It’s not often that a Speakeasy editor ventures outside our smart-glass snuggery. Mainly due to our invariable social skills, allergy to daylight and continuous access to coffee (sometimes cake!). But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and that can sometimes mean an onsite edit. Que the ‘It’s not my turn’ argument and the game of ‘shortest straw’.
Not this time though!!!
Our amazing events team were tasked with the erm task of managing the Pioneers09 event for the Engineering and Physical Science Research Programme (EPSRC). A gathering of some of the greatest minds modern science has to offer showcasing their newest inventions and innovative research programmes.
As a (closet) geek I jumped at the chance to go after having a nosey at the exhibition designs and seeing a list of cream of the crop attending; how could I pass up the chance to meet a real life roller-coaster designer or a guy who designs sophisticated heat beams which we call “lasers”?? (You know, I have one simple request and that is to have sharks with laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently, my cycloptic friend informed me that that could not be done but what’s that got to do with the price of cheese?)
My mission, which I chose to accept, was to edit a 2-3 minute highlight of the event using our magical portable edit suite ready to be uploaded onto the EPSRC youtube channel the following day. Our setup was 3 Sony PDW-700′s. Two were based in a lecture theatre, each recording and running a feed onto two huge screens which in turn was being recorded to an HD1500 deck. We also had one roaming crew interviewing all the important peeps including Richard Noble talking about this years plans to break the current land speed record and Brendan Walker talking about designing a new generation of rollercoasters and wearing, quite possibly, the coolest pair of glasses I’ve ever seen.
I learned about wave power, nuclear power (are you telling me that this sucker is nuclear?), saw how my bones moved on a skeleton on a bike, threw a guy off a bucking bronco (for experimental reasons only), saw an ambulance with an ejector seat, a machine that can burn hearts inside your chest and a smart car with a tv inside the back! It may not have looked like much, but it had it where it counts, kid. They made a lot of special modifications themselves. Time circuits on. Flux Capacitor… fluxxing. Engine running. All right!
Speakeasy peeps onsite were Kathryn, Mark, Alex and Graham who made sure the event ran as funkily as possible and kept me going with tapes, food, coffee and the laughs. My highlights were getting to wear a radio headset and look like a rock star, the gazebo man in the pink dressing gown, the cow called Maggie on the wall of the restaurant, the aluminous men outside the shop, the ‘rmember when you couldn’t google on your mobile phone’ chat, Pizza Express, a lunchtime adventure and the final edit of the video which really showed what the event was all about! Well done to everyone involved especially the events team for producing a cracking event and Jenni for the voiles which everyone was desperate to keep at the end of the day.
Check out the highlights at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qv6rOMEV9c