The title of this post is a hint at the rest of the story below. Imagine attending or organizing an event (kids athletic event, performance, conference, party, reception, speech, etc.) that is not “professionally” captured on video. However, there are several individuals capturing the event on various video devices from all the different angles, how do you combine multiple video streams into one great video? The current answer is you get an editor to sync everything up, and choose which video stream to focus on at every specific point in time, then produce it all in the format you want. In other words, you pay someone a lot of money to do it for you, manually, and it takes a long time. The pros (network TV) do it, because they’re pros and they have million dollar budgets. How do the rest of us do it?
Well, the “event” I’m talking about above is Pitch Practice, and here’s how we became an early beta user to the entrepreneur who pitched a technology that solves the dilemma described above.
Pitch Practice Became The Customer
We started Pitch Practice in mid-2013. In late 2016, I created The Pitch Practice Podcast, which lasted just a few months before I realized I could not keep up with the production demands all by myself. in January of 2018, I relaunched the podcast along with a Youtube Channel after I retooled and created a much simpler production process. We’ve even tried using Periscope and Facebook LIVE, but I still wasn’t satisfied with the results. Nothing came close to recreating the organically fun, interactive, learning environment that always happens at Pitch Practice. And that was, is, and always will be the goal of any sort of digital version of Pitch Practice.
But we keep trying, in a never ending effort to help new entrepreneurs have a slightly better shot at success. In the end, it is the entrepreneur who can better articulate their value to their target audience who wins. That’s why we keep trying to share the Pitch Practice experience with everyone we can.
The Pitch that Got Our Attention
Then this past January, Brian Hardy, a former Deloitte IT Consultant, showed up at Pitch Practice. Brian’s pitch was a little choppy. We all gave him some advice on what we thought would work better, and moved on to the next pitch. Brian returned the following week with a much brushed up version of his pitch.
“Have you ever wanted to get “the video” from that event you attended, but the event wasn’t professionally recorded? ActionZone lets you combine multiple video streams from your event into one single stream of synchronized video. ActionZone software eliminates 3 cameramen and an editor.”
The second he completed his practice rendition of his 30-second elevator pitch, my friend and Youtube sensation, Ed Bolian, and I looked at each other and knew exactly what was coming next.
“I should use this for Pitch Practice!” This exercise clearly demonstrates the value of being able to articulate both the problem and your solution to the right audience. The week before, Brian had pitched the same software as a service, but we didn’t hear it. We didn’t “get it.” This time, we got it.
I asked Brian to meet after the Pitch Practice session. He agreed, and then we planned to do a beta test of his software at the next session of Pitch Practice.
The First Experiment: Combine Multiple Video Streams
On February 1st, Brian brought three GoPro cameras equipped with battery packs (instantly preventing one of our earlier fails) and his software. We installed one camera at the head of the room, and asked for volunteers in the Pitch Practice audience to run the other two cameras. This scenario works well because the folks who weren’t there to pitch now got involved in the production of the event.
The result was an entirely more “real” video viewing experience. While not perfect, this experience comes far closer to putting the viewer in the mix of Pitch Practice. Below is our first video published using this new method from ActionZone. Using Brian’s software, we combined multiple video streams into one synchronized video in just a few minutes.
We captured five pitches that day, all of which will be shared on Youtube shortly. Not bad for the first try, but it wasn’t perfect. The GoPro cameras did not capture the audio the way we had them configured and spaced out. Also, we didn’t place the stationary mounted camera at a very good location or viewing angle.
Keep Experimenting; Keep Learning
On February 22, we ran the new format again. This time, I brought a ZOOM Audio Recording device in addition to 3 GoPros, and we had three people hold the cameras instead of mounting one camera to be stationary. The results were greatly improved, and those videos will be shared on our Youtube Channel shortly.
Next up for ActionZone Video
Brian is now getting ready to launch an MVP to offer his SaaS product to event organizers. His goal: to find the ideal customer for this video synchronization service. If you’d like to try out the ActionZone Video software, please reach out to Brian on LinkedIn.