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Episode 3 of Look Up Tonight!
by Liam Kennedy July 30th 2003 (updated August 9th)

Airing dates/times

Tuesday nights at 11pm on August 12th, 19th, 26th and September 2nd on COX Channel 31.

Program contents

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)

Program Notes

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 this show.

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 fun!

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!

Equipment used.

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.

Program Editing notes.

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 floor".

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 2003

Credits for Episode 3

For handling the video taping at the meeting...

Reg Salcido, Steve Condrey, Jim and Brian Norman, Tom Kucharski, Anna Kennedy

For helping at the studio

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!

 

Look Up Tonight

Episode 19
Episode 18
Episode 17
Episode 16
Episode 15
Episode 14
Episode 13
Episode 12
Episode 11
Episode 10
Episode 9
Episode 8
Episode 7
Episode 6
Episode 5
Episode 4
Episode 3
Episode 2
Episode 1

Original announcement about the Cable TV program

 

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