plenty of mini DV tapes
+ One really tough case for our travels

You can pick up all that plus a nice tripod for under $1500, that's about one days worth of video from an agency. The biggest cost for our organisation was a Macbook with FinalCut Express as we didn't have one previously, but I'm sure most other organisations have a Mac or two.

One of the greatest things about having a camera inside the organisation is that now for those spur of the moment opportunities we don't need to go to an agency and get a quote, book a time an manage the post-production. Our camera gives us the flexibility to be on-call and record the stories as we need. Sure there's a little additional blood and sweat in editing and encoding the files ourselves, but I'm loving learning a new skill.

As yet none of our Semi-Pro (alright, amateur!) productions have made it to our YouTube channel - all our productions have gone large inside the business. But I'm sure in time you'll be seeing our handy work in the big lights of YouTube. Really, now that you can pick up an HD camera for about $1000 and a studio quality microphone for $150, the (YouTube ready) quality takes care of itself and what we can concentrate on is being on call to capture the best stories we can.

No comments: