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October 16, 2015
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A New Approach to Event Recording…

A large proportion of our time here at the Media Unit  is spent thinking of and implementing ways to best convey and put into the public domain the excellent teaching, research and debate that goes on everyday here at the SSoA. Supporting staff who want to record events, be they panel debates, lectures, seminars or live studio teaching, we try to think beyond the conventional and the mundane to produce content that is interesting and easy to access and of interest to the widest range of people.

Traditionally, recording a lecture or similar event  has involved the booking of a camera person, who ‘sets up camp’, usually at the rear of the room, camera fixed on the speaker,  trying to decide whether to expose for the projection screen or the ambient room conditions, and in the process usually sacrificing one for the other. The result can be a dimly lit video, with a PowerPoint presentation barley readable, depending on the quality, and clarity of the projected image, then the video is hosted, and sometimes only receives a handful of views before being archived or deleted.

We prefer to do things differently. By engaging with the staff member, asking what value each event has and  what content they would like to promote, we can assign a method of content capture that best suits the situation and venue, and hopefully results in an engaging and easy to access end product.

A great example of this approach is the recent fossil fuel’s divestment debate, held in the Diamond Building. A panel debate lasting nearly 3 hours with 4 speakers, and an audience Q&A. A large lecture theatre is a visually uninspiring setting, so by using a feed from an audio mixer and a professional 4 track recorder, we were able to record all microphones in the venue, including an audience roving mic to create a debate recording that could reach a much wider audience. The significant content here were the words, the opinions and the debate, not necessarily the venue. A packed debate audience and ability to see those behind the words is also useful trigger for viewer engagement but can, in this case be captured in still photography and social media content.

Sometimes well produced and recorded audio, distributed online that is easy to access can be more powerful than a 3 hour long video, where the viewer must remain focused and static, as opposed to an podcast style audio recording which can be listened to in more dynamic environments.  You can listen to the debate below, which we recommend as a great long listen while travelling or taking time out from study.   If you have an event you would like to capture but aren’t sure how, get in touch and we will be happy to talk through your options.

 

 

 

The Media Unit
Media Unit Manager for the Sheffield School of Architecture.