2021 Feed

Producers Pool - Dates in the Diary pt1

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Towards the end of 2019 I was introduced to the concept of the Portfolio Career and it was a mindset game changer.

2019 was also the year I asked myself, which I often do year on year - "If I won the lottery what would I do?" The answer has been the same for as long as I can remember. To fund and produce independent small scale theatre working with emerging artists and directors.

This time I accepted I’d probably never win the lottery but ya do want to do this.

I know my craft as a stagemanager, my digital learning and project experience has encompassed social media and associated productivity technologies, podcast audio recording and production, I can edit video.

Mobile live-streaming and virtual worlds. Audience and augmentation.

Technology and theatre.

Not for technology but for engaging immersive idea revealing story-driven theatre. Unusual productions in extraordinary spaces. A big part of the lottery dream is to have the money to fund it.

Then there is like-minded professional networking. Nothing is more aspirational than spending time talking, listening and strategically dreaming with fellow producers. All on differing trajectories in their own careers. A community of collaborators. A tribe of mentors.

Chris Grady hosts Producers Pool.

I was, since 2018 forever attempting to synchronise my meetings in London at Equity or events by Cybersalon to draw a three-card trick where I’d get to attend a Producers Pool, Equity meeting and a Cybersalon event. Trump card would be to fit in a theatre show too.

I would augment my attendance at events on occasion, to showcase remote access potential. The immersion in ground-based experience made the strategic split to include cloud-based access hard to make happen when I was the on needing access and not providing the access which was the ultimate aim, to extend attendance.


The value and reward of cloud access were invisible to physical organisers. The concept appealed but in practice, the management of the physical event was enough.

Blending Digital and Physical looked to be a pipe dream. Then came Covid. One of the first to embrace the opportunity to pivot to digital was Producers Pool. Hurrah!

So independent producers and theatre-makers meeting monthly often with an influencing peer speaking currently happens online.

What do you have to offer?

What do you need?

This leads to the momentum and mindfulness of conversations. 

What can I offer? Insights, experience and practice to pivot to digital. What do I need? The blending back to physical with gradually lowering balanced percentage extension option to attend either way and get the same influencer insights and networking dialogue.

I don’t ask much! Am I asking too much?

Monthly on the last Wednesday, until further notice starting January 27th if you are interested in joining Producers Pool find your way to the Facebook Group.

For the mindfully invested. 

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The journey starts here www.chrisgrady.org/producers-pool
Producers' Pool (UK & International) - next meeting 4.30 pm Wed 27th January


Facebook is Back

Facebook is back. Just before Christmas. No, just before New Year, I removed Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from all of my mobile devices. I did this because I was constantly checking them, and they were constantly there, and the icons, burned themselves into my retinas. Every time I looked at my screen they were the things that I compulsively went to. And it wasn't because I wanted to know what was going on but it just became habitual. And that felt wrong.

I wanted, and I always wanted social media to be an augmentation to my understanding of what's going on in my day to day. It's a way of making sure that information is being brought to me, and that if there are projects I'm doing, I can disseminate content to the audience and partners. That had changed.

Some people have New Year's resolutions. I like to have a word for meditation. And this year (2021) it's mindfulness. It's been interesting that some people have some negative connotations when it comes to mindfulness and the sentiment that it imbues. However, for me, it is a way of centering my thinking whether it's social, or business or personal.

So, DinoHack is a project that for the first time since the start of the pandemic, I'm going to be focused on for more than one day a week. And this means that I have time to do the digital marketing, I've been trying to find someone to support the digital marketing that PCM projects and PCM creative does on each project, but I've found it really hard to find somebody. DinoHack needs to have social media marketing. And I realise that, I'm perfectly capable of doing it, I was a bit unsure as to whether I knew enough anymore because it changes so fast. I delivered workshops on social media in 2010. And we're now in 2021. That 10 year old knowledge, some of it is relevant and it gives me a really firm foundation for what social media is, but what social media has become is something very different.

So Twitter made it back onto my phone quite early on, for reference rather than posting. I don't post as much as I used to, and I don't feel that I have to.

