2020 Referendum Town Hall
In 2020, the Redbank Valley School District Board of Education held a referendum vote to approve a tax increase that would reset the district’s budget and resolve the ongoing budget issues. The community engaged in conversations online about the pros vs. cons of the referendum passing. A committee was formed to ensure that the community was well informed about the upcoming vote. I worked with TechReady Professionals and their local media arm RedbankValley.org to produce a 2 hour long “town hall” where community members could submit questions to be answered by representatives from the school district. While the referendum did not pass, multiple community members feel that the town hall increased the affirmative votes for the referendum.
My responsibilities for this project included developing on screen graphics, integrating live Facebook comments into a custom graphics package, setting up and operating equipment & software such as cameras, microphones, transcoders, live switchers, etc.
2021 Redbank Valley School Board Town Hall
In 2021, I collaborated with TechReady Professionals and their subsidiary RedbankValley.org to produce two 1-hour long town hall conferences with candidates for the Redbank Valley School District Board of Directors. The main objective for the town halls was to educate the voting public about their choices for school board. I used the system developed for the referendum town hall, but with some upgrades, namely in system stability. Audience members were able to submit questions to be displayed on screen, but this functionality was not used by the moderators.
The biggest upgrade for this stream was two cameras. We utilized the Logitech MeetUp and Brio webcams to provide excellent video quality. The biggest upside, though, was the ability to move to and zoom in on participants in the panel. The Brio served as a stationary camera while the MeetUp was used to pan and zoom.
A slightly new method of displaying lower thirds was used, now being database driven. I used a keyboard shortcut on the production software to quickly switch to the appropriate title.
I learned a lot about software-only video production with this project. Should I be asked to help with a similar project in the future, I think I will be able to make things work even better!