TED Talks have inspired me, answered some of my deepest questions, and opened my eyes and mind to some of the best ideas I could never have discovered on my own.
It’s important to me that the “ideas worth spreading” generated in Greenville be delivered with stunning quality to match the stunning, mind-opening content.
After watching many many hours of TED videos, I became personally purposed with making the TEDxGreenville event the best quality, smoothest running production it could possibly be. It needs to be more than good, it needs to be absolutely awesome.
I remember the first time I produced TEDxGreenville 3 years ago. It was a last minute series of connections that led me to the planning team, and by some stroke of luck, I was able to pull together the resources to make it happen. I remember sitting in a restaurant with a couple of my engineers in downtown after it was over. We sat absolutely exhausted and reeling from three 20-hour days and just stared at each other as the pizza slowly got colder, the energy drinks were wearing off. We looked at one another in disbelief that we pulled it off. “We actually did it.”, I said. (pause) “Want to do it again next year?”, I asked. The team exclaimed with simultaneous excitement, “Absolutely!”
Over the last 14 years as a television engineer and video producer, I’ve developed an eye for quality video and live event production. Producing an event of this size is not for everyone and it’s certainly not easy. As the Technical Lead, I have to simultaneously think of the whole system and every tiny detail all at the same time from the equipment, managing the production people and all of the tasks. There’s a program script that spans about 10 pages of every detail down to the minute. We’ve been working on it since the middle of last year. The level of quality we expect requires a high level of planning and time investment, and I’m proud to get to work with awesome friends on the TEDxGreenville team.
It’s a real privilege to work with a fine crew of talented professionals. They skillfully operate 5 studio cameras, 8 computers, video content on 14 different displays, lighting systems, video streaming encoders, and an impressive array of multi-track audio gear. I’ll be busy, too. In addition to giving directions to the camera operators during the presentations, I have the task of making sure 10 different recording buttons for audio and video get pushed at the right time.
Most folk in the audience rarely get a glimpse behind the scenes. But this year, you’ll be able to take a peek into some of the inner workings of making the TEDxGreenville production happen.
In addition to the 5 camera views of the stage, we have 4 clandestine point-of-view cameras placed in other areas around the venue streaming live. One camera will be in the backstage area where you will get to see the presenters getting prepped for their talks. One of my favorite viewpoints will be the media production control room where the production crew and I will direct camera shots, display the presenter’s slides, and queue up the fantastic selection of TED videos.
The other cameras? Well, you’ll have to join our live video stream online during the TEDxGreenville conference to find out about those.