Celebrating Graduation! [w/ Live-Streams and more]
Though I am the Sales Manager here, I like to help out if and when I can with anything that might need it. So last week, I agreed to set up and work a Live-Stream and Video Recording Production for a local high school. With impending graduations rapidly approaching for many schools and colleges in the area, this particular event was the Senior Awards Ceremony.
6:30 AM, I arrive at the office. The familiar sandy gold SUV reverse parked and facing the lot entrance like some great guardian beast of the front door.
After a swift shock to my throat of torrid mint-green tea from my thermos, I step out of the driver’s side ready to begin loading equipment. With the lights off, the trunk closed, and the vehicle’s tailpipe breathing its steady rumble, I quickly assumed that the boss must be inside, arriving just before I had.
Instead, I yank against a locked door, notice last night’s prepped equipment amiss, and my eyes find movement in the driver’s seat of his ride. His gaze scaling the blue-light scroll of email, project notes, and all associated correspondence involving our project, stopped and found me swinging around the hood of his car.
We immediately set off, before I had time to ask, “Is there any other equipment I need to grab?”
I still asked my question –ignoring all context at this time in the day– to which Brent replied, “Man, I’ve been up here since 4 AM. I just like to make sure I check that everything is ready. Double-check, Triple-check, Quadruple-check, and by that time, it’s usually time to go.”
So, we were ready. You have to be. Live-streams are projects unlike any others; they are the guerilla warfare of video production, and the process of setting up is no joke.
The drive went quickly, and once we had arrived at the high school, we had rehashed the details, roles, setup, technical aspects, and all of intricacies for the production; so by the time he and I pull up, the nervous fervor and excitement had settled and evened into a smooth train of eager focus.
Our contact met us at the entrance that leads into the side of the school’s auditorium and men’s gymnasium. It’s been years since I’ve been inside a high school. Do they all smell the same? A mixture of rubber-like a new pair of shoes, the smell of sweat that drifts in and out of the air, and the faint hint of cleaners, chemicals, floor wax all underlying feelings of nostalgia for that four year time of our lives that never ‘feels like it was that long ago’.
By the time I carried in our second load of equipment, I couldn’t help but feel a bit honored and proud for the opportunity to be a part of this event; I was going to help capture these moments, and transform them into something eternal for these young men and women. For their parents, grandparents, siblings, children, loved ones, we were actively engaged in building an untarnishable treasure to immortalize the memory. And for their academic institution, our company was able to reach those who could not attend, so that they –just like those seated behind and around me in the crowd– were involved in the experience.
And it was in thinking of those who could not be there that I began fully developing my appreciation for all of it. As the memories of my own awards ceremony fluttered in and out of my thoughts like a string through the eye of a needle, the reality of the one that was to take place here would be quite different; utterly different, in fact.
The ceremony went along flawlessly (no trips, falls, or stumbles) with each new speaker, every round of chord bestowal, the shift of each new face passing at every physical height, all presenting a constant dance of nuanced challenges for our creative engagement. For Live-Streams, there are no do-overs. This is why strategic preparation is so crucial. But, there is no way to plan for any and everything; if this past year has taught us one life lesson, it should be that.
Everywhere I looked, corners of mouths perked and eyes crinkled: they were all still so happy. The parents, the students, the faculty were all in the best of spirits. After an entire year of living in constant uncertainty and adaptation, these people were facing the experience with a smile on their faces.
My mother is a teacher for Caddo Parish, and she has certainly kept me informed of the trials and anxieties that have taken (and continue to take) place, but I will never completely comprehend what this year has been for the teachers and the young adults they are trying to help. I assume that happy days have been a little harder to come by for these seniors.
But not during this particular time, during their ceremony, with all of their loved ones able to watch and share the moment, and this --I believe-- is the point. In the years and decades that will follow, the students graduating this year will almost certainly reflect upon 2020-2021; when they do, how will they remember it?
Will it be the year of hopeless struggle? Or, could it be the year of triumph? I like to think that, while those fresh minds walked across the stage, while their parents cheered from the crowd (periodically tapping one of us on the shoulder, “Can I get a copy of this?”) and the ones at home watched the Live-Stream, that this was a moment of triumph. And that is how it will always be remembered.
Because we were given the opportunity to attend, record, and stream such an occasion, those families now have something to remind themselves that, against all odds, they overcame something no other senior class in recent history has had to overcome. And at the conclusion of it all, they ended it with a smile.
Graduations are almost here, but it isn’t too late to contact Young Pros Entertainment and schedule something to commemorate the dedication it required to triumph over this year.
Whether it is live-streaming the
ceremony and/or post-grad party, producing a high-light video (also great for professional/academic profiles and applications) or a small promotional video to acknowledge their success, YPE is available and prepared to craft a memorable experience that will never be forgotten.
Contact our offices at (318) 759-7767 and/or message email@example.com. If you would like to speak with me directly, I would love to hear from you, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org