Instagram, made it back onto my phone because of the project I've done for Cromford Mills, which is exploring the augmented reality capabilities of Instagram because Cromford Mills, AR Cat Game is using Instagram, as its foundation technology. Christian Venables has been working with me to create an augmented reality mini cat game for Cromford visitors. So that's why Instagram made its way back on

LinkedIn, didn't really go anywhere. I just realised that I really need to pay a lot more attention to it, and it's never really had a structured build, it just had stuff from my CV that I think people might be interested in, it's not really very structured. Of all the platforms, it's unique to itself really, and everybody should have a LinkedIn profile if they are serious about doing business. And when I mean doing business. I mean that could be business to business it could be business to customer but if you are registered as self employed, as a sole trader, anything higher than that.

People specially in the entertainment industry in the creative arts, don't always see the necessity for why they need LinkedIn, but I promise you, it is absolutely vital. Over the last few days, When I've been looking for Prime contacts to contact for DinoHack, LinkedIn, and the Contact Relationship Management, that goes around that, Apollo plugs into LinkedIn is just pure gold dust.

So Facebook is back. And Facebook is back because buffer is back. Buffer is going to be the way that I line up articles that I find about and for DinoHack to be able to release content over time, so I will be able to spend 15-20 minutes or as I am browsing news which is what I tend to do I use features which will push content out to social media and buffer is the way of being able to to ‘buffer’ that.

So, four times a day, any of the platforms that I manage, I will be able to put an article on there. And as I keep doing it if I do more than four a day, then that backs them up for the next day and the next day the next day and then you start to build up that that archive of content.

There is a caveat of warning on this. However, if you are automating, and you are automating a topic which is likely to be current affairs news. If something happens in the news, that means that the articles that you're pushing out could be an appropriate, you need to be able to know how to lock down and stop your feeds going out automatically. And that's the case for any social media, automated feed. I mean even a live stream which is automating the liveliness of content. If you are going out live. You must always have a way and a protocol of shutting that down if something goes wrong.

I'm going to leave this post at this point. This article is the first one I have notated using Otter.ai. As a new feature on my iPhone 8 which is my latest phone where I can do a triple tap on the back of my phone and it activates an audio app and I've chosen otter so that it's transcribing, so I will be going to check that, copying the text out and putting it into my blog.

And then my blog will get posted. Currently it's still going out on TypePad, but I'm looking to maybe transfer that to pistachio, which I really love. It's a blogging platform that uses Evernote as its content management point.

And then of course I've got a new website that is work in progress that may be coming out through WordPress, that's a completely different mindset of whether I want to go down the WordPress rabbit hole. The End.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Dinosaur Hackathon. Interested?

DinoHack is taking shape

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It’s taking place in Bristol at The EngineShed a literal stones throw from Temple Meads Train Station.

Email if you are interested in attending or/and sponsoring kids-id@pcmprojects.co.uk

http://bit.ly/dinohack2021

It’s got some work still to do.
If you’re reading. I’m sharing.




I wish I was less tenacious. The Online Branch.

Equity Online Branch Digital Summit

Anyone involved with Audience Development by which I mean the act of building awareness towards a specific location to put people before a performance, knows how hard it is.
It’s take commitment and honest respect.

Bringing people to you is an act of venerability. They don’t know who you are or even care.

You care deeply, your livelihood depends upon it. Ironic eh?

For years now I have works against the odds to reach a position where Equity’s idea for an Online Branch is fit for an audience. Not a random audience but members of the union who are unable to attend a monthly geographically tied branch meeting.

Branch meetings are the place where the collective democracy of the union takes place outside of the formally elected council and committees.

The online branch was conceived from the recognition that the transitory members often working away from home on tour and some finding themselves residing overseas for periods of time.

It’s was also expected to provide an online sanctuary bringing members together. In the early days it was hoped that would be away from the mainstream social media of public exposure.
Proposed, debated and adopted by a vote at several Annual Representatives Conferences. It even had substantial investment but Equity seemed unable to reach the finishing line when it came to get the developer to produce a working version. It also suffered the fate of mainstream social media, that of trolls and misanthropes, personal agendas and failures to hold suppliers to account. But…

During the pandemic and following a change at the top along with a cascade of staff changes the Online Branch found it’s ledge on the rocky cliff. Stable but precarious.

