There are advantages over regular TV, especially for a beginner:
- longer interviews (about 20 minutes)
- more relaxing: like a living room, not a studio
- less intimidating: "normal" hosts, not TV newscasters
LeveragingYou can buy the recording of your segment for re-use. That's probably the business model. There are several options. I got the raw footage since I'm learning to edit. You can see the results for yourself.
The StudioThe studio is just south of the Toronto bus terminal at Bay/Dundas. The building has character. I walked up four flights of stairs to the large open-concept facilities. One corner has the recording studio with a green screen to allow fake backgrounds.
There are lots of video cameras — at least four. These aren't the big ones you might find on a movie set or in a TV studio. These looked like the ones you might buy for yourself. The cameras were set to different spots and angles. There were no camera operators but there were three technicians. Two sat behind the controls. They applied the backgrounds and did the magic of live broadcasting.
To my surprise, the audience wasn't ordered to stay silent during the recording. We were but the microphones seem oblivious to distant sounds.
HostsThe hosts are the key to a great interview. If you feel comfortable, you'll come across better. Two hosts are better than one. Hugh Reilly and Sandra Kyrzakos were excellent. They had rapport and seemed like nice genuine people. There were no off-camera tantrums about having too few red Smarties. In fact, I saw no Smarties at all. If there were any, they'd already eaten them.
I was concerned about how to sit. Sandra suggested I make myself comfortable while still able to speak. I followed her advice and didn't pay attention to my body. I sat back in my chair and crossed my legs at the ankles. .
Improvement IdeasLiquid Lunch broadcasts at 480p, which is not very crisp by today’s standards. An upgrade to 720p or 1080p would be better. Maybe the lower resolution is an advantage since no one applies make-up to guests?
The sound quality could be improved too. The background hiss is noticeable and distracting. We’ll watch poor video with crisp sound but not crisp video with poor sound. Before publishing, I applied noise reduction to my clip and switched to 720p. This improved the sound but couldn’t do much for the video.
Perhaps upgrades are on the way.
Videos Of YouHave you seen those video bios where people describe what they do in a couple of minutes? The results often look choppy and unnatural. It’s as if the clips came from an assembly line using a standard formula and fill-in-the-blank scripts. Next, please. Reading from a teleprompter doesn’t help since we don't know how.
What’s the alternative?
You could get interviewed instead. There's much less for you to do. You're bound to look natural because you’re chatting with friendly interviewers who are on your side. When you focus on them, you won’t notice the cameras. You’ll also get much more usable footage.
If you're in the Toronto area and have something to say, you can apply to appear on Liquid Lunch. The experience is worthwhile.