The Geek Stories: Behind the Scenes of BarCampSydney

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BarCampSydney, held at University Technology Sydney on Saturday 3rd March 2007. Being a Saturday, I hired my 15 year old son Liam to be my cameraman for the day. Thanks, Liam!

The better audio quality is thanks to a new condenser microphone, which is highly directional and sound recorded with excellent quality. The only real mistake this video is not tweaking the background lighting in different lighting circumstances, and having to resort to the Shadow/Highlight video effect from some parts of the video.

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Image: fellow Microsoft Geek, Michael Kordahi at BarCampSydney.

There was no formal storyboard for this show, as it was a vox-pop (vox-populi, or voice of the people) style rather than single talent with a formal 'story flow'. The simple idea was to capture interesting people/things, and ask the "what is your geek story" and see where the interview would lead. Voxpop is easy without the tripod; and you have to get around to get the stories.

During the day, Liam and I photographed still shots with my Canon IXY 600. Using Windows Vista Photo Gallery, I could quickly import, tag and upload images to Flickr (conference picture colloboration site).  Tagging in Photo Gallery, and the grouping by date captured conveniently sorted into sets so I could see what had been/had not been Flickr'd.

The new "the geek story" branding has now appeared. Thanks to Adobe After Effects 7.0 and the Venetian Blinds, Optics Compensation (to get the edge-of-a-TV-tube feel) and finally a Glow. I just love After Effects; it is Photoshop with time. Since being at Microsoft, I've used more Adobe products in "production" than my 8 years at Adobe. Interesting, that.

Editing Alone.
There will be three videos from the 90 minutes of footage. Again, my finding of 1 minute of footage is 8 minutes of post-production is holding as a metric. Still pictures are easy, video is relatively tough and time consuming. The editor is working with the theme, the footage, the audio and the final output - and all this takes time. Being the onscreen interviewer, director and editor can take it out of you. Don't know how Scoble does it.

To make life a little easier, there were interviews that were not in the theme on, so they were quickly cut, encoded and uploaded to YouTube (conference video collaboration site).  Yes, you will see a Microsoft person asking about Linux distributions, Ubuntu, PHP and dynamic languages. For next time: add "The Geek Stories" outro video so people know where the video came from.

Image: Joel Pobar at BarCampSydney, Photo by Rex Chung.

Sadly, I absorbed the feeling of the BarCamp without being in any of the sessions. I would have loved to see Joel Pobar's MapReduce work. However, I have a feeling this won't be the last opportunity to see Joel talking on this topic.

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