Saturday, June 06, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action!

UCSC.tv launch

SinhalenFOSS, the audio podcast we started a little over an year ago is now available as a vidcast. A couple of months back, I got a call from Dr. Ajantha and I was thrilled to hear of UCSC.tv, the latest venture by UCSC. I was even more thrilled when Dr. Ajantha invited us to produce the SinhalenFOSS podcast on it.

Despite our enthusiasm, we soon learned how hard it was to produce the show as a vidcast. We were used to recording the audio podcast at our own time, sometimes in the car, sometimes at home or office or even on the road. We would sometimes answer phone calls from loved ones in the middle of the recording and edit that out. Our podcast was pretty much a basement operation by 3 sweaty guys :)

So I guess the most difficult task was to make us presentable on video. To that extent, the UCSC TV crew has done a good job with makingup us! The next challenge was time management. While our audio show was roughly 1 hour long, it wasn't strictly 1 hour long. Sometimes we went on and on for 1:45 hours and at times was done in 45 min. With the vidcast, we now have to be aware of time and wrap up when we see the 2 minute sign. To further complicate time management, we have to break the show up to 2 parts of 25 minutes each but make it appear to be one show on the audio podcast.

While all this might seem like a list of complaints, its actually been a blessing. We've now have the opportunity to show visuals of news sites and software screens when doing reviews as opposed to just talking about it. The sound quality has also improved vastly due to the studio setting.

Unfortunately the vidcast is still not in line with the audio podcast as the video post production
takes time and there many shows on UCSC.tv. They're also still on a pilot run and looking for a partnership to broaden the reach of the online tv channel. As a result, atleast initially, shows are likely to have a delay when they air.

In addition to Sinhalenfoss, I'm also producing another geek talk show appropriately named Geek Katha. On this show, we talk about gadgets and technology in Sinhala. Producing a gadget/tech talk show is a challenge and takes a lot of preparation, especially with the style of live recording we do. Once we start recording, its a continuous recording for 25 minutes. The PS3 show which will hopefully air next week, took a considerable amount of time to produce. But I enjoy producing both shows and so far the response for both shows have been quite good.

So finally I ask you to head on over to the ucsc.tv web site and watch the shows and provide your valuable feedback and encouragement to take this effort forward. The success of this new venture depends on you.

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