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In defence of liveness.


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)


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 $$
In the Cloud (via Zoom) TICKET paid in ££

My Silent Scream

The prospect of making my own work is daunting but I don’t feel I have any other option when I don’t feel smart enough, clever enough, young enough, experienced enough… just not enough, to be employed to do what I love and what I feel I’m really good at.

Its all knowledge and insight and skill that no one seems to want yet I continually enter conversations where employers can’t find employable candidates.

I can’t do all I can do at once but no one wants any part of me it seems. Lack of disposable income to make work makes me less prolific than I’m capable of being.

If I was well funded and prolific I wouldn’t be needing a job. I’d actually like a job and be part of a team. Producing and consulting is a lonely pursuit.

There lies my inner sense of failure

Perhaps I’m just not very good and any sense of value to others I have is self deluded.

My Silent Scream

The prospect of making my own work is daunting but I don’t feel I have any other option when I don’t feel smart enough, clever enough, young enough, experienced enough… just not enough, to be employed to do what I love and what I feel I’m really good at.

Its all knowledge and insight and skill that no one seems to want yet I continually enter conversations where employers can’t find employable candidates.

I can’t do all I can do at once but no one wants any part of me it seems. Lack of disposable income to make work makes me less prolific than I’m capable of being.

If I was well funded and prolific I wouldn’t be needing a job. I’d actually like a job and be part of a team. Producing and consulting is a lonely pursuit.

There lies my inner sense of failure

Perhaps I’m just not very good and any sense of value to others I have is self deluded.

Zoom does Dial In


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


03 - SubShifter: ONLY what it says on the tin.

5C69F01E-4A95-4961-BF8E-18CE9E5E1CFBBack on my toolbar. Prepping videos for this years SparkArts for Children festival. I’m providing video hosting and embeds codes along with top and tail edits to insert bumper branding.

This app is essential. The caption files I’m provided with when uploaded to facilitate captioning being visible or hidden line up to the start of the film. With the branding bumper inserted the film doesn’t start until the bumper has played. Sublititle files .srt are time coded text files. To insert a time period each consequent time code has to be amended.

In a nutshell that is what this app does. Full stop!

App Store for Mobile and MAC desktop

Restricted time length on the free version

Browser Based


RHS - Zoom 1 yr in - RoyalHistSoc


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

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.



Zoom Control - FrenchHistoryUK

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…


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.


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:


Investment in 50 - coming of age at last!

There has been a pause in my blogging over the last week to portion out time to complete a finished version of my diploma module to prepare a first attempt at an investment pack to finance a stage show. Mine has been a long time back burner project. It’s the reason PCM is part of my online persona. There is a wind of change on the horizon and it’s exciting times.

Assignment submitted and birthday celebrated. I’m mid way through a diploma in Creative Producing. 16 weeks including a 2wk study break… and Christmas. My horizons are widening. I will need people in this new horizon. The next 2 assignments are envisioning for purposeful target marketing and storytelling, then company structure and good team structures.

Here is my opening section.

Concept orientation

To produce and commission new and fresh live 30 minute productions for new audiences emerging around immersive staged experiences such as Secret Cinema, War of the Worlds and Dr Who Fractured Time, and new global audiences who remotely attend film festivals featuring dedicated VR films. Festivals award categories for VR and 360 as well as interactive experiences and VR short films at Expanded BFI 2021, Expanded Vienna 2021 and Canada’s FIVARS VR film festivals.

LLF Expanded BFI - British Film Festival

Labiennale - Venice VR Expanded

Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories
February 21st – February 28th 2022 (Online)

The productions will explore relationships and augmentation into the ‘real life’ of the burgeoning metaverse - encouraging discussion, examination and participation with the company, challenging the audience's perception of where the frontier of digital, physical and meta virtual dissect.

Before the financial breakdown, info about the stage play there is this. The story is becoming clearer and the financials are solid

This investment prospects is the foundation of my vision setting out a realistic beginning. A play produced on an ITC influenced agreement and physical mid-small scale ambition, opening at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2023 designed and directed to then tour to sizeable black box theatre studios and village halls from Dervaig on the Isle of Mull to The People Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne and Bristol Old Vic’s Weston Studio.

Its gradual evolution though my DYCP exploration’s will take it from extended on-stage production space with a fourth wall and traditional seated audience to later include a dual presence digital and meta virtual experience realising an immersive ‘public house Snug meets park promenade’ experience, delivering culture from the comfort of A couch, Your couch, and beyond!

The audience concept has its roots in 2012 producing TEDx LaceMarket.

So this (pic below) within an immersive wrapper…


CC Chapman speaking at TEDxLaceMarket -


002 - Headliner: podcast visuals, transcripts, captions and more.

97B87A90-8B3E-438C-BB87-93B3013642B1Following a request for a recommendation on Twitter for speech to text transcription options I waded in perhaps a little too eagerly before reading the context of the post request for recommendation for responding.

Transcription from audio for a text record and extracting text for uploading as caption are similar by not the same.

I immediately recommend Headliner. I love services that evolve and extend their usefulness. I first used Headliner to generate overlay audio waveforms to present podcasts for viewing when uploaded to video services.

Last year I worked on a spoken word project requiring captions to accentuate particular words and phrases. It was also audio and needed audio visualisation. I went to Headliner to generate a selection of waveforms, Headliner calls these audiograms, to demonstrate the options and discovered the transcription for captions feature. For transparency I haven't as yet fully pushed Headliners captioning feature to the max but I wanted to tell this story.

NOTE: the waveforms are generated using Headliner the words were created using titles in iMovie as they needed to be closely match to the intonation of the narrators words and inflections. 

After an exchange on Twitter with Headliner we scheduled a video call for me to share my Headliner experience.

Using the scheduling power of Calendly I had a great chat with Mike Sands from development at Headliner.

The generation of transcripts I’ll deal with tomorrow but for closed captions which is where headliner can facilitate and excel as a player in the field for affordable rich featured captioning I wanted to share it with you. The purpose of this blog is really to highlight the  issue below that having a conversation directly with a platform's development team can facilitate.

Headliner also takes SRT file and can export SRT files. SRT are text format files that time code each line for a duration to appear on screen.

Here is an example of a few lines for an SRT file

00:00:47.769 --> 00:00:51.002
Potato? Potato?

00:00:52.584 --> 00:00:54.030

00:00:54.409 --> 00:00:56.365

00:00:58.498 --> 00:00:59.883
Oh, hello.

00:01:02.233 --> 00:01:04.216
You haven't seen a potato anywhere, have you?

00:01:06.389 --> 00:01:07.611

00:01:08.381 --> 00:01:09.528
He ran off.

SRT buffering was my 'you could be the golden goose' opportunity. Completed videos are provided from artists for live screening or on demand viewing. But… the festival may wish to insert a pre show bumper to brand the experience. That add time to the start of the video file and thereby changes the time code for the start of the captions. You can see this from the time stamps in the example from Shona Reppe’s Potato Needs a Bath digital experience - https://www.shonareppe.co.uk/potato-digital.html

For the 2021 SparkArts Festival a bumper lasting just under 47 seconds was inserted at the start. To off set the start of the captions was a trial by fire. Every time code through the entire SRT file needs adjusting. The example shows less than a minute of the show in lasted 30 mins.

This conversation revealing this step in a process is an opportunity. I had to download and install sub shifter could Headliner keep me in the platform.
Lets hope this small hurdle but useful addition gets actioned.

If you want to try out headliner here is a link for a free trial. After you can use the free features or pay for a month or for a year.