Tag Archives: video

Video: Rufus Norris on diversity at the National Theatre #IWD2016


We ended our International Women’s Day dash around London with an interview with the Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris.  Here, Rufus talks about the importance of a national institution representing the nation through the people who work there.

[Disclosure: Rufus is an old pal so forgive us some giggles at the start when he tells us who he is 🙂 ]

Helen Keegan and I spent International Women’s Day interviewing women (and some men) in tech (and other sectors!) in London about their experience of gender in the workplace and where we’re at with equality. We’re releasing the audio as podcasts over the next couple of days with minimal editing. We will produce a digest of all the conversations later in the week.

Ten years of online video

Last night, someone commented on an old video of mine on YouTube. It was from some work I did in 2006 making content for a site supporting a consultation around education for the creative industries. That’s as much as I remember really. Mostly it was talking to “grown-ups” about what “skills are needed by industry” but I also got to go down to Peckham and interview a bunch of young people about their experience of Theatre Peckham (then known as New Peckham Varieties).

The commenter had said “Omg is that John boyega 😭 so happy for him” And so I had a look and yes, about one minute in, there’s a fourteen-year-old future Finn looking surprised to hear that not only had Sir Ian McKellen worked in the West End, but also that he was in the (then) new X-Men movie.

Go on, watch the whole thing. He pops up later too. If you spent any time around theatre when you were young, you’ll recognise yourself and your peers in there somewhere.

It made me realise that I’ve been on YouTube for nearly ten years. 2006 was the year it all got going. At the start of the year it was some experiment that guys at PayPal were doing, I joined in the March (but didn’t fully commit to only posting video there till much later – hence the broken video links in some of my posts!) and by the end of the year it had been bought by Google. And still people were saying video on the web was just a fad 🙂

It might be time for a retrospective!

G20: Behind the scenes

I decided that much of the time, the most value I could add would be to give you a feel for what it’s like in the press room, on that floor that you, watching at home, could see behind any TV presenter reporting live from the summit.

Of course, the press room itself is “behind the scenes” of the summit itself. The 22 leaders and their delegations were off in the Red Zone working out the detail of what was agreed and published. Only occasionally would red-lanyarded people wander into the press & TV area to be ambushed by crowds of bored journalists eager for a story. But what I’m sure you saw most of was well-crafted, polished presentations of those moments and the pieces to camera on the TV stage.

So I’ve three bits of video that show you what’s going on from another angle.

First, here’s Simon Berry getting ready to talk to Bob Geldof. We’d spotted Bob talking to our colleague Todd Lucier and Nick Booth had encouraged Simon to go round and talk to him too and show him the idea of colalife. Nick filmed the real substance of the exchange here but my clip tries to show that even when the people filming and being filmed are fellow bloggers, there’s some further enrichment to come from seeing how it was set up.

Sticking with Geldof, I captured a little of him being interviewed (by someone in the studio) for Channel 4 News (I think). He’s a great performer, as I noted when I saw him at Innovation Edge and you see here the point at which the feed goes live to him and he launches into his spiel. I think it’s good to see what’s going on right next to the camera – can anyone find a clip from C4 to compare with this?

Even when we were in the briefings with Brown and then Obama, pretty much the same pictures were being taken throughout – the great man, at the podium – I was as guilty of that as anyone. So finally, if you watched the Gordon Brown press conference on the telly, you’d have seen a few flashbulbs going off. This is what it looked like from the floor where I was kneeling next to the press photographers.

Walkin’ in Austin

From the earlier part of the week before the festival started and definitely before the sun came out. Our experience was that walking anywhere more than a couple of blocks marked you out as either a tourist or poor. Or like us, poor tourists.

This happened to me a couple of years ago too when I went to Barcelona and it felt more like Bangor. We seem to have brought the sunshine back with us from Texas, but not the temperature, I think it’s still up in the seventies there.