We are to hold the first annual general meeting. For the online Branch, a digital summit.
I have become the torch-bearer. As I began this post, audience development is hard. The audience here is union members but the cuffs applies was to limit that to only members nit affiliated to a physical branch. I pushed against the challenge. It’s been hard. The goal is to establish an engaged membership sufficiently invested to retain and sustain a committee of Nine. The branch committee election is to be rerun over the summer. Until the time a branch chair can be elected I am keeping the flame alight.

Greetings! Are you an Equity Member. Did you tour prior to the pandemic. Have you every supported and attended a regional branch meeting? Tuesday is the first Online Branch digital summit. It's a review of activities of the last 12 months and a chance to look to the future. There will be a screen shared tour of the forum, a warm welcome for the union's president and a special event wouldn't be complete without a guest speaker and Darren Darnborough has accepted my invitation to speak.

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Actor / Filmmaker / Travel Writer and CoFounder & CEO of WeAudition. I encountered Darren while researching a self-tape workshop in 2018 and attended a WeAudition Networking event hosted in London. Darren’s story of creating the SelfTelp committee WeAudition, the casting opportunities he created for himself and perhaps some tales of partying on yachts at the Film Festival in Cannes are anticipated! As a British, LA-based actor he is the perfect example of the Online Branch’s networking potential to help members find work opportunities and meet fellow members for who the Online provides a democratic voice within the industry where they have no physical branch to take advantage of.

There is a registration link if you haven't signed up. I do hope you are able to attend. Message me for the link.

The Online Branch is for members not able to attend a physical branch. There are lots of reasons but not being in the UK and not being available at 7.30 UK time to attend a geographic-specific gathering are the major factors to why the Online Branch exists.

This 7.30 online meeting for an AGM or for us this Digital Summit is likely to be the once a year occurrence. For the rest of the year, it's the online forum and informal meetups.

The first task for the branch is to form a committee. Audience development skills at the ready.
Thank you Audiences Europe. I sometimes wish I was less tenacious.


Berners Lee NFT the Web’s source code is up for sale to the highest bidder.

The original thought conceiving web as we know it is up for Auction. In 7 days the digital gavel falls

An NFT minted to tokenise the collection of assets being offered as tangible representation of what we all know as hypertext the “Click Here” of all click here’s!

The ultimate Babe Ruth baseball card.

Interested?

You have to admit it’s a bit cool? Just me?


The Story

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jun/23/tim-berners-lee-defends-auction-nft-web-source-code

Sotheby’s Catalogue entryhttps://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2021/this-changed-everything-source-code-for-www-x-tim-berners-lee-an-nft/source-code-for-the-www

What is for sale?

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SALE NUMBER

NFTN05

Sotheby's online June 30NFT of www source code (lot 1) added in Inventions. Sale NFTN05 landing page, bidding from June 23

The NFT Blockchain platform https://playtoearn.net/non-fungible-token/sir-tim-berners-lee 

Is this it? The smart contract?https://etherscan.io/address/0x86ade256037d80d6d42df8df96d5be21cd25bd8f

Is this it? The token?https://etherscan.io/token/0x86ade256037d80d6d42df8df96d5be21cd25bd8f 

So anyone who can clarify feel free to expand.--


Headliner evolution - closed captioning got more awesome

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I love it when platforms and service I use evolve. It can be frustrating when you are mid project but returning to a innovative trusted service to discover its way better that you left it is great.

This is what happened with Headliner.

Headliner is an audio to wave form visuals generator for podcasts and it now has closed captioning.
And more. And it has an app!

Making media often combines several platforms, tools and services. 
Working with storyteller Tim Ralphs combining Headliner will be a tool providing some of the foundation narration visuals.

There is a free forever tier, $9.99 & $25.99 p/mth (less if you sign up for the year) I tend to use services on a project by project basis until my consecutive use makes it worth the annual investment.
Time limit inside a single account is the confines of Headliner when using the transcription feature. 5 videos only 10 mins p/mth transcription.

