Events & Conferences 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


In defence of liveness.

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Immersive and Liveness are just two buzzwords voiced with often little true comprehension.

At a day of panel discussion and presentations in a physical venue (21st April 2022) 50 mins in and the deafening rhetoric of self congratulatory ego at the expense of the general public was nauseating.

The case presentations were a saving grace but the inexcusable had been perpetuated.

Sat in the bleachers of a 100 capacity with an attendee count of 4 and 6 speaking guests I boiled while a panel of 4 blandly exchanged platitudes reflecting on a film festival injected with immersive delusions. A vanity for audience on a level that defies imagination.

There I was watching. No stream, time committed to being physically present wishing I was digital so I could turn off my camera and roll my eyes. No such luck.

And I inhaled… and said out loud… “Why are we (this microscopic audience) here?” It certainly wasn’t for a benefit I could attribute to the the audience.

I said it and 5 min of outrage ensued. Sorry but not Sorry! In defence of Liveness.

Liveness. It is perspective belonging to the observer. That can be online, offline, physical, digital or virtual. It’s Now.

Liveness for the presenters is peril and jeopardy, tension and attention. Provision for moderation and management of disruption should be expected and met with a sense of relief when all goes to plan.

Laziness during live is as criminal and passing off prerecorded as live. Perhaps even greater. Liveness is special.

Audience is everything. No audience no show. Record for capture but that’s not live. You get views not applause.

The tickets might be free but the time given ‘in kind’ to attend is valuable.


Producers' Pool - Hybrid Blended Meet Up (Hosted in NY and Zoom for everyone else)

OLB invite to PRODUCERS POOL

Its not enough to just run Zoom in the background or just welcome people to a venue and call it hybrid. There has to comparable experience for the attendees 'on the ground' and attendees 'in the cloud'. There is a third dimension of 'metaverse presence' but thats another time for Producers Pool.

A the start of the pandemic Chris Grady was one of the first of my connections to get in touch for Zoom orientation. I'd hoped Producers Pool would go digital and as we emerge for the clutches of Covid it is going very well.

There have been Zoom 'in the cloud' only events and a few 'on the ground' in London. A hybrid with a foot in both camp is a holy grail and evolving as Producers Pool hybrid attempts invite attendees on the ground to bring laptops or mobile devises. Headphones are suggested. To start the events the attendees all arrive. The informal welcome is carried out as people come into the building or as the Zoom call fills up. 

Whats to see how it works? The next Producers Pool event is Tuesday 26th April

Is Producers Pool for you? Are you thinking internationally about your projects and productions? Producers Pool meetings are a chance to make connections, explore Fringe and Off-Off-Broadway opportunities in the UK, USA and beyond.

Producers' Pool is a UK started gathering of aspiring and emerging producers who come together to make connections and explore two questions - "what do I need?" which someone in this room might be able to help with, and "What can I offer?" to someone else in this room in terms of time, talent and even treasure. Mainly focussed on live theatre and musical theatre, the group has grown over Zoom in lockdown to 600+ people.

On Tuesday 26th April 1pm EST & 6pm UK time, NY based Producers and creative SPAs (self producing artists) are gathering to meet at Arts on Site at 12 St Marks Place, Manhattan hosted ‘on the ground’ by New York Producer, Writer & CGO alumna Megan Schadler. www.meganschadler.com Producers Pool’s Chris Grady www.chrisgrady.org/chris-grady is joining her while visiting the Big Apple taking in some shows. This NewYork hosted event is in association with US based organisation TRU (Theatre Resources Unlimited)

This is not a Broadway meets West End gathering - it is more Fringe and Off-off-Broadway local, national and international discussion. If you are elsewhere in the World NOT in New York, this is where the hybrid comes in and able to join us, there is a Zoom presence is hosted from the UK by yours truly, Caron Lyon @pcmvcreative

Attendees on the ground are encouraged to bring laptops or mobile devices with headphones to enable the hybrid overlap to take place for part of the meet up.

All Producers Pool events are a great place to find partners and take an idea forward.

