Posted by & filed under MA Online Journalism, Multimedia, Production Labs.

As mentioned in previous blogs I’ve been doing a consultancy placement at Village Underground. I spent Monday and Tuesday in residence and two very different events were covered. On Monday we had a gig featuring TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone Rain Machine project, with Marques Toliver in support. On Tuesday I was able to catch the ‘get in’ for Collaborative Dance Experience’s debut production Out Of Time.

I took with me 2 Kodak Zi8s and a Flip, my Dictaphone and an SLR camera. I was very happy with the material I shot. My first catch was Marques Toliver performing In The Cab. We were able to grab him between soundchecks and take him to the drivers cab of one of the tube trains on the roof. After his interview he performed an exclusive song. I shot this on all three cameras but put a quick rush on YouTube.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xJxgFuL2SQ[/youtube]

This was in the hope that it would upload before the gig and maybe encourage people to come. However, it was shot in HD and cutting, rendering and uploading the clip took from around 5:30pm to 10:30pm. People were able to look at it after the gig and next day though, especially when Marques posted the video to his site. At last count this had 124 views. It’s worth noting with the free Vimeo account I couldn’t even upload the full Marques Toliver interview and instead I just broadcast the song.

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/10924543[/vimeo]

It makes me wonder how much extra value there is in uploading a cut between 3 cameras a strong piece can stand alone? I also interviewed Kyp Malone – but this needs more editing, another lengthy process. It’s taken me 4 hours to convert the two Kodak files to MP4 and now I’m sitting waiting for it to load into Sony Vegas. (started 16:20, an hour later just 5% into material)

I spent the following day uploading my favourite Kyp Malone excerpts onto YouTube and with the help of a dedicated fan I was also able to rename them.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8cJL6lGT3o[/youtube]

I’m in a dilemma about using video. Inevitably it is much better quality in HD, compare the clip above with the Flip clip below for example.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w4a4TnFLjk[/youtube]

It does take considerably longer to put the HD stuff edited and online. The best practice might be to work out what can be uploaded instantly and do the more time draining stuff later on. When I put the Kyp Malone interview online, I’ll aim for as professional level as possible, and include idents and credits.

Next time I want to concentrate on chunking the material whilst I record it and spend more time thinking about processing the clips as I’m recording them. In future I will shoot 2-3 minute chunks and try to start or finish on the musical bar!

Tuesday was spent mainly filtering, editing and uploading Kyp Malone material and resizing and uploading pictures to Flickr. I was also able to grab an audio interview with Rosie Thomas from Collaborative Dance Experience. There wasn’t an awful lot to photograph at the ‘get in’ so instead Rosie gave me performance and production shots, which I quickly made into a 3 minute slide show. This was then published on YouTube and the Facebook fan site in time for their performance and maybe drive interest and audience.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIKz1vzRcWc[/youtube]

Next time, I’d make the compilation of the slideshow a priority. This is simply because a slide show is the quickest way of publishing mixed media online, especially in upload terms.

Conclusion
Overall, I had an enjoyable few days experimentation which included a lot of variety. Having first hand experience of life working at Village Underground was the best way to explore and utilise the in house resources.

It’s fair to say that I did most of the work solo. I was concentrating on experimenting myself and didn’t want to lead, although I was grateful for help from my sister in law. Next time I will have a clearer idea and better contingency plan in place for speeding up the process, using people from VU and providing good content quickly.

At the moment, we’ve got our sights set on covering Kate Nash’s performance, depending on what her management think of the material we’ve produced so far!