When COVID-19 forced Los Angeles to shutdown in early 2020, the Adventurers’ club shut its doors for the first time since opening 100 years ago. At the time, I was on the Board of Directors as the 1st Vice President and Programs Chairman. My responsibility was to make sure we booked speakers for our Thursday night meetings.
When we shut our doors, I had to cancel my entire calendar of speakers. To keep the stories alive, I decided to pivot towards a live YouTube broadcast from the club with a skeleton crew (myself and Andy Medina). These types of activities were deemed permissible under the stay-at-home orders that were in effect.
We had begun building a modest streaming setup at the club beforehand. I took that setup, cleared the back half of our meeting hall, and established a studio. We authorized the purchase of more equipment as well as dug out a lot of old stuff that had been squirreled away in the club’s closets. We borrowed equipment from members, and leaned on Hollywood talent to help design our set.
The result was the facility for a professional live broadcast from our club. Technically, our capabilities are nearly indistinguishable from a professional TV broadcast. The purchases of all the cameras, lenses, computers, mixers, switchers, microphones and lights was under $5,000.
We shifted our presentation format from a formal lecture style to a 1 on 1 interview format. This format proved to be more engaging and also easier to for guests. They didn’t have to prepare a lecture, nor did they have to worry about giving a long monologue. People can watch live and ask questions in the chat.
I quickly filled out our calendar of guests. Each week I research our guest, meet them at the club for the live interview, do the ‘show,’ then go home and create short clips of the long for interview and create custom graphics to make our YouTube channel look good.
Andy Medina handles the live switching while I give the interview, Ken Hudson blasts out everything to our Facebook pages, and Matt Nadu handles our Instagram.
At the end of it, the Adventurers’ Club now has a format to tell stories of adventure to the world. When we re-open our doors, we will again be the gathering place for those who venture off the beaten path in search of adventure.