 So if you'd like to join me 'in the cloud' or Megan, Chris and the guys from TRU 'on the ground' grab ya tickets.

On the Ground (New York) TICKET paid in $$
https://buytickets.at/chrisgradyorg/684378
In the Cloud (via Zoom) TICKET paid in ££
https://buytickets.at/chrisgradyorg/684350

Zoom does Dial In

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Conference Calls, those audio broadcast boxes delivering disembodied voices to the meeting table seem to be a thing of the past since covid introduced everyone to video meetings and webinars.

It is important to remember that not everyone has the luxury of adequate bandwidth to attend video meetings or webinars.

I always reiterate to people when I talk about video event platforms that I am a reluctant Zoom user. A zoom power use I might add as mastery of the settings extend the functionality of Zoom in some extraordinary ways.

This post is to bring attention a much overlook feature of Zoom. Its capacity to offer landline dial in access to those with no internet at all.

The pure audio experience with a receiver tucked in tightly to your ear or in these times of tech, perhaps hands free, sat back in an arm chair!

As I’m Zoom prepping for the Royal Historical Society I recalled how the last lecture did indeed have several dialled in attendees.

I want to encourage this more.

There are many reasons why your attendees might prefer the off screen, audio only experience.

Its time to step up the accessibility announcement in the continuity script I prepare for hosts.

The what I fondly refer to as the ‘hair and flair’ self described welcome for the partially signed and blind members of the audience. Those who have no use for the closed captions but do appreciate an added dimension of vocally expressed enrichment for their experience.

Audio Description of the lecture slides is a consideration in need of thought. During the first lockdown I had the joy of consulting and zoom controlling for theatre company, NotNowCollective. This was first time working directly with an audience description author.

The art of saying everything with very little!
This isn’t a post about AD but needs to be a future post.
Comment if you agree.

So don’t forget dial in is an option for Zoom especially if you want to reach a wider audience.

Care Homes for instance. If anyone would like to talk about how I’d be happy to share further thoughts on extending audience and suggest technical provision. The Royal Historical Society and the Society for Study of French History both use my services to host their Zoom lecture series. There lectures are free to attend.

The dial in details are often omitted on the assumption they aren’t required but.. if you want to join a zoom and don’t have internet remember you can request the dial in details.

RHS Events Programme, 2022

 


RHS - Zoom 1 yr in - RoyalHistSoc

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Zoom controlling a lot raises the probability things may glitch. Keeping my version of Zoom up to date is essential. I tend to use the attendee link to enter via a second devise so I know it works. But still, there are access issues on occasion and when it’s you having the access issue as an attendee their is nothing more frustrating.

Is it me? Is it the link? Is it Zoom?
As a remote controller its impossible for me to know.

It’s very frustrating because I pride myself on a well executed online events.

Tonight the emailed link worked for some and not for others. Paste the link into the address bar of a browser and it works.

I suspect it’s a line break issue.

Anyone had this problem recently?

Tonight’s lecture was a Zoom international. Mark Mazower delivered his paper to an audience that hit 100 from New York. These lectures have been Zoom controlled from my desk for a year. The digital tide is turning. Next month is scheduled to be online. Going forward it’s only a matter of time before the coin is flipped and the lectures return to the lecture hall with a new digital extension.

As the attendees arrive


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How should we think today about the history of diplomacy? How has diplomatic history changed over the last one hundred years?

In his lecture, Mark Mazower reflects on recent experience writing about the history of the Greek war of independence, and explored the ways in which the events of 1821 have been connected to the emergence of an international order in Europe by scholars and historians from the First World War until today.

The recording will be trimmed and uploaded to YouTube.

The RHS lecture and events programme is here https://royalhistsoc.org/events/rhs-events-programme-2022/

Mark in full swing. Engaging lecture with no slide deck. Huge kudos.

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Q&A


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Zoom Control - FrenchHistoryUK

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I’ve done a Zoom Controlling gig this evening. Light Camera Action… well webcam, virtual background title slide and shared computer sound.

Its all very sedate. But thats why the clients come to me. A good behind the scenes experience. They are simple events that they want to deliver with perceived effortlessness.

