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Nerdy Show Live Pilot

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    Now that it’s happened and is archived for viewing, let’s possibly have a bit of discussion about it.

    In spite of how fun it was at points and how much fun most people there looked to be having, it dragged and was let down by a couple of things. Mainly a lack of production budget to suit your ambitions.

    The show seemed hamstrung by the limitations of the technology you had available: A small number of cameras and microphones, a too-slow computer that caused the frame rate to go down. Having a small (or perhaps “cramped” would be the right word) set and not being incredibly experienced with the format and medium didn’t help either.

    The show also felt kind of scattershot in terms of tone and pacing; some segments just stopped the show dead no matter how entertaining the hosts were trying to be (the card game, specifically) and it didn’t quite strike the perfect balance between informative and uncaringly funny, and I honestly wouldn’t have expected it to on the first try; you’ll get there eventually, and this is a part of the process.

    Having said all of that, the last 40 minutes or so was top-notch. With the exception of not really letting anyone catch their breath to explain or understand what was going on in the slime game when the wheel would stop on a result, it was all great to watch from the moment Shammers did his second Pokérhyme to the end of the show. I think it also highlights the strength of a live video show as opposed to an audio show.

    Stuff like talking about Comic Con, doing a microsode, playing an interview, those are all things that can be consumed without losing anything in audio form. An eating contest, game show segments, videos from the other podcasts on the network as both information and a form of promotion, <span style=”text-decoration:line-through;”>a powerpoint presentation of a strawman argument</span> these are the things that can only really be done in video, and I think that’s a better direction for the live show to take.

    In terms of specific things that I think you guys should do to make the general production better:

    1) Consistency in microphones. I don’t know why the audio was cutting in and out, whether that was whoever was on the switchboard doing that or just an issue with perhaps the wiring; in any case, I think either getting mics that clip onto your shirt or just some nice, reliable stick mics would help. I don’t think there was any audio issue with the stick mic that was used, for what it’s worth. From other live shows I’ve watched, I would say that you should have the people who are going to sit down and talk use clip-on mics and people who will walk around use sticks, except basically everyone was moving around so much that it’s hard to say. Apart from the audio cutting in and out (which, to be fair, was only really a problem in the first few minutes), the only real audio issue was when non-miced people (read: audience members) talked, and I don’t think there’s really anything you can do to alleviate that apart from making sure to remind people at the shows that if they’re going to talk, to wait for the half-second it takes to get a mic pointed at their face.

    2) More/better placement of cameras. Or possibly just a director, I guess? I don’t really know what the optimal solution would be, since I think you guys only have three cameras to work with, right? I suppose what you could do is find the best positions and angles for the cameras to be in for each segment, remember/mark them, then move the cameras to them between the segments. It seemed like that was happening when you did the slime game, with the camera pointed at the wheel; just do that for all of the segments. Particularly any future card game segments; please give an overhead shot of the table next time, or as close as you can get. Maybe change the audience camera to be more tightly focused on the table; anything that’s happening in that direction is going to be on the table, so that’s more important than being able to see that the room has an audience in it. And speaking of cameras and such…

    3) Address the cameras. I was going to make this “Choose who you’re addressing and commit to it”, however I don’t think you should ignore the cameras. This is the other thing that having set positions of cameras that people can remember will be good for; know where to look when you say things. If you’re explaining something, you should be addressing the audience; and if you’re addressing the audience, you should be addressing the audience watching at home (which will, ultimately, be more people) rather than the audience watching live. For the most part, you guys all got this; it’s just good to reinforce it because of the points when you didn’t get it.

    4) Don’t let Brandon back on.

    5) Always have Brandon on.

    6) I swear to INSERT DEITY HERE that I had another piece of advice to give, but in the time it took me to think of how to word everything else and word it well, it’s escaped me.

    In any case, I ultimately liked the show and can see the potential it has, if it continues to fully embrace the possibilities that the medium offers. Especially if it becomes a regular broadcast.




    As stated above, the show was not without its share of hiccups.

    I unfortunately have nothing either to add to or to detract from previous sentiments, but, as also noted above:

    you’ll get there eventually, and this is a part of the process.


    a powerpoint presentation of a strawman argument

    How dare you, sir. A strawman argument? I resent that!

    If anything, I’m a Texas Sharpshooter who calls it like he sees it. Some might even call me a maverick.

    General Manager of the Central Florida Ghostbusters
    We're ready to believe you! | (321) 209-2020 | Twitter: @GBResurrection


    Hm. That was supposed to be strikethrough text.

    And most of your argument was based upon the presumption that Jar Jar was consciously aware of the inherent risks involved with the things he was doing Nothing.




    The audio problems are pretty simple to explain: we had a very short window of time to get everything up to speed for a live taping. In the span of just a few weeks, we had to figure out how to get all of those mics (including things to make the audience audible) into the video feed while also making it audible to the patrons of The Geek Easy. We attempted a wireless system that John acquired. The system looked great on paper, and worked reasonably well in our tech rehearsal.

    Showtime hit, and it was clear that they weren’t up to the task. There’d been a glitch or two beforehand, but as soon as the show proper began, the packs were dying left and right, and the working packs were distorting. My heart sank as I watched it go down in real time. I would wholeheartedly like to take a hammer to that entire pile of equipment. There was nothing I could do at the moment of failure, and I can’t apologize enough.

    Chalking it up to a learning experience. Next time will be better.


    Thanks for the comprehensive critique, Roy.

    Though we’ve been talking about doing this for well over a year, we rushed into accelerated production on the show in a few weeks (as Marc said). We’ve got a reason for that, not sure if we can talk about it yet.

    Maybe it’s something we should have been more clear about, but as a pilot this episode was a necessary step for us: a live test of something that had been previously hypothetical. There’s so much we couldn’t know until we simply tried it (like the mics, which tested well). We could just as easily have never put it online, or waited until we had a tighter product available and release this eventually, but why not share it with everyone? We had fun doing it, after all. I say all this because I’ve gotten a few lengthy critiques from people, and while I want and welcome them I want to be sure that everyone understands that Nerdy Show Live is a work in progress. We’re not settled on any one format, style of content, and our production will be constantly expending. We’re not content to settle for mediocrity or “good enough”. So we’re absolutely eager to hear everyone’s take on the show, just know that this is not the final product, it’s a work in progress.


    The pilot is now in bite-sized sharable pieces:

    Share your favorite parts with friends!

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