Features 
Waveforms

Quickly grab people’s attention and let them know podcast audio playing with one of our awesome audio visualizers

Unlimited Videos

Promote your podcast with as many videos as you want, optimized for every social media channel

Full Episode

Publish your entire podcast episode (2-hour max) to YouTube and engage new audiences

Audio Transcription

Automatically transcribe audio to add captions to your videos to increase engagement and accessibility

Video Transcription

Headliner can transcribe from video too! If you’ve got content, we can help you add captions

Audio Clipper

Select clips of your podcast audio that are perfectly optimized for each social channel

Multiple Sizes

Export your videos in the optimal size for each social network and beyond

1080p Export

Look great on screens large and small with full high-definition video

Text Animation

Choose from tons of text animations or create your own to add extra visual interest to your videos


Yes... Standing on the horizon.

Today I was offered and accepted a place on the CGO Institute’s Creative Producers Diploma which starts 1 Nov 2021

From the January 2020 line in the sand, all through the Pandemic and the lockdowns I’ve be heading to this moment.

Chris Grady (Mr CGO) was my first induction to Zoom as Covid hit. I’d been eager to attend Producers Pool Meet-ups but never managed to be in London at the right time to be in the right place.

Producers Pool ‘pivoted to digital’ and I couldn’t be happier. I encountered so many amazing talents all with there own paths, projects and productions.

Through Producers Pool I met Kate McStraw and secured my first producers assistant role.

So it begins

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Keeping Tabs - Chrome geekery joy

I favour Chrome as my primary browser. I’m a Firefox advocate and recently appreciate the intelligence of Ghostery’ browser offer.

Chrome operates across all my devices providing a portal to my cloud apps, services, tools and online documents... oh and the World Wide Web!

I open and close tabs to keep track and focus on the client project or production I’m working on. I clear the decks and move on next day.

Clearing my toys and getting out the next game, changing the set takes mental energy. Stopping and starting. You get the picture.

Enter Chrome Tabs stage left!

I’d flirted with Chrome extension OneTab and the like but they never became habitual. 
Want to play? Right click a chrome tab. New items in the menu! “Add tab to new group”. A coloured button appears (you can name) and the colour will outline and underline the collected tabs as you add them.

Thank you Helen Raw for the heads up on this. 

Once you have the optimal set up make sure you update your settings so that “On start-up” is set to “Continue where you left off”.

Click the group button and as if by magic all the tabs assigned to the group tab compress to a single tab neatly named and coloured. It’s very satisfying.

I have one for Email providers which used to be my opening tabs (Heart Internet, Hyper.Host and Gmail - My web mail) One for co-working (Teemy, Kumospace and Whereby) followed by tab groups for each of my current client which consist of an array of Google docs.


Digital Venue Reccy - 01 - Kumospace

I’ve had the idea to produce and host a digital field trip. To take a small group of producers, creative producers and self producing artists and visit a number of digital venues or look extensively at one platform both for an audience experience and performing or screened content perspective.

Following Chris Grady’s Show Me producers festival of workshops a fellow producer reached out to me and we started meeting to explore digital venues and perception around audience and production engagement.

We have AltSpace, SecondLife, GatherTown, RoBlox, to name a few on the immersive list. There are 2D, 3D and VR options. We visited Kumospaces. 

Kumospaces are 2D top down themed rooms. Participants inhabit small circular video portals moved around by the keyboard arrow keys. There is an interesting propinquity compulsion to place your portal window on furniture, lounge chairs or bar stools in the roof terrace there are pool inflatables.

Go drop in on my PCM Adventures Hall. 

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But you need to be aware of first time obstacles to entry. This is surprisingly common... the audience the account holder invites don’t have a guest entrance or a indicator that if they are visiting and don’t want the sales pitch to sign up it’s not obvious how you enter the space you expect to enter by clicking direct link you give out as host.

No sign up or download should take the invited guest to the optimal point of entry. If it’s unique selling point is easy access and immersive simplicity I expect to click a link and it take me to where I need to be.

