Film School Friday – Producing a Live Stream Event

Producing a Live Stream Event Episode Summary

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about some of what goes into producing a live stream event.

Producing a Live Stream Event Episode Notes

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about some of what goes into producing a live stream event.

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Producing a Live Stream Event Transcript

Corey Allen  00:05

Welcome to Film School Friday. I’m Corey,

Bill Cornelius  00:08

I’m Bill.

Corey Allen  00:08

And together

Bill Cornelius  00:09

we host the infocus podcast. That’s it. I mean, I, you know, yeah, it’s gonna be like the couch gag on The Simpsons eventually. Yeah, it’s cool to see something new every time.

Corey Allen  00:21

Film School Friday is our special weekly episode where we try to pass along all of our knowledge, wisdom and experience along to you. Whether or not you do anything with it, it’s up to you. It’s up to you. Either way, look, you’re here. We’re here. Let’s see if we can maybe give you a little wisdom today. Speaking of wisdom, Bill, yes, I have been hired to help a company produce a live stream production here in a couple of weeks. And I’m curious if there’s anything from your wide world of corporate content creation, that maybe I need to make sure I keep top of mind or things I just maybe I’m not aware of to make sure that goes off without a hitch.

Bill Cornelius  01:06

Yeah. So live stream is is something that’s only come about with the advent of high quality video content across the internet. So let’s say within the last 15 years, just as, as a rough example, I do it pretty regularly, maybe once a quarter, I’m involved in producing corporate content that is live streamed that goes out across the country to multiple places. For those who don’t know, live streaming is basically taking video content, shooting live from a certain location, and essentially broadcasting that out across the Internet to people in different places, wherever they might be. And that’s used a lot, especially during, you know, the COVID pandemic, it’s become more prevalent than ever before.

Corey Allen  01:53

I know, there’s been like, many churches that have adopted some really high tech live streams. Yes, corporate events, I know, very regularly now have become like really large virtual live stream productions versus what historically would be very big live in person type events.

Bill Cornelius  02:15

That’s right. And so a lot of what I’ve done traditionally has been people in person, but you know, hundreds, sometimes 1000s of people in other parts of the country that are tuning in at the same time. And a lot of times, there’s a chat feature where people can interact in real time and, you know, ask their questions in the q&a portion, there’s just a lot of different advancements that have been made and continue to be made when it comes to live streaming.

So when it comes to the logistics of live streaming, that you can do anything, when I first started doing this, it was a single camera operation, it was just me, with a MacBook, you know, plugged directly into an interface and relying on the Wi Fi from the Marriott or wherever I might be doing the live stream from so it started very, you know, you can be bare bones like that.

Especially if like, if the company who you’re working for is a lot smaller, I don’t recommend that it was very stressful. It most of it is team based, you know, you’re gonna have a group of people there helping you, you’re going to have somebody who’s watching audio watching the soundboard, someone who’s a few people, sometimes who are running camera, most live stream, at least some of the bigger companies do multi cam when they live stream.

And so you’ve got people operating those cameras, a lot of times you have a person who’s sort of the director who might be wearing a headset and speaking to these operators, and, you know, giving them some direction on tilting and panning and whatever they want them to do from the board, which is a lot of times in the back of the auditorium or the hotel ballroom or wherever you’re shooting

Corey Allen  04:00

in your experience. Are you running multi cam? Are you running a single or multiple cams into an interface and then live cutting? Like what does that interface kind of setup look like?

Bill Cornelius  04:13

So we we use Black Magic makes an interface for live streaming that we use and we’ve we’ve got multiple hubs that we use that are of this black magic brand that we we’ve run up to we’ve run up to three cameras off of it. And then of course, we have a Mac setup in the back of the room where these hubs all interface and we use what’s called Ustream which I think it’s owned by IBM. Now it’s a it’s a platform for doing live streaming. And we do you know, we cut live we have somebody who sits there with, with the Mac with Ustream pulled up and controls all the cutbacks and the fades and queues the lower thirds when a new speaker comes On Music, that sort of thing. It’s very high pressure live streaming.

Because it’s live, I’m sure, just just live alone is a lot of pressure. So if you’ve ever worked in broadcast before, especially live broadcast, obviously, you understand the pressure of something like that. The one variable that becomes particularly terrifying when you’re doing live streaming is the quality of your connection, which I have had a few nightmares. When it comes to quality of connection. It’s always something that personally, I lose a lot of sleep the night before a live stream event, just because I overthink all of the logistics, and I’m typically the one doing the directing. So I’m thinking about all aspects of it. Sometimes no matter how much you check the connection of the venue you’re shooting from. Nothing can prepare you when something goes wrong. And it inevitably will. So fair warning,

Corey Allen  05:57

it would it would it be nice a safe, a fair assumption to say one of the questions you should ask beforehand is is a hard lined internet connection possible? Oh, yeah, definitely something to think about. Right?

Bill Cornelius  06:10

Absolutely. And if the hotel you’re shooting at, tries to sell you on their crazy, crazy fast Wi Fi, tell them no. Ask for a network cable.

Corey Allen  06:21

They will give you a network cable. Cat five, please. And thank you.

Bill Cornelius  06:26

Yes, I’ve been in situations where they’ve tried to sell me on their high speed Wi Fi. And I’m like, You know what, not for what we’re doing.

Corey Allen  06:34

Yes, is getting really super technical. But the difference between high speed wireless and bandwidth and throughput on a wireless network, just, it’s really challenging for many hotels to match what you could get equivalently for like a hard line connection, just typically for streaming, high definition or high quality content, right.

Bill Cornelius  06:59

And I mentioned hotels a lot because that’s generally speaking, where a lot of corporate events and live streams will take place, if they don’t have their own like in house auditorium like Apple does, or you know, something like that. But live stream doesn’t always have to be corporate content, either. One of my first live stream gigs was for CMT, shooting a CD release party at a music venue in Nashville. And that was a completely different setup, it was very similar in the way that it was approached me personally, I was only there to operate camera, there was somebody else though, at the controls, doing all the button pushing, I was just there on camera, that is something that was being streamed out live to at the time, and that that was performance.

That was not, you didn’t have to worry about a slideshow or lower thirds or things like that. So the the game does change a little bit. And music venues when it comes to internet connection can be very questionable. So, moral of the story, if you remember nothing else from this livestream discussion here, please do me a favor. If you ever live stream, show up not an hour before show two to three hours before the show.

Make sure everything works, run a test, run a test again, run a test again, until you are for certain that everything is up and running. And your signal is as clean as humanly possible. Because man, it’ll take the stress off of you. And there’s nothing like the nightmare of having things go wrong live. It’s you can’t fix it. You can fix it in post later. But those 1000s of people who have watched it live have already seen the mistake.

Corey Allen  08:45

Yeah, for them. You should fix it in pre. Yes,

Bill Cornelius  08:48

you should. Absolutely. That is why you show up three hours early to live stream to fix it in free. Exactly.

Corey Allen  08:55

Awesome. All right. Well, Bill as always a wealth of knowledge. Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to hopefully not fuck up this live stream. As for that cat five, cat five, please. Awesome. All right. And for our listeners, make sure you check us out on Instagram at infocus pod or online at infocus podcast calm and if you like what you heard today, go ahead and subscribe. And if you’re on Apple podcast, please leave us a rating. It would help us out a ton. It would. And until next time. Feed your crew yum yum yum yum.