This is a fun story.
I thought last year’s live episode of The Talk Show From WWDC went really well and was a lot of fun. My only regret was that we hadn’t recorded video of the show, only audio. So this year we planned to record video. The venue, Mezzanine, has a built-in video system so that whatever is on stage is visible via closed circuit TV to attendees enjoying the show from upstairs on the, uh, mezzanine. I figured worst case, we could just tap into that feed and record it.
Ends up whatever system they have doesn’t support that. The technical details don’t matter, the gist of it is that with just two hours or so before the show was set to start, we had no way to record video of it. Damn.
Except: there were two guys waiting outside the door to Mezzanine all afternoon, Jed Hurt and Jake Schumacher. They had started work on their documentary App: The Human Story, and were hoping to meet me to see if I’d be interested in participating. They’d flown to San Francisco for the week to conduct a bunch of interviews with subjects who’d be in town for WWDC.
I invited them in, and we started talking. I noticed they had a lot of video gear with them. Lightbulb.
I told them I had a crazy proposition, something to the effect of, “I know this equipment you’re lugging around is intended for recording well-lit one-on-one interviews — not a live stage show in a dark theater — but would you guys give it a go anyway?” They jumped at the chance, and this is the result.
Is it the best recording of a live stage show I’ve ever seen? No. Is it the best recording of a live stage show that was filmed by two people who were only asked if they could do it about two hours before the show started? Quite possibly. I think it turned out great, and it gets better and better as the show goes on.
★ Monday, 28 July 2014