When the Daysies started talking about doing a Facebook Live weekly show, I admit I had my doubts.
We’d already tried FB Live after the band collected a lot of food and supplies from supporters for a local pet charity. Jennifer and Rebecca delivered the food and supplies in person.
When I reviewed the video, I realized we had a few challenges.
The lighting in the facility wasn’t good. The staff was so busy no one really had time to offer remarks or a pitch about the great work the facility does. The worst challenge came in the form of broadcast interruptions, though, where the live feed would wander off for a few and then return.
That live event was done months ago, so I hoped their new effort wouldn’t have the pitfalls the first one did.
I was pleasantly surprised, but this time, we took some precautions and did a little planning.
Lighting was essential, so we set up the stage in the brightest area in my house. We experimented with where they’d sit and where they’d place the phone they were using to broadcast. We used the phone—it’s an Android—because we’ve had great results with the mic and the camera.
Facebook says you can go live from your computer now, if you use the Google Chrome browser. I plan to suggest we do a test run with that in the near future because the phone’s screen, while larger than many others, is still small when it comes to reading comments from supporters. You have to lean towards the phone to see the names and comments no matter how good your eyesight is.
I took precautions about the set before Jen and Rebecca began. I removed clutter (a product of pets, kids, and our social-butterfly lifestyle), and made sure nothing showed in the background that would create negative optics. For instance, you make a photo of a loved one who looks lovely, and after the shot, you realize a vase of hot pink flowers appears to be growing behind her left ear.
There’s also the external noise concern. I do radio call-ins to shows as a correspondent sometimes. I’ve learned to place a “Please do not knock or ring bell” sign on the front door. I remember reading a poem about Mary Magdalene on a radio broadcast (it was Poetry Month), and my hound dog began to bark. My mother thought it was hilarious. The show host did not.
I watched the first two broadcasts the Daysies did, and then I reviewed them again. I realized that even a squeaky door is an intrusion on sound. I also recalled an afternoon on the deck when Rebecca played me a new song she wrote. I love the song—‘Living Room Blues and Faith’—and things were going well. Then came the moment she sang the words “Holy Ghost” and a loud motorcycle zoomed down the street. It was epic—the sound couldn’t have been orchestrated for a more sensitive moment. We still laugh when we watch that video although otherwise it is fantastic. Such are the hazards of do-it-yourself spontaneous filming.
This is all new to us, but we are learning as we go.
There are lots of tips sites on the Web to help with doing live events. I found pages at the Berkeley School of Journalism very helpful. An article at Forbes has pretty good info. Although the Forbes piece is geared towards making a film, there are useful nuggets like how to “dress” and coordinate the set.
I realized the importance of the set after our second Live show. I’d closed the sunroom doors to soften the light a bit. I forgot to turn off the ceiling fan. So you can see something whirring beyond the French doors. It wasn’t a deal killer but I will remember to switch that fan off next time. There was also a brief bark from my dog Bear. I can’t guarantee anything when it comes to that little scoundrel.
The Crazy Daysies will do their third weekly Facebook Live event today at 4 p.m. Tune in if you can. It’s always fun and I never know what those girls will come up with. I do think they are going to pay homage to a little boy who has been mercilessly bullied. I am glad they are going to do that.
So head to Facebook at 4 pm and get your swampy-tonk on. And let us know if you see anything freaky in the background. ?
(Band Mom/Sept. 21, 2017)