Volunteering is doing something you love to do

A Sample of volunteering as a video expert

I have been in video production over 25 years, so when I retired a few years ago, I decided to help people learn about the video business. I teach how to run the equipment to new interns, that want to start a career in the business. I show them how to run the camera, the video switcher, and the audio mixer plus some engineering and repair too.

I do appox 250 show a year, from Music shows, to talking head interviews. I also show them some lighting techniques and set design too. I love what I do, that why I volunteer my services, to help them do great shows. I really enjoy seeing them in practice, learning how the equipment works, and how to control it like a pro…

I teach them techniques on camera I call it “Up and In” or “Down and Out” it’s a gradual movement of the camera while zooming In and Out to keep the head room, ( that’s the top of the head) about a 1/4 inch from the top of the viewfinder on the camera. I also teach pan and tilt techniques and trucking right or left, by not loosing the host, plus smooth movements, no sudden movement just keeping it really smooth.

Audio is also fun to teach, each audio console is slightly different, and takes some getting used to. Most of them have a R/L or Mix button to enable each channel and a main volume control. The main thing is to keep the level at “0 DB” on the main and adjust the (trim) usually the top most knob above the channel your seting up to the mix. Have each guest talk into the mike then set their level, to cross the “0” level on the meter, but not hit the red (over level) or you’ll get distortion… Do the same for each guest plus the host set to barely cross the “0” level.

Now we come to the video switcher, they all have the program bus and a preview or ready bus, a T-Handle plus a take and dissolve buttons. The T-handle is for slow dissolves between the program bus and the preview bus. The buttons either take or swap buses or the dissolve between them. The dissolve button is usually preset to auto dissolve in about 1 sec, it can be set faster or slower depending on the program matter or the mood of the director. The director tells the person at the switcher to take 1 ready 2 or fade to 2 depending on style of the show.

Some other operations are, the floor director, they tell the host how much time is left or cue the host at the beginning of the show. They also assist the cameraman with pulling wires out of the way for trucking moves. He also lets the director know if there are any problems in the studio. During an audience show the floor director sometime hands the mic to the audience member so they can be heard by the home audience watching the show.

I enjoy teaching others and have been #1 volunteer now for over 10 years. I love the business and love seeing a great show come together, and to see the final product on the air, for others to see. I know all the work that went into the production to make it all possible

. My name is: Stephen Hall from Mountain View, CA 94040. I help at Media Center Palo Alto, they supply five channels on our cable system,2 gov channels 3 entertainment channels, we are proud to serve out community.

Mid Peninsula Media

Here some video signal patterns from engineering

Source: Color Bars

Source: Waveform Montor

Source: Vector Scope

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