After a whirlwind couple of days, I can assertively say my trip to the State Fair to be on Animal Planet’s “Labor Live” this year was a success. During my time there we had one birth (the black calf with the awesome name “Mega-tron”) and I did four live interviews. The production team was a blast to work with and very helpful in guiding me through the on-camera process.
I had never been involved in a webcast. To call it intense is a bit of an understatement. The team had four cameras out with the animals running the whole time, three of them Go-Pros and one of them a larger camera that was used for the interviews with the “expert” (in this case, me!). The feeds of all these cameras were sent to a control room across the hall where they were playing on a large monitor. One feed would be selected for the webcast and then it would be changed every so often between the animals. Since the animals moved around and sometimes bumped the cameras, or even outright messed with them, the team had to readjust them regularly. This constant maintenance of cameras, the moving animals, and the fact that births occurred at any point in time meant there were camera people there 24/7.
As far as my involvement, I can say I’ve learned a few things from being in front of a live camera an a large audience.
1) I really like to talk with my hands. I think you could silence me by cutting them off.
2) Providing commentary on animal births is hard. I know what’s going on down to the last contraction, but they take 45 minutes to an hour. I had a heck of a time narrating a calving for that long.
3) “So” is the new “um”. So…if I can’t think of what to say next, I try talking about a different topic, so…yeah.
4) Turn off your cell phone, or your friends will call you while you are on air to embarrass you. Vibrate is not good enough.
These aside, the whole experience was fun. I’m glad I took part and would be happy to do it again!