Tim Shedor Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Harbinger Editor for the Harbinger Online (smeharbinger.net)
I’ve lived in 4 states My favorite color is blue I went to the mixer last night I have Lyme disease, Narcolepsy, and a few other baddies. (You can do it.) I’ve been an integral part of more than 15 live broadcasts since January I’m the Co-Editor of the print edition of the Harbinger and an Editor of smeharbinger.net
You probably shouldn’t write down everything in this PowerPoint. I know it’s tempting but I tend to get wordy and you’ll fall behind fast. You can never afford to fall behind in a broadcast. The PowerPoint will be available for download online as a PDF This is going to be loose. I’d like you to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible and to challenge me or ask questions whenever you think necessary. I’ll do a Q&A at the end of the session, but it’s much better if the questions are in context.
Be Prepared Staff, Equipment, software/internet
Troubleshoot Something will fail. Be ready when it happens.
Be a leader/example You’re innovative. Future staffs’ will mimic you.
Be professional Publicize, advertise, polite interviews, clean commentary, clean dress, clean broadcasting space
Not as easy as it seems – you need to have a strong foundation with people before you can consider a bright cast Producer Technician Camera Operator Commentator Runner – Do odds and ends – finds interviews, gets water for the thirsty
Make sure you have everything you need For a barebones broadcast, we need a camera with charger, Firewire 9-pin, MacBook Pro with charger, monitor laptop (MacBook usually) with charger, tripod, two microphones, digital audio mixer with USB, power strip (a.k.a surge protector), two commentators and one producer Check your equipment before you leave your journalism room. Make sure everything works.
But you don’t have to use any of that. Use what works for you. It’s got to be comfortable. Investigate all the possibilities before you invest in new equipment. Audio/Video mixer vs. straight firewire PC vs. Mac iMac vs. laptop Extra monitor
First, Boinx SUCKS. It will unexpectedly quit on a laptop, sometimes not let you open templates, and will make your pictures disappear. But it’s the best program around. Despite it’s faults (it’s version 1.5 after all), it still makes going live look good. Wirecast, Telecast, Livestream studio, Ustream ProducerPro
Know your streaming server very, very well. Know how to use the desktop apps, and how to use the browser apps. You never know what to expect. CamTwist, Procaster, ProducerPro Livestream vs. Ustream Livestream – faster immediate streaming, studio capabilities, better post-live interface, better desktop app Ustream – Better browser interface, Premium edition is cheaper, ads aren’t as obnoxious
Troubleshoot Something will fail. Be ready when it happens.
Sorry, that’s all there is. Know your options, have a back-up streaming server, a spare Boinx template, spare equipment. It only hurts your back if you bring more equipment.
Broadcasting live doesn’t just look good on a resume. It’s a community effort. Parents, grandparents, who knows can’t be in town to see the game. When you stream, you’re delivering joy to millions.
That said, take your job seriously Don’t cut corners. Everything can and will go wrong in broadcasting, and there needs to be someone who will be a strong foundation for the crew.
Be the best. It’s been said a million times, but if you push yourself, your staff will follow. Be someone who a future producer can look to.
What you’re doing will be mimicked for years High school live broadcasting is still new, and there aren’t many examples to follow. So when next year’s staff assumes the reigns, they should know how to run a live broadcast.
Find what does it for you. Once you have a motivation, there’s no stopping you. For me it’s being innovative and knowing that I’m providing something to someone that they would never have without me. It’s knowing that what I’m doing is independent of all expectations and all former staff members’ accomplishments. It’s proving to myself that I can do it.
Encourage, don’t discourage, your staff Good stories to follow
Mr. Thomas of Denmark and his Varsitybasketballer Anna. Our very first live broadcast. Three days, profanity, and a sigh of relief “You look like trash” – being a bad leader Lacrosse Advertising – Making Bank.
Get announcements Get friendly with the secretary. Tell her three-four days in advance. Talk to your designated sports site or Booster Club to put out an announcement to an e-mail list or text service. Make posters. Nothing’s better for drawing viewers to the site than a nice eye-candy poster to throw up around the school. Examples coming. Contact other schools to make announcements. Email any staff that looks mildly relevant – secretaries, office clerks, principal, journalism departments Send them posters designed for their school
You can make bank on this. Seriously. Get sponsors that have advertised with you before. Go through other satellite sites of your school to find supporters. Talk to friends’ whose parents own businesses.
Flaunt it well. For big game, give them a text overlay on the video. For big big game, run a logo over the video in the top left or right corner. Have your commentators repeat it frequently.
We’ve made roughly $900 dollars since January
When you do interviews, know that you are dirt Be confident, but don’t be arrogant. Be down to earth, to the point and very clear. You’re interviewing exhausted subjects and they don’t have time for you.
Don’t get a big head in the broadcast booth Yeah you’re running the show. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a D about it. If you want your staff to respect you, you have to prove to them that a) you are credible and successful from past experiences and b) you work just as hard as they do
Communicate with coaches as soon as possible If you prove to them you’re interested, they’ll help you immensely. Ask them for stats, interviews, quotes, pregame footage. Anything. If you scratch their backs, they’ll scratch yours. Funny thing about their backs is…
Our coaches want us to tape their games And they’re pissed when we screw up. We always have a tape recording, and we usually have a DVD recorder going as well. If you don’t listen to their instructions carefully or give them a low-grade recording, they’ll take longer and longer to give you those stats or can ignore your attempts to interview them. Don’t burn bridges, it’s not worth it.
Keep it clean. Have commentators dress appropriately – either casual comfort for outdoor games or shirt and tie for indoor games. If you dress professionally, you’ll act professionally.
Soap Watch your mouth. I’m guilty more than anyone of this (first broadcast story).
Keep your platform clear. There’s nothing like an occupational hazard in the broadcast booth. Stairs, tripods, seats, everything and anything will be tripped upon. Don’t let your crew come home with bruises.
Watch the cords Often, whenever we trip over cords, the whole system could crash after that single link is broken. Tape them down, put a rug over them, push them against the wall or out of trafficked areas.
Check the help page Smeharbinger.net/help/live Password: portland
Examples Smeharbinger.net/category/live-broadcasts Smeharbinger.net/portfolio/2010-broadcastposters
Published on Sep 8, 2010
Tim Shedor Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Harbinger Editor for the Harbinger Online (smeharbinger.net) I’ve lived in 4 states My...