Being Producer/Director for someone else’s material

One of the hit sessions at this year’s Impact was not listed in the agenda. A bit like an off-off-Broadway show, it was given to a select few groups. This was the snappily-titled “MQ Workload Distribution in a Sysplex”, given by Lyn as part of the z solution suite activities. It talks about how different systems may process different amounts of work, and how this can be changed to more balanced distribution if you need to.

Since the initial run, she’s been asked to repeat the session for a bunch of customers, and there’s probably more requests than available time. So when she was visiting the UK recently, we took the opportunity to record the session and it is now available on youtube as a three-part playlist. (I quite like playlists, as it makes it easy to replace individual pieces without modifying the published URL.)

My job was to drive the equipment, direct the performance and produce the videos. A previous blog entry talked about the hardware and software I use, but this was the first time I’d had to work with someone else.

This turned out to be more a recording of a live performance than specially-constructed material but it still seems to work. We basically just used the original powerpoint charts, although I did go back afterwards and add animation to some of them. An unmoving chart is OK when you can see the presenter, but a bit dull on its own. There was no script, as we didn’t have time to write it and Lyn already had done the presentation several times. One useful thing about the presentation was that it split naturally into three sections, and I made each of them a separate video so I didn’t hit length limits and it gave convenient breaks for people watching,

I think we’ve both learned some lessons for next time. And I suspect there WILL be a next time. On the technical side, I’ve already made some adjustments to microphone wiring and levels – it’s always odd hearing and working with your own voice so an alternative is good. And I’ve learned more about Camtasia possibilities. (Version 8.1 introduces colour removal so I might play with green-screen backdrops and real video). For content, I’ve got more ideas about how best to show some features. And I think someone who claimed to be uncomfortable working to a microphone may get more used to it.

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