Thursday, September 8, 2011

Most People Just Don't Understand

Having worked in the theatre/live sound/AV field for a while now, there is one thing that I find a fair amount and yet it still often surprises me.  That is, how few people understand what is needed to take care of lighting/sound/AV.  It has often been my experience that I am working live sound or AV for an event and someone hands me a video or song or powerpoint that they want played in a half hour or less (I have even had someone come up to me after an event has started and asked me if I could play something after the next act!).  I think what people tend to not realize is how much work it takes to make the AV, sound, and lights look effortless.

Often, in the entertainment industry there is much frustration directed at a client when they ask for something at the last minute but I am not sure that is the way it should be.  Most people just don't understand that it is not ideal to hand a DVD or CD or thumb drive to the technician five minutes before the event starts.  It really takes some time to test everything and make sure it is working well before the event starts so that we can fix problems if there are any and work out kinks.

What do you think is the best way for technical people to share the amount of work that goes into even the simplest event?  What is a good starting point for dialogue between the general public and the technical staff?

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