Great long long tail lectures with engaged audiences and specialist top of their topic. Each expert insight to thread of history a joy to zoom tech.

Society for the Study of French History

The 2022 Annual Douglas Johnson Memorial Lecture was the 12th in this series, organised by the Society for the Study of French History and the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France.

My view…

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The lecture was presented by Professor Penny Roberts (University of Warwick) a paper entitled 'The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacres 450 years on'. Professor Roberts is Vice-Provost and Chair of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Warwick and the President of the Society for the Study of French History.

The battle and religious civic conflict from 450 years ago frighteningly possible internally inconceivable yet… 2022 who knows. Do we learn? Have we learnt? Who did the learning? Could history repeat? Has it repeated?

This source examination is important.

The Attendee view on iPad with captions.

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Needed to frame the space.

Found some Creative Commons music. Debussy was suggested. The audience arrives and the title slide displays. Waiting to begin.

The music fades and the continuity host welcomes and sets the scene, establishes boundaries and orients the attendees. Chat panel, Q&A panel. Some will have attended many Zoom meetings some may not be familiar with Zoom webinar. On this occasion a prompt to encourage share locations revealed a truly global audience of 122.

Enjoy the music

Debussy: Preludes
by Jeremy Denk
Go to Tribe of noise PRO

Live at the Gardner Museum's Tapestry Room
The songs in this album are licensed under:
CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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Techbox - Testing Testing 1, 2, 3 - ft. Charlie Diamond Music

Soundcheck, well video projection check. I find I need a go-to YouTube video. In one video I can test screen-casting to a projector or LCD screen or HDMI link syncing, latency or delay. With a video that has good sound levels, I can set a level and know other levels will align.

This is an Artlli Enjoy 2 mini projector. It cost £100. Its included in the latest TechBox for a client. It's part of a hybrid media studio content creation solution that all packs up it into a box. In this case x3 clear stacking storage boxes. The primary purpose of this projector being included is to project the live digital audience into the venue in order for the audience or attendees on the ground to interact and see the cloud-based audience members. In my mind, everyone taking time to attend on the ground or from in the close is 'in-person'.

The video needs good visuals to push the motion response of the projectors internet connection. The audio need to be clean so I can evaluate the speaker responses in the space.

It has to be something I can listen to over and over a few times.

It’s an opportunity too. To share awesome. I’m often asked ‘Who’s this?’ I can tell them who, along with kindred insight not forgetting to get them to check out the YouTube channel and subscribe! This is the path and transactional high way of YouTube! 

The previous goto was Monster by Doddie Clarke. Coz I love it and can listen to it on loop.

Seeing a familiar piece of media that has been played on a variety of devices it useful because you know know what it should optimally sound and look like in an array of conditions.

So currently I'm using Charlie Diamond, Dancing Queen. And as I'm not in a venue for you to ask I am sharing it here. I case you are interested!

Trying something new here too. Embedding from Facebook and not from YouTube. Just to be trans-medium check out the reason why from the video post text accompanying the embedded video. I write and post this as much for my own curiosity to see its impact on the reach stats.

It's not about numbers it's about the audience. When reach was organic being topical and transparent was a requisite. Now you need to dance with the algorithm of whichever platform you want to build upon. 

Do you have a tech check tune? or a video to put your set up through its paces?

This was wirelessly screencasting from a Fusion5 Android tablet

Check out Charlie Diamond Music on Facebook. After all, this post is written to smile at the FB Algorithm, general some stats in order to devour the intel!

Be warned the funked downbeat is infectious in Dancing Queen it will follow you around in your head.

Would you like to hear more about the TechBox projects?

 


Unboxing #DinoHack - Mulling IT Over 2

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Being away is giving me the literal space for my dyslexic brain to embrace the spatial freedom being out in the back of beyond affords my soul. I never feel I fit anywhere except alone and backstage. The control box, prompt desk (cue / QLab station) or sound desk give me places to straddle worlds. The world inhabited by the audience. It should be no shock to me that when not working in theatre I gravitated to event management. My first self produced events were a series of MediaCamps followed by a TEDx in 2012. The Nottingham MediaCamps were MediaCamps, Barcamp, Open-Space, Unconference hybrids.

