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Corporate-type Shows

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by mbenonis, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    For the last few years, I've worked this three-day conference at the beginning of August for my old high school's county administration. The event has a lot of PowerPoints, as well as audio and the assorted video cue. This year, I'm really trying to tighten up the technical parts of the presentation, to make things more seamless. Does anyone have any suggestions for making PowerPoint transition as seamless as possible, as well as allowing for video cues? It would be ideal if all of this were controllable from the rear control booth (~100 ft from the stage and the projector).

    Another thing I'm trying to figure out is how to provide a heads-up display for the presenter, so they don't have to turn around at the screen to see their slide. Has anyone come up with a good solution for this?
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Powerpoint does have a seperate output that shows a notes slide for the presenter. Powerpoint 2007 does handle video pretty well, the older versions do not. If you can convince them to upgrade to 2007 that would be a good bet. Otherwise, (this is not the only program that will do this) mediashout will do what you want, as well as keynote.
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I've always found that the best way to do this is to have the computer in the booth, with a RGBHV run (you'll need a VGA/DVI to RGBHV adapter, but this works well). You hook the computer up in the booth to run the presentations, and hook up the projector to the RGBHV run (if your projector has RGBHV, otherwise you have to get an RGBHV to VGA adapter). Then take a video out of the projector (single run composite will work, if you have it and the run is short enough) and send that to a small LCD TV that you can put down in/to the side of the podium.
     
  4. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

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    Running video directly on a powerpoint slide is great and very easy for short clips. If you are playing anything longer, or from VHS or DVD, get a switcher. You don't need a fancy one. I started doing these shows with a simple input selector from an electronics store, and just ran everything with S Video (but you can run it RCA if you need to).

    Just be sure to switch the audio as well.

    It is always a good idea to have a monitor in the booth as well so you can cue up the videos. This is where a better video switcher really helps. They will have a monitor out, so you can cue it up and then switch the signal to the main projector.
     
  5. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Multiple computers running multiple monitors. Each presentation goes on a different one so when you move between decks you just do it form a switcher. Run the playback sources from playback units, switch that too.

    In other words you give the presenter a little remote and monitors on the podium and in the stage.

    I have been to a lot of corporate events, I have seen this done seamlessly and not so seamlessly. There is also lots of oppurtunity for some fun with a few trusses of intel lights if there's budget.
     
  6. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    I just started with a company that does production for conferences. What we do is actually ditch powerpoint and make animated fullscreens and render them as AVIs. For playback we use NewTek's VT4 Toasters. Unfortunately this is probably way out of your price range.

    As far as a HUD for the presenter, if they have a podium you could stick a monitor in there. Probably would be fine to just run it composite, its just for their eyes.

    A lot depends on the setup.
     
  7. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    The best way to do it in my opinion. Is to give the presenter a laptop at the podium. They hit the space bar for the next slide. In photo shop you can put it into presenter mode. Thus they can see previews of the next slide and read notes on the curant one.

    JH

    ps. power point sucks at video.
     
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    The "heads-up display" that you speak of is known as "Executive Prompter" or EP. These are approx. 12"x15" oneway (twoway?) mirrors on mic stands left of right of the presenter. You can see them on TV sometimes when they take a wide shot of the President speaking. They display speech text only. In the old days the script was typed onto a six inch roll of paper and the operator ran the roll thru a machine that had a video camera pointing at the paper. The operator had a "speed dial" that allowed him to speed up/slow down the speech to follow the presenter. Today there is specific software to do the same via computer (makes editing a speech so much easier), and the VGA output is fed to the EP screens.

    To prevent the presenter from having to face upstage to see his slides on the screen(s), we use a "confidence monitor." This can be any display, although plasma's and LCDs have taken over. The display is located off the downstage edge, high enough so the presenter onstage or at the lecturn can see it, but low enough so as not to impede sightlines from the front row.

    On an "in the round" show I just did, there were 24 45"LCD screens as confidence monitors on all sides of the stage. They were in pairs, one screen had the prompter text and the other the slide images. The presenter used a wireless "clicker" which when pressed flashed a light and buzzed a buzzer that the graphics operator watched/listened for, to advance the slides in Keynote or PowerPoint. Video rolls were done off DVD or hard disc players and a Stage Manager called all cues.

    Granted this was a huge show, 16 projectors double stacked on the big screens (20'x30'), and 8 smaller screens on the center stage. Seating for 16,000 in an arena setting. The video dept. alone had 20 people, not including cameras, running various switchers, routers, computers, etc. Oh, and there were 340 moving lights.

    A more realistic solution for your needs would be to put the laptop(s) on the podium, and run the VGA output into a switcher, and let the presenter "punch his own slides." The switcher could change to a VT or DVD "still store" of the theme graphic while laptops were being swapped out. I've done it that way many times in smaller rooms. If there are cameras doing Imag, I feel the video dept. should be backstage, near the presenter, and the only thing that needs to run to the front projector in the booth is an RGBHV snake.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2007
  9. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    Well, the events are now over, and things went pretty smoothly (save for the last major event). Here's what I did. I found out in advance who had movies, and got all of their PowerPoints and video's ahead of time. I converted all of the PowerPoints over to Keynote, and just added slides in and embedded the video's there. This way, everything went as smoothly as possible. However, for the Superintendent, who couldn't decide what movies he wanted to show until 6:00 am the day of his presentation, I just had an assistant sit next to the projector and DVD player and feed the movies in on cue. COmpared to what we did last year (loading each PPT individually), this went much more smoothly.

    As far as the Confidence Display went, I just positioned the laptop everything was running off of on the podium and ran a VGA cable to the projector (which sat on the lip of the stag and projected onto the cyc for a nice, big picture. Keynote provided a nice presenter's display (although as I discovered, many presenters were confused by two slides on the screen of the same size, so I had to shrink the next slide block significantly so as not to confuse the presenters.
     
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Glad the show went well for you. I probably would have done the exact same thing. So you used the multiple inputs on the projector as a switcher? The simplest solution is usually the best solution. We sometimes forget that and complicate our lives needlessly.
     

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