(#4) Running Cameras At SCaLE (Southern California Linux Expo) (February 23, 2014) – Part 1 (Intro)

Friday, February 28th, 2014
Aurora De Lucia running cameras at the Southern California Linux Expo

Trying to give me “I’m a serious camera operator” face, but I think it just came out looking bored. Tyra Banks would not be pleased….

Well, we’re only 4 in, and I had my first sort of struggle…

We’ll get into that in a second.

So, I don’t know anything about Linux. But the conference was looking for people who had experience making videos or television or what have you. And that’s what I do for a living. So, I thought it’d be fun to try to stretch my skills in that a little.

They were looking for people to run camera and/or sound equipment and I thought that’d be a great experience instead of sitting in an edit bay. Plus, I thought I may pick up some computer knowledge through osmosis or something.

(As you can tell, this was more of a selfish endeavor on my part where I was thinking about me, me, me – which is probably not the best attitude to have when it comes to volunteer activities. I mean, I did like the idea of being a part of furthering people’s computer education. My understanding of open source is it fosters teamwork and innovation. So, there’s that.)

Anyway, I came in to the convention. And it was a little fascinating to see people all around the lobby so engrossed in their devices. I know we live in a world in which that’s the norm – but this was extreme even by 2014 standards. Even the people who weren’t on devices didn’t seem all that super into eye contact. This was a new, interesting crowd of people I don’t see all the time.

So, I went up to the area where volunteers check in. Lan, the volunteer coordinator was so nice. In fact, everyone was so nice! All the workers and volunteers really made me feel right at home. I got a tour of the place. I got a free t-shirt. Even for someone with an apparently selfish attitude (as has been established), I felt as though I was getting a whole lot for really not much work.

This is my view of different rooms at once.

This is my view of different rooms at once.

Then came the time to do real work. They let me run the cameras, which was sweet! Originally, I thought maybe they’d have a person running the cameras in each room (a la the way we used to do it for America’s Got Talent auditions).

But no. We sat in the control room and ran 8 or so cameras at once. Now, there wasn’t a ton happening. So, it was all good. It was mainly just about trying to keep people in the frame. You kind of just framed ’em up and let ’em go for the most part (unless they had a tendency to move around a whole lot, which most people didn’t).

So, there was this guy next to me whose job was to watch the screen showing all the rooms, and he listened in headphones to make sure the sound didn’t go out in any of the rooms.

Honestly, because the cameras didn’t really move once they were set, my job and his job could’ve easily been done by the same person. I sort of understand why it was two people. It doesn’t hurt to have two sets of eyes on things.

Also, I’m sure it’s much better to overbook than to under-book volunteers – in case people don’t show up and such… But if everyone shows up, what do you do with all those extra hands? Well, you break up one job into two, I suppose.

Tomorrow we’ll get into how I slightly struggled.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?