S’now it’s back to normal

East Street is the A24 going out of Epsom. For the last couple of days it’s been almost empty at 6 o’clock because the road was covered in snow and no-one seemed to be going anywhere anyway. It’s been nice walking along with no traffic. Today seemed to be the day that people either thought it was safe enough to drive or decided that they couldn’t get away with another day off. Either way it’s back to normal, and we should be glad, right? We should be glad when things get back to normal. So I am.

Future of Online Video

21012009837FOOV (can’t wait for future of online media – FOOM! True Believers!) was yet another kudos-tastic #amp09 production – top marks.

When talking about the future of online video, there’s a not very interesting conversation about what sorts of whizz-bang & weird innovations we might be able to make up. There’s another, more frequent but equally uninteresting chat which is how we can turn the visual media of the past into something that might just work in the hypernetworked, digital world. What is fascinating is looking at how the things that people are already doing now which work well in a networked digital world, can be applied to areas that haven’t seen them yet – ie how can we more evenly distribute the future, which is already here.

So interesting was this cafe-style set of conversations that I only managed to take part in two: firstly, can “Big Brother” survive in the Qik-enabled panopticon, which was most amusing because it does work for the Nineteen-Eighty-Four version as well as the Endemol production.

I then went on to talk about the implications of conversational media (especially things like phreadz) on Higher Education especially on the teaching side, though we rambled all over formal vs informal, online vs offline relationships etc etc.

As always, you kinda had to be there. Tweets were tagged with #amp09 and Phil provided a rezpondr page. Penny Jackson was collecting audio impressions. Stuff will probably bleed out of my ears sometime later.

Nomadic Blogging

08092008203OK, this is going to be a bit messy. I’m going to have a stab at a series of posts looking at how to best make use of the 1MSME-L kit. The more I look at it, the more there is so I thought I’d get started with something simple. This is a full blogpost with links and a photo from my flickr stream – bog standard blogging, from a table in Starbucks.

This is my basic workflow – plan, compose, edit, publish. I think that goes for pretty much anything although when it comes to twitter all of it goes on very quickly and only in my head and the screen. So here I am writing this, I already did some planning and right now I’m going to take a picture. *kch* there – and while I carry on writing, I’m just sending that up to flickr via Shozu (I’m using the mobile web though rather than forking out to *$s & tmobile.

So the next thing is to finish writing this – oh dear, it’s getting a bit recursive isn’t it? clearly didn’t plan it as well as I thought I had.

So once I’ve done that, I’ll fire up scribe and type up what I’ve got and add links to my previous post and insert the flickr photo.
The text link is siimple-ish I just need the url of the post, though the copying of a url with this keyboard needs a bit of a hack – at worst I can write down the url on my notepad and then type it in later. and then the flickr photo – I think that saving a bookmark and then copying and pasting it in is the way, but I’m also going to look at copying & pasting from the normal non-mobile flickr page. Then save and publish and there you are. no “real” computers involved (at least on the client side!)

Later… much later…
OK So that was an interesting experiment – the stuff above has sat in draft for a week since I wrote it. I can’t be bothered to do what I intended, which was to tidy it up and put some links in. But it got me started. The main thing I learned was to make sure that scribe had the mobile connection set as default – it kept failing because it was trying to connect to my home wifi, which was kind of out of range ‘cos I was in a Starbucks on Oxford St.

The post I did on Oli’s trip yesterday though was entirely written and posted from the field (to be precise, but not precise enough to spoil it for everyone, a public place with a mains connection, next door to a hotel with an open wifi spot) The video was also edited and posted from the phone at the same time.

It takes time. The Oli post took me *three* hours, not including shooting the video but including editing it down and lots of faffing about learning stuff. So what did I learn?

