My Swashbuckling Life: How Live at 5 Works

Here’s how a story gets to be on ATV’s Live at Five program.

At 10:45 a.m. I was in the basement of the Shaw Building at the Queen’s Printer and a call came in on my cell phone from Dan Viau, ATV’s only videographer on the Island. He had been assigned to do one third of a story about “music piracy” and his task was to get the question “how do we stop this?” answered by experts. He’d started with Kevin O’Brien, and Kevin suggested he call me.

I told Dan I wasn’t an expert, but that I could certainly comment on the folly of trying to copy protect — to “keep the genie in the bottle,” as it were. We made arrangements to meet at my house at Noon.

About five minutes after twelve, I spied Dan smoking a cigarette out on the sidewalk in my front yard, and went out to talk to him. I know Dan a little bit because when he’s not a shooter/reporter for ATV, he runs The Toy Factory in New Glasgow, and is a member of the PEI Crafts Council, which is where I started working when we moved to the Island a decade ago.

Dan came into my office, we opened up the blinds to get some light on me (I’d earlier cleaned up my desk to give an “efficient professional” look to the place), and he set up his camera tripod, clipped a wireless microphone to my shirt, and got his camera in place. The camera itself is interesting: it’s a digital video camera that’s got a super long battery life, an integrated light, and power for the wireless mic, all of which make Dan’s work — he has no cameraman and has to shoot everything himself — a little bit easier.

With a copy of Acquisition running in the background on my iMac, Dan sat opposite me and started shooting.

Our interview, which went on for about 15 minutes, covered mostly the issue of whether keeping music from being pirated is possible, but also extended into questions of morality, and who’s being hurt by piracy. He moved the camera around a couple of times to get shots of me using the mouse, searching for music, and so on. And then we were done.

Dan loaded up his gear into his Jeep Liberty, and went off to edit.

You can see the finished clip [6.2MB QuickTime]. Please note that in my “for educational purposes only” demonstration, at least I am ripping off Canadian music. Also please note that if I truly have “25 years of computer experience,” we’re working from a starting point of age 12; I’m not sure if all of those years count as valid “industry experience.”

The weirdest thing for me is seeing that, somehow, my widow’s peak is on the other side of my head when I’m on television. I think it has something to do with the mirror in the bathroom reversing things. Spatial geometry is not my strong suit. The point that I tried to make that Dan left out is that I believe artists deserve to be fairly compensated for their work, and that the existing economic setup of the industry doesn’t allow this.

This was the tail story of a set of three. As a group, they tilted a little bit more towards the “renegade savvy computer geeks swashbuckling against authority” than I would have skewed it. And there wasn’t a lot of richness in their examination of the subtleties of the issues involved. But then again, it was all produced in a day, so what can you expect.

Also in Dan’s piece are clips with Alet Pieterse who I worked with several years ago on a potato project with Rob Paterson. She’s a sharp thinker.

For those of you intrigued with the view into the secret Reinvented Bunker, here is a key should you wish to purchase these items for home use:

I’m off to listen to Gordon Lightfoot, and to wait for the call from ATV’s lawyers telling me I ripped off their Live at 5 story and put it on the web.

Comments

Mark's picture
Mark on June 27, 2003 - 16:33

hey peter any chance of encoding that to a mpeg file, the whole work comps dont like quicktime ..

Dita's picture
Dita on June 27, 2003 - 19:37

Looking good.. love the Mac action also..

I agree, it’s hard to justify paying for music when it’s right there. However, in some cases it’s just not the same as buying a nice new copy of a CD, with a great insert and loads of pictures. While some things I would download, others I would could not imagine not buying.

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on June 27, 2003 - 20:10

All that great iMac screen arm engineering and you have it propped up on a phone book?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 27, 2003 - 23:03

That is a high-quality Aliant phone book, atop a high quality 1992 Canadian Postal Code directory.

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