A couple of weeks ago, we were supposed to be doing live video-streaming online of the games in the 17th WinterDeaflympics 2011 in Slovakia, but it was cancelled at the last minute. Something interesting happened overnight from the cancellation.
The company i work for (volunteering at the moment, actually) H3.tv happened to have two of our cultural reporters already en route to Slovakia when word the cancellation on February 11, 2011 was announced. so, literally overnight we went from being a struggling online sign-language broadcaster, to a now-famous (in the deaf world, at least) investigative journalism broadcaster. not only are we the only international media team on location (far as we were able to determine) we are also the ONLY deaf media team investigating the fiasco, and broadcasting answers in International Sign (IS).
The two reporters, Dawn Jani Birley (Canadian now living in Finland) & Darren Frazier (American), are filming and investigating daily, and sending back on average 2-4 edited videos daily. they have no journailsm experience, except for the occasional cultural videos.
the best part? Darren is filming it all with his new Nikon D7000 and a Litepanels light, while editing it on iMovie. He then uploads it to our Dropbox folder, then over here in our ad-hoc press centre in our boss, Hannah’s home in Toronto, which consists of me, Slava and Hannah, we then add the H3 logo in the corner using an alpha mask in Quicktime 7, re-compress it with an Elgato Turbo HD hardware compressor, upload to Vimeo then embed into our h3.tv site. We do staff meetings with our reporters and consultants via iChat and Oovoo.
Darren has almost no experience filming or editing, and I had to read through his camera’s manual I downloaded online and explain the basics via email, which settings to use, what shutter speed for which framerate, etc. he still hasn’t gotten the colour balance theory locked down yet, but it’s a minor issue at this time.
while solving technical issues, I also do most of the translations from IS to english, which is a struggle sometimes, since I’m more fluent with ASL, the IS being a fairly new language to me. we also have another consultant in the US who is involved with international deaf organizations, and cleans up my transcripts, plus expands on some background information that I’m missing out on.
Because of this, Deaf people all over are getting timely answers on the fiasco (with occasionally lagging transcripts.) where before the advent of easily accessible video technology, it would’ve taken years for all to get a straight answer about it, if ever.
you can meet the two awesome reporters via a news clip the Strba news did on them (assuming you speak Slovak) here