  • Using the bluetooth keyboard is interesting – I had to keep switching between keyboard and buttons – would be fun to have some hotkeys set up to “Select Left Menu/Option” and “Select Right Menu/Option” Also need to play around more with selecting text. But I’m getting used to it.
  • Using a bluetooth keyboard with an N95 is also interesting to passing geeks, which doesn’t help in getting things done quickly 🙂
  • For simplicity I didn’t add any titles or credits to the video. Rupert has some smart way of doing this, I seem to remember, but it’s a long time since I had a tutorial. I got an inordinate amount of self-satisfaction from cutting a chunk of my waffling out of the middle and smoothing the cut with a cross-fade.
  • I’m very pleased with the sound quality given that we were in a very noisy lunch reception in a bookstore. I used the external mic set up as described in the 1MSME-L post. I’m quite sure that the internal mic would not have coped so well, but I need to do some comparison testing to show the difference.
  • Shozu has a 10MB limit but you can get round that by invoking it from the Video Editor (at least I think that’s how it happened) The video was a 44MB .mp4 file. I just realised I shot it at “TV High Quality” so I could have made life easier for myself.
  • Stealing wifi like this means that the connection was occasionally flaky and there wasn’t much I could do about it. Roll on ubiquitous free and reliable wifi in Central London.
  • Writing links in html is not as much of a faff as I remembered it to be.
  • The ajax interface for blip.tv makes it hard to get the embed code for the video using the Nokia browser. But I made it in the end (about 60% of my entire faffing time was working this out). You need to select (for this blog anyway) Embed and WordPress.com just like you do normally and hit the “go” button but then you need to hit the “Newer” button in the sidebar element above to display the text box with the code in it. Now that I know it it’s not such a problem, but I’m guessing maybe a different browser or a video sharing site with a better mobile interface are both worth investigating.
  • Copying URLs for links is indeed tricky. I didn’t work out an easier way of getting the flickr photo embedded than to go to the non-mobile version of flickr and get the code just as you would normally. Saving a URL as a scratch bookmark ready for copying and pasting is a useful technique too.

So progress. I’d love to hear from others who are trying this stuff out. How am I doing? Have you found any time-saving hacks along the way?

Videoblog Masterclass – Using video as a social technology

I am the master
I thought I’d write about the stuff I took to my videoblogging masterclass last week. I’d like to repeat the process with other clients – and maybe a public one – it worked well in a small group of communications specialists and people from lines of business. I’d have liked to have done it all more openly too, but one of the requirements from the client was that everything was kept private (it was part of an internal conference on risk management)

I started with my background in social media as a whole and how I’ve been thinking about it helping internal communications and knowledge management for as long as I’ve been blogging.

Then I took a look at the technology. I started with the obvious – get a DV camera, point it at someone and record what they’re saying. I then showed how to simply take that footage, edit it quickly using Windows Movie Maker, add a title and some credits and create a movie file. I think this is simple now and there are tutorials all over the web, but I forgot how complicated it can seem if you’ve never seen it before.

Then I looked at video clips as conversations, using seesmic as an example. We looked at some conversations and saw how being informal helps to convey more information. I talked about how the community had grown up and about my experience of meeting and building relationships with people I’d known about before, but never got to know properly until we “met” on seesmic.

And finally we looked at mobile video – briefly touching on using your phone to record files, edit and transfer to the web like this master, but focusing mainly on live streaming, using qik as an example. I’m very grateful to Jackie at qik for shipping me an N82 so that I could demo this properly (and I seem to have really gotten the bug since then!) I’m not sure that the whole group in the class fully understood what was going on but one or two were gobsmacked and very excited by the potential of this.

We spent the second half of the morning talking about the cultural impact of doing this sort of thing, the risks involved and the kinds of practical applications that they could envisage. And then (oh noes!) we got onto why any use of video would be difficult (read “nigh on impossible”) in their current IT environment. This also led onto an interesting discussion about broadcast versus narrowcast and an understanding that not everything that gets published needs to be accessed by everybody else.

So yeah, give me more of these please.