Saturday, 3 December 2011

WINOL - Week #9 Notes


WINOL - Week 9 Analysis

This week was easily our biggest yet, in which WINOL attempted to broadcast live from Southampton as we covered the strikes on November 30th. I wasn't at Southampton HQ at any point during the day, but from what I've heard, I think we pulled it off!

Me, Flick, Becky and Greg headed off to London with the task of collecting interviews and GV's and sending them back to Southampton HQ. I knew this was going to be difficult. To send clips over the net you need a decent upload speed. Decent speeds cost money, so it was always going to be tricky finding somewhere in London that not only gave free WiFi, but gave free WiFi that was a decent quality.

We got there at around 10am and straight away we started gathering content. Within 20 minutes of arriving we'd already filmed an interview. We filmed some GV's of the location where the march was beginning but at that stage nothing particularly interesting was going on. As a result, we decided to head to McDonalds to upload what we had taken so far and would return to the march later on when the attendance was higher.

Straight away, we ran into problems. I tried to upload the interview footage raw and it came in at 800mb, which is massive considering we were also planning on uploading that. It would have taken hours. I tried to work out how we could overcome this problem because if we couldn't there was no way the Southampton HQ would be receiving any content from us at all.

I had taken my laptop with me on the day, which was vital. I decided to import our raw footage into an editing program called Camtasia Studio. From there, I re-rendered the footage into a smaller size using the video settings and output format. Using this method I was able to get an 800mb interview clip down to just 30mb. 

From that point on, we decided to go about filming in a slightly different way. We used the Canon 550D purely for interviews. When it came to GV's, me and Becky were uploading from our iPhones. On a 3G network, it took us about 30 seconds to upload a single GV, which was absolutely fine. Over the course of the day I sent about 20 GV's to my YouTube channel from my phone. Gathering GV's was fairly straight-forward using this method.

We got a nice variety of content on the day. Flick did a nice piece to camera, which gave us something different to use. Up until that point we had just been using GV's and interviews. We did have a slight issue with the sound from the 550D. Naturally, we were recording in a loud environment and at times it was difficult hearing what the interviewees were saying. I still think the footage was usable, however.

Overall, I'm pleased with how the day went. I'm extremely glad I worked out how to re-render our raw footage on the go into more manageable chunks so we could send it to Southampton. Having all that footage and not being able to show it off would have been a horrible feeling.

Well done to the WINOL team for a great job and thanks to the team that was with me in London. I also think a massive thankyou is owed to my friend Greg, who rented out the equipment for us, helped us carry things around London, and also showed us the best settings to use for the 550D.

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