PEG Station Broadcasts with Broadcast Pix, Part 2
Sep 19, 2013 11:00 AM, With Bennett Liles
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When a local PEG TV station takes it to the street with volunteer crew people they have to do quick training and make it easy. Executive Director Jeff Hansell from the Belmont Media Center in Massachusetts is going to tell us how he does it with Broadcast Pix integrated production tools, coming up next on the SVC Podcast.
SVC: Jeff Hansell from the Belmont Media Center, thanks for being back with us for part two on the SVC Podcast. We were talking in part one about how you handle all of your volunteer crew people in covering government meetings and the local sports stuff and that’s always a big draw for PEG stations. Now how do you handle training all of the crew? Do you rotate people among the various positions?
Jeff Hansell: Well, there are some people who are interested in particular jobs, so they tend to already migrate towards those. Some folks like to run camera and so they’ll volunteer for that anyway, and they have more experience. With some of the new volunteers that might be coming in, the parents of students attached to certain sports, we really try to make it fun and not intimidating for them. We basically just try to throw them onto a camera and show them how easy it is so that they get the immediate experience; so that they’re not watching somebody else do something, but they’re actually doing it themselves. And for most people it’s fun and they realize they can do it without too much training, so that’s one thing we do. Because we don’t always get the volunteers in time where we can train them, except at the event, but we have a growing core number of volunteers who simply like to work on multi-camera productions and they tend to come back time and time again for various programs, whether in studio or out in the field with our remote unit. Adam Dusenberry, again, our technical director, in conjunction with other staff members here, has started to produce some online tutorials. So what we’re now going to be doing, because everybody increasingly [wants to be trained on their own time], in front of their computer, so he’s produced a series of videos on using our remote unit. So it’s 11 different videos that you can watch and learn how to use. The idea is you watch them before you come in and then watch them while you’re working with it to solidify your expertise or your learning. So that’s a really great way, we think, will be to strengthen people’s training on the units. But there’s also, from time to time, full-blown studio classes where people get an experience of working with a crew and rotating to the different crew positions. [Timestamp: 3:03]
And you do the sports coverage, but do you tend to start people out on something that’s a little slower moving like government meetings?
If they want to. I mean we tend to sort of actually not do that. We see what people’s interest is because that’s really what holds them there. If we have a parent who’s really interested in hockey and all they really want to do is hockey, then we’ll train them to help run the equipment for hockey, you know, and that’s what they want to do. So you try to feed their interests and if they become interested in the technology and they want to learn more about the technology, then we can do more extensive training with them on other productions. But we just more or less figure it out by asking them questions and what they want to do. And as you said, people learn really quickly. Where it does take time to get really skilled is the actual switching and directing, and that is something we’re going to increase because you can show people how to turn on the equipment, how to use it, how to press buttons, how to look at the monitors, how to follow the game, but it does take time to teach people how to tell a story, you know, like what’s the story of the football game? What sort of shots do you need to use to follow that so that the people at home can follow along? One thing that makes it easier, I think, for people in that regard is if you watch a lot of sports, it’s almost like you have absorbed that and you know oh yeah, I want to get a shot of the huddle or I want to get a shot of the coach talking to the quarterback as they’re discussing the next play. So people already sort of have exposure to how you shoot sports because there’s so much of it on television as it is. [Timestamp: 4:38]
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