tfttf302 – The Tricaster Disaster

Leo Laporte - Still HappyIt was such a perfect plan: Drive up to Petaluma, enter the TWiT Dungeon Cottage, take over Leo’s TWiT Live TV and make him talk to me about photography for at least two hours while sending me tons of new followers to Twitter and new subscribers to Tips from the Top Floor. But as we all know, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. So did mine. And it wasn’t even my fault. Neither Leo’s.

Let’s get semi techy for a minute here. The TWiT Cottage has an elaborate broadcast setup that consists of 5 cameras, a ton of LED-based lights, great architecture (including dark red drapes, giving this a beautiful Steam Punk type of feel) and a system called Tricaster. Tricaster is at the heart of video processing, making it possible for Leo Laporte to switch live between cameras, to add effects, titles, lower-thirds and so on.

Leo Laporte - Let's Wiggle StuffTricaster is an XP-based system. Not only is it very flexible, but it can also record the video for later use. Such as on Leo’s planned ToDCast (which stands for “TWiT On Demand” – a podcast of the TWiT Live show). And my appearance on TWiT Live was supposed to be the prototype for ToDCast. It was important. World-shakingly important. Leo knew that, and so did I. The only piece of the equation that didn’t want to cooperate was the Tricaster. It blue-screened right in the middle of the broadcast. In all fairness, this was probably down to a faulty hard-drive but it still foiled my plans for world domination.

Leo Laporte - Hmmmmm...Oh well, as much as Leo tried to fix things, he didn’t succeed. There was no way to quickly revive the Tricaster. While I took some pictures to document the disaster and while I tried to let the world know via Twitter, I also recorded a short piece of audio with Leo to make sure everyone knew what was going on behind the scenes. This is what you can hear in this short episode of Tips from the Top Floor.

As we had discussed some really interesting things around photography on camera, Leo promised to try salvage from the faulty disk whatever Tricaster had recorded up to this point and make it available to me, so I can bring at least some of the video to you on this feed. Stay tuned (and stay subscribed)…

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Author: Chris Marquardt

Chris Marquardt is co-author of The Film Photography Handbook and Absolut analog. He's the host of this podcast and a few others. Chris teaches photography all over the world. He is a regular on the TWiT Network.