Saturday, October 24, 2009

Put it in reverse

The importance of looking backward

About 25 years ago, network television coverage of sports, football in particular, literally added a new twist: reverse angle coverage. A reduced cost of cameras and an increased appetite by viewers for a “better than being there” experience led first to a second view, and today as many as 10 different views of a play. Too bad that video coverage of business, educational, and philanthropic events doesn’t follow suit.
  • Engaging speaker with a great message at a podium?
    Check.
  • Fixed microphone and camera on the podium?
    Check.

  • Speaker who likes to move around?
    Check. 
  • Mike her with a wireless lav mike and put your best shooter on her.
    Check.

  • Attentive, engaged audience that laughs, applauds and asks questions?
    Check.
  • Camera and microphones to pick up the audience?
    Um, no.

The short lesson: when spending significant resources on a large event that includes speakers who deliver great messages, spend the few extra bucks. Make the audience feel like they are part of the presentation by including them in the video that’s projected to the audience and captured to tape for future use. With the addition of one “reverse angle” camera, you’ll now have the option to cut to video of two audience members who are laughing during the speaker’s funny story. When the presentation reaches a particularly poignant moment, the speaker’s words and gestures will tell the story, but the expressions on the audience’s faces help sell the story even more. And when an audience member asks a question, it will be captured for all to see and hear, both live at the event and in the post-production you might do.

So for your next event, think backwards. After all, if you don’t consider the audience as part of your total production, you’re not really being considerate of them as an audience, either.
A "way to go" shout out to the crew at Cleveland's Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) for their "spot on" use of video at the recent Small Business Conference, shown in the illustration above. Well done!