I want to take a couple of minutes to say thank you to all those who helped make the live stream from AFO possible. Although I do a tremendous amount of work prior to and during the event, I could not do it on my own. So, I want to be sure the credit for spreading the jam in this way is spread around.
First of all, this is the first time I have asked for funding help. The FPA awarded me a Spread the Jam Grant to help cover the cost of software. This made a huge difference in the quality of the stream I was able to produce. Thanks, Freestyle Players Association.
I also asked for help funding a new camera and other miscellaneous equipment. The money also ended up covering some of the extra data usage cost. I feel a little weird asking for money, but its just not sustainable for me to fund everything myself. I really appreciate those who pitched in: Randy Silvey, Rodney Sanchez, Berlin Jammers, Judy Robbins, Mark Davis, Paul Kenny, Boguslaw Bul, Larry Imperiale, John Titcomb, Greg Marter, and Graf Mordi.
While cost is one aspect of this project, doing the actual work is what really makes it happen. This year we had 3 cameras, a commentator, and a technical director. To make things work it took a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 people working together to make it happen.
Commentating was none-other-than John Houck who is one of the legends in the sport. John volunteered most of his weekend to hang out with our viewers, keeping them engaged and entertained by calling the action between rounds, telling stories, and conducting interviews. Prior to AFO, I thought that adding commentary would be something special to the live stream. But, John because of who he is, coupled with his humorous anecdotes, added more than I could have imagined.
There is a long list of people who took a turn on the camera: Tita Ugalde, Mary Zurn, Larry Imperiale, Alan Elliott, Enrique Ortiz, Lori Daniels, Lisa Hunrichs, Amy Schiller, Doug Korns, and possibly other people… as I lost track at some point. Operating the camera is one of those tasks that can boring and tedious, yet it integral to bringing a quality broadcast. I’m so pleased that so many people were willing to jump in and help. And, WoW, looking at the recordings, everyone did a great job.
Also, a special call-out to Tita Ugalde who came specifically to help with the live stream and sat at the most important camera position for all of Saturday and Sunday. The steady routine footage and view of the interviews were courtesy of Tita’s camera work.
Another big thanks goes to those who helped setup and takedown. If you haven’t seen it before, the live stream gear is a rat’s nest of wires and boxes going every which way. The first day took nearly 90 minutes to setup, with help. I know I can’t remember everyone who helped, but here are a few that stand out: Matt Gauthier, Ryan Young, James Wiseman, Enrique Ortiz, Doug Korns, John Titcomb, Gerry Geare, Rodney Sanchez, and Lori Daniels. Sorry if I am forgetting to name any other of my Rat’s Nest Assistants; it’s a whirlwind getting everything going and in the flurry of activity – every bit was very helpful.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to specifically say thanks to Doug Korns. When I was not able to act as technical director (run the computer and coordinate between all other volunteers) Doug stepped into this role. Doug also helped out at FPA 2014, so I knew what he was capable of. On Day 1, we sat together and went over the software and the process. From then on, Doug took over anytime I needed to get ready to compete. In fact, on Sunday, Doug was fully in charge in the Technical Director’s Chair. I set-up the equipment and walked away. Doug did the rest.
An important aspect to recognize about the Technical Director role is that it requires 100% focus nearly the whole time you are there: watch all cameras and choose the best camera angle to display on the stream. Between rounds, the Tech Dir is typing in players’ names (while trying to correctly spell the names), as well as choosing when to turn the camera on and off, starting and stopping the recordings of each routine, tune the audio (so the audience hears the right source), tell everyone else when to talk, where to point the camera, to stop zooming so close, etc. And, if something goes wrong, the Tech Dir has to fix it while still keeping things moving on the broadcast. This is a tough job, and Doug’s willingness to take this on shows how much he loves and wants to give back to the sport and our community. THANK YOU DOUG!
At this event I also tried to do more promotion than I have in the past. To that end, I want to thank Crazy John Brooks for his advice and encouragement and for connecting me with the PDGA. Also, thank you to Lori Daniels for similar encouragement and for making the connection to WFDF. And, thank you to the PDGA and WFDF for promoting the live stream. It’s really awesome to be a part of different disc disciplines partnering together towards our shared common goal: To play Frisbee and share our joy with the world!