So SQLBits took to the docks of Liverpool for this years event and Big Blue Whale were there again to provide the opportunity for people to step in front of the camera as one of their favourite sci-fi characters, space monsters or simply to have a photo or video with new friends.
It has been one of our biggest jobs of the year so far and involved setting up a green screen video and photo booth for the conference attendees. We had the full team on this one with Jim and Pete working the video booth and Scott and Chris on the photo booth. We also had a helping hand from Jody who was shooting event stills throughout the night. This year’s party was space themed and there were plenty of great costumes. As you can imagine the Star Wars fans were out in force!
The lead up to the event was a busy time with Chris and Jim working hard to bring all the elements needed for the two booths together. Preparation was key to bringing the two green screen booths to life. It was also very important that the booths looked good on location and that they were enticing and encouraged people to come over and check it out. To this end we rented a star cloth that fit in nicely with the space theme and also acted as the housing for the booths. Chris put a day aside to make sure that he was happy with all the technical aspects of the job so on the night he could quickly and confidently get the photo edits done and then print them using the specialist printer ready for the attendees.
Jim was in charge of all prep for the video booth and after a brainstorming session the two video scenarios were decided upon, a space battle with blasters and a spaceship that was under attack. Jim then started work creating the assets needed for the scenarios which included creating from scratch a spaceship bridge as well as a space station. This took time as we wanted it to look as good as we could get it and was only the first step in the process. Jim then had to animate all the elements to bring the scenarios to life. Once fully animated Chris and Jim setup a green screen to test that the scenarios worked. Thankfully they came out looking great and only a couple of minor tweaks were needed to get them ready for the night.
The team set off Friday morning to get to the Liverpool Exhibition Centre in good time. Once there we got to work setting up the two green screens, making sure the lights were perfectly positioned and setting up two behind the scenes work stations so we could edit and print the photos on the night as well as edit the videos as they were being filmed. Chris was on one work station doing all the photography and Jim was on the other editing the videos. Front of house were Scott on photos and Pete on the video booth working hard getting the attendees involved and making it feel like they were on a movie set. With Jim editing and rendering the videos on the night attendees could log online and watch their videos within hours of filming their masterpieces.
Scott’s job was to greet the guests at the photo booth, explain how everything worked in terms of producing the printed images and then taking the actual photos themselves. Chris had prepared a variety of space themed backgrounds for the images so once the images were shot in front of the green screen they were passed for processing where people were placed on the moon or floating in a nebula. The prints were then laid out and people could collect them within 20 mins or so. We were busy all evening and proved very popular I think in part because we offered a memorable souvenir for what had been a very enjoyable and informative week for the attendees and speakers alike.
It was a long 20 hour day from load in to load out but there was plenty of fun along the way. Chris’ unrelenting commitment to obtaining a sub standard and highly overpriced sausage roll was second to non and at about 3am he finally took a banger in the mouth!