I guess I know what these are but to get a grip on my upcoming event DinoHack there are a few premises to understand.

BarCamp is an international network of user-generated conferences primarily focused around technology and the web. They are open, participatory workshop-events, the content of which is provided by participants. The first BarCamps focused on early-stage web applications, and were related to open source technologies, social software, and open data formats.

MediaCamps were inspired by Warner Bros. Media Camp, an accelerator program that educated entrepreneurs to build innovative media businesses. Key features of Media Camp include presentations and workshops focused on media technology, formal mentorship from media industry experts, community events and knowledgesharing, as well as direct investments including partnerships and vendor relationships.

An unconference is a participant-driven meeting. The term "unconference" has been applied, or self-applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid hierarchical aspects of a conventional conference, such as sponsored presentations and top-down organization.

The final format I hold in my Disruptor’s of the Mundane tool bag is the Open Space event, (Open Space Technology) championed by Theatre Company Improbable in their Devoted and Disgruntled events.

Open Space Technology (OST) is a method for organizing and running a meeting or multi-day conference, where participants have been invited in order to focus on a specific, important task or purpose.

Writing this post I ask myself how familiar with these event formats. They are the foundation that gives DinoHack its potential and makes it special. I strive to produce events that welcome and engage whoever attends. Each attendee to have the best experience.

What will DinoHack be?
It’s primarily about making something cool, fun, educational, useful/informative for Dinosaur and all thing paleontological fans… Uber fans… geeks even.

A hackathon is an event where people take a subject, accept the challenge to look at it from a different perspective, apply creative thinking and computer smarts to the subject to make or generated ideas for a solution to the set challenge.

We are looking at dinosaurs, the time of the dinosaurs, looking at prehistory. The organisers setting the challenge tend to supply the data.

I once took part in a hackathon where attendees were challenged to make it easier to get around Edinburgh during the annual theatre festival. There were thinkers, coders, designers, data engineers, transport admins, festival organiser representatives, festival fans, IT staff from the city council and the hackathon organisers. I recall the teams took transport data and the festival programme to producer by combining a variety of data sets so being traffic related to create a working prototype of an app that found the best route between festival performances and suggested shows that would conveniently nest together to optimise a day where a start and end show was specified. Genius.

Hackathon is inviting and hotly anticipates that a wide selection of people may come together with a passion for Dinosaurs to come up with ideas for Dinosaur games, toys, apps, that can be picked up by host company Kids-IZ as a prize and support a winning team or involve the winning team in the development of their DinoHack idea.

My task is to find 40 likeminded Dino enthusiasts with a wide variety of skills to collect together for 2 days to consider what doesn’t yet exist but could given the data, talents and collective considerations of a groups to hack the theme.

So what is a hack? Like hack feature big on YouTube and TickTock. Combining everyday objects and repurposing items that solve a problem in a surprising and easy to replicate way. Using a clothes peg to secure an opened pack of sugar or to decorate the peg to make a gift that secures the top of opened food packs.

Dampening your fingers to give purchase to a new bin liner to separate with a Rubina of the fingers to open a stubbornly closed opening. Looping together safety pins using a safety pin. Folding socks into a roll tucked over to form a compact ball for minimising space in luggage for travel. These tips and tricks …. Hacks, they unconventional with the mundane.

A Merriam’s Dictionary puts it… a clever tip or technique for doing or improving something.

That word ‘improving’ is the key. Take what is already around…
Data about dinosaur researched and documents by academics, tasty Dino data, where fossils were found, who discovered them, the size, the bones the distance in the past, the shifting tectonic plates, and find a new way of interpreting, presenting, combining or reinterpreting the information to create a new something.

Mechanics, engineers, computer coders, get under the hood of toys and games. Illustrators, marketers, product developers, storytellers, theatre makers, educators all have a critical eye and creative imaginations to feed into the technical process that manifests new approaches.

Does that give a better view of DinoHack?


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.




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.