(updated August 9th)
Tuesday nights at 11pm on August 12th, 19th,
26th and September 2nd on COX Channel 31.
Highlights from the July 2003 meeting of
the OCA at Chapman University
Highlights of the What's Up by Jim Benet
Highlights of the main presentation by Dr Michelle Thaller
on Infrared Astronomy
Introduction to the OCA Observatory featuring OCA President
Barbara Toy (from June Star Party)
Introduction to the Anza site featuring various members of
the OCA and their telescopes (from June Star Party)
This was the second episode to benefit
from direct involvement of members of the newly formed OCA
SIG called OCATV. Five OCA members (including my wife Anna)
helped with the taping of the July meeting and they were Brian
and Jim Norman, Reg Salcido and Steve Condrey and Tom Kucharski.
I was working on a video project at a conference in San Diego
so I was unable to help out... My SONY TRV22 camera was in
for repair but luckily OCA President Barbara Toy came to the
rescue and PURCHASED her own and allowed us to use it for
At the June Star Party at Anza I
had taped various pieces of content with a view to using them
in this episode. This included using multiple cameras to shoot
the observatory roof opening and also doing various shots
from around the site. It was quite tricky to position the
cameras to capture the "observatory roof opening ceremony"
(as I called it in the show) as I only had two cameras but
as you will see from the show you will be able to see that
it appears that I had four cameras shooting the sequence.
I basically setup two cameras outside shooting the roof opening.
One was on a wide shot showing the entire observatory and
the other was zoomed in a bit showing a close shot of the
building where the Kuhn is housed. I then moved my two cameras
inside the observatory and positioned them to capture the
roof opening from inside. Then Barbara closed the roof and
we rolled tape as the roof was opened again. Of course on
the final video it looks like it all happened in one shooting
(at least that is what I hope it looks like). This was great
I also captured various other "goings
on" around the site... and I am sure some OCA Members
may be surprised to see their faces on the OCA TV program.
I know that one OCA Member in particular will be thrilled
to see they are featured and that is young Marina Weinberger
who was visiting Anza for the very first time with her parents
Roy and Catherine. Although Roy and Catherine have visited
the Anza site many times... this was the first time they felt
Marina was old enough to be able to experience the site for
an extended period. I think we were all blown away with how
seriously and enthusiastically Marina took to her observational
program... and you will get some impression of her excitement
when you see the show. I just loved it!
The introductory / narrative segments
were taped for the second time in the studios of Pyros Pictures
in Costa Mesa. Greg again acted as the Director of Photography
and he took charge of the lighting issues. We
used the same setup as for Episode 2 with the trusty Moon
prop however we switched to using some of my own lighting
equipment instead of relying upon Gregs equipment (I already
blew out one of Greg's lights...
We setup the studio on one night (usually
a Wednesday) and then return the next night to actually do
the taping. This allows us to iron out any bugs with the setup
without it impacting or pressuring the time for doing the
taping. This time we used a computer program as the TelePrompTer
running on my laptop. Although we had a few glitches with
the setup I know that it made the task of recording these
introductory comments far easier than last month when we were
using manual cue cards.
Things will only get better from here!
In the taping we again used two cameras.
The main one was the SONY TRV900 and the other was the SONY
TRV22 that Barbara Toy had purchased as mine was being repaired.
We really needed the "nightshot" mode this time
as the lights did go down. We had a little problem with the
wireless microphone used by the speaker as it was clanking
around her neck creating a few audio problems. I have some
ideas that will hopefully cure these issues going forward.
The major difference with this program
is that it needed to be only a 30 minute show. COX do not
usually accept 60 minute programs (my misunderstanding) and
they accepted the first two shows as a special "one-off"
arrangement. From now on we will be producing 30 minute shows
only. This change in show length had a HUGE impact on the
editing process as it meant that I had to seriously cut down
the content from the meeting to fit the shorter format. This
took me far more time than I had imagined as I had to "scrub"
through the show over and over again in order to pick out
specific pieces that I would "leave on the cutting room
I tried a few new approaches to the
post-production editing. The main difference you will notice
is that I am trying out a fixed background image around the
video content with the OCA logo permanently displayed in the
top left corner. I can then display text and other information
at the top/bottom of the screen without interfering with the
shows video content. I'm not quite content with the approach
but I think it is something that I can improve from here.
Tape delivered to COX on July 30th
Reg Salcido, Steve Condrey, Jim and
Brian Norman, Tom Kucharski, Anna Kennedy
Jim and Brian Norman, Tom and Kristin
Kucharski, Abe Ali, Greg Pyros.
And everyone else who put up with
me at the June Anza Star Party!