Expanding Curriculum: Video and Broadcast Streaming

StradivariusBone

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Fight Leukemia
So, common is the theme of expanding production to include live stream broadcast elements in the post-2020 world. I'm looking at adding a small section of streaming and video overview to our stagecraft curriculum. For now, I'm planning on pairing it with our Audio unit for no other reason than to give it a place to live and grow. I wanted to poll the hivemind to see what specific things might be useful to train up on.

I try to structure my class toward making functionally useful technicians out of high school kids. We have a busy PAC and it is necessary for my job to have student techs that are capable of supporting that service. So we tend to structure learning more toward the hands-on rather than the theoretical.

Things I'm considering delving into:

Video Standards - SDI, HDMI, etc.; common resolutions and framerates
Topology of Video Networks and their components- Switchers, signal converters, cameras, encoders, etc.
Ethernet usage- Device control interfaces, Dante, NDI
Camera Operation- adjusting camera settings for different light, framing shots, etc.
Streaming technology- how to connect to popular stream services like YouTube, Twitch, etc. OBS, hardware encoders, etc.

My goal in this is to support our business of providing livestream services to our clients, but to also help prep the handful of kids I have that might find themselves doing this stuff post-secondary. Anything you can add will be helpful!
 

cbrandt

Well-Known Member
You should include a section on appropriate video lighting. Colors, intensities, positions, common fixture types.
 

StradivariusBone

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Fight Leukemia
We do a whole unit on theater lighting that explains the fixtures used, positions for lighting the stage, etc. What specific things beyond that would you recommend for lighting for video?
 

DrewE

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Maybe a few words on sound design/micing/mixing for streaming and video, and how it relates to and differs from the live sound mix?

Basic video switching and production techniques--types of shots, transitions, operation of some video swtichers/controllers, that sort of thing; I think some of this you already have covered under camera operation.

And I agree with cbrant--comparing the color "perception" and dynamic range of video cameras to the naked eye is a great idea. The camera tends to be a lot more restrictive about white balance (especially changing or variable white balance) and contrast between highlights and shadows than does the eye.

If you really want to open a can of worms, copyright and licensing issues....
 

cbrandt

Well-Known Member
Color temperature matching and color quality is far more important in video.
Showing the difference that back light or hair light can make on video.
Soft broads and bounces are rarely/never used in theater, and are a standard for video.
 

darinlwebb

Active Member
Copyright and computer algorithms that detect it.

Streaming is technically complicated and definitely isn't "free". Running your own private streaming servers where you write the rules and can violate copyright all day long (until a human catches you) is possible but definitely out of scope here. The concept of how streaming works (video up to a remote server, then it gets encoded and transcoded and distributed to viewers) would be good to cover, and the idea that you can use various services to do that for you (Twitch, Youtube, Facebook, Zoom, etc). Is your production using published music? Permission or no, streaming providers don't want any liability so they're scanning your stream for copywritten music and will do things if they find it - likely shutting down the stream.
 

darinlwebb

Active Member
Color temperature matching and color quality is far more important in video.
Showing the difference that back light or hair light can make on video.
Soft broads and bounces are rarely/never used in theater, and are a standard for video.
This is a good opportunity for collab between lights, costumes, scenic, and streaming. We did an aerialist showcase, and with in-person audiences you can get away with front-lighting a performer in a black costume in black silks in front of a black curtain, but once you add a layer of video compression they all go poof.
 

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