There are 2 options the admin can set for entry. Guests can be required to Register to enter or enter using a text link to Continue without an account.

FDF0D743-0B49-4900-9ACC-F27DBD9EBFE1Once a guests has entered without an account the browser resolved the direct URL as expected.

On arrival the guest enters with the camera tight on thier oen video portal. For a first arrival this can be disorientating. In the bottom navigation is a Map.

A full overview of the space is revealed with the placement of fellow guests displayed.

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I'd like to see a better enterence interface for guests. The capability to embed kumospace to a page would be nice too.

What I do like is the special audio. Move towards the grand piano and lounge musak can be heard. Getting a digi-drink at the bar and watch it slowly dry. Nice early days touches.

Very interested in the development of Kumospace.


References & Context.

Competitors to Kumospace - https://craft.co/kumospace/competitors

Co Founder Brett Martin

Kumospace Venture Capital and Private Equity Financings


An 8.5 hr Zoom call. #WriggleSymp21

Wriggle Dance Symposium 

I love supporting projects. I love supporting produced events requiring digital support and audience access.
Latest project Wriggle Dance Theatre’s Early Year’s and Families Symposium took place today.

Lights Camera Action ... mic / mute

It’s all in the planning and prep.
The Symposium took place in one Zoom Meeting. It used Polls and Breakout Rooms, it pinned and spotlighted, its shared audio, QuickTime video, keynote and PDF preview. A Whereby video room as a helpdesk was open throughout running in parallel. Closed Caption and live transcription was available too.
Alongside this an online feedback board was created using Padlet. Attendees were invited to leave feedback and share insights in real time.

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All digital presentations, performance, workshops and the attending audience but it’s time to explore the hybrid of Digital and Physical. The paperwork won’t change the delivery will be more complex.

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Today marked the premiere showing of Wriggle Dance’s film version of their stage production of Squidge. In conversation panel showcased CO directors Lucy Knight and Kath Kimber McTiffen legacy and guest panels presented rich practices hi lighting the power of movement, dance and touch for early years children.

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The pandemics indelible stamp extending work from the sector in to digital featured also. 
To conclude the day Coventry Dance facilitated a speed networking opportunity. Ending the day in conversation. Finishing the day with a blog post.


Long Eaton 360 - #1

Our towns and cities are not getting good press. Slow death, suffocated by big 24/7 supermarkets. It can seem that way. Retail is along from my career experience and it’s for that reason it’s a world that makes my high street part of my life and nothing to do with my work.

I want to keep A high street. It’s a social space designated for commerce. What can I do? I can share what’s here. I wasn’t sure where to start. I knew I wanted to do something like this. In town today I stood outside Ucig a local e cigarette shop where my partner was buying vape liquids. 

I turned it the spot and noted the shops. A real mix. I was stood looking around. Here is the geolocation. https://goo.gl/maps/KRRCuPyceeKKDBcV7

  1. ShoeZone - https://www.shoezone.com/Stores/Long_Eaton-1770
  2. Ucig - https://www.ucig.co.uk 
  3. ProStart - https://www.prostartuk.co.uk
  4. EE Phone Shop
  5. M&B Nails - https://m.facebook.com/Manhbnail/
  6. Rowells - an old family store soon to be an indie micro pub https://www.micropubmagazine.co.uk/news/plans-revealed-for-a-new-micropub-in-former-long-eaton-shop
  7. Willow Tree Butchers - gone online https://willowtreebutchers.co.uk
  8. Howitt Street
  9. Kim’s Handmade Gifts - https://www.kimshandmadegiftshop.com/
  10. B&M - https://www.bmstores.co.uk/stores/long-eaton-237
  11. Ezone - https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063699962544
  12. Gibbs Street
  13. Café Brûlée’s - https://m.facebook.com/Cafe-Brule-100969105191566/
  14. Empty

Not every shop has a dedicated customer website. Some only have Facebook pages. Is that ok? Does a high street retail or hospitality outlet need a web presence?

How can a town support it’s high street and make it thrive.

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