Liv­ing the live life should be left to the pro­fes­sion­als

Chevy High Performance - - Contents - Nick Li­cata Nick.Li­[email protected]­

When I was a young

teenager ped­al­ing my Sch­winn Sting-Ray and nav­i­gat­ing my way through life in a typ­i­cal mid­dle-class neigh­bor­hood in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, live al­bums were all the rage. We had Framp­ton Comes Alive, Kiss Alive, Foghat Live, Aero­smith Live, the Who was Live at Leeds, the Wings were Over Amer­ica, and Cheap Trick did the live thing in Bu­dokan.

To­day, the whole “live” thing means some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent. Now it’s all about Face­book Live, In­sta­gram Live, YouTube Live, and what­ever hap­pens to be the next so­cial me­dia ve­hi­cle to take us live. Can we do live tweets yet? If we can’t now, I’d imag­ine it’s com­ing soon. It’s crazy, I tell ya.

I’m just thank­ful we didn’t have smart­phones and Go Pro cam­eras when I was a kid or I would have got­ten in way more trou­ble than I did. Rid­ing our bikes off Bill Ashkin’s roof and into his pool went un­der the parental radar back then, and had we posted a live video of that, I’m pretty sure we would have been stopped be­fore even at­tempt­ing it. Or at the very least we’d have got­ten in ma­jor trou­ble once one of our par­ents saw the out­come on­line. There were quite a few other things we did that wouldn’t have got­ten the “parental ap­proval” stamp, but I don’t have the time to get into each of those. Be­sides, I can’t re­mem­ber all of them any­way, which is prob­a­bly a good thing.

Now, this live stuff isn’t all bad. It can be good if you re­ally want to share your kid’s base­ball or bas­ket­ball game with grandma and grandpa or show your son’s grad­u­a­tion or your daugh­ter’s wed­ding live so all your rel­a­tives who live thou­sands of miles away can wit­ness those spe­cial mo­ments, too.

It’s to­tally amaz­ing that we have the tech­nol­ogy to do all that now, but when some of us reg­u­lar folk at­tempt to do live video at an au­to­mo­tive event or in­ter­view some­one of in­ter­est in our in­dus­try, nine times out of ten the nar­ra­tion falls flat; ei­ther pho­net­i­cally or due to lack of speak­ing tal­ent. There are ex­cep­tions to the rule, but they are few and far be­tween, so it’s best to leave that up to the pro­fes­sion­als. I’ve seen enough poorly shot and bad-sound­ing Face­book Live streams to last me two life­times. Trust me on this. There is a rea­son “Broad­cast Jour­nal­ism and Doc­u­men­tary” and “Tele­vi­sion Writ­ing and Pro­duc­tion” cour­ses are of­fered at the col­lege ed­u­ca­tion level.

I, for one, rec­og­nize my lim­i­ta­tions in the sound and video world. My vo­cal range is not made for ra­dio, tele­vi­sion, or YouTube Live. I prob­a­bly have what they call “a face for ra­dio.” Or in my case; a mag­a­zine.

Also, in the age of Go Pro cam­eras, we stick those things on our cars while on the lo­cal au­tocross and think we are go­ing to make a re­ally cool ac­tion video of our car haul­ing ass on the track. Un­for­tu­nately, the speed and ex­cite­ment of driv­ing an au­tocross rarely trans­lates well, so we end up with a bor­ing video of us driv­ing around some or­ange cones at what looks like a pretty slow pace.

My point here is that we’ve now put cam­eras just about ev­ery­where we can, so it’s no longer new or ex­cit­ing. Sure, you can do some cre­ative edit­ing and pump in some fit­ting mu­sic, which cer­tainly helps the cause, but again, proper edit­ing re­quires the proper ed­u­ca­tion in film pro­duc­tion where one can learn the skills nec­es­sary to put to­gether an in­ter­est­ing piece—live or recorded.

Let’s face it; most of us at­tempt­ing to dou­ble as a live video host just aren’t very good. So let’s put down the smart­phone, get back to wrench­ing, driv­ing, or what­ever you are good at and leave the “we live, baby” stuff to the pro­fes­sion­als. Your friends will ap­pre­ci­ate it, I’ll ap­pre­ci­ate it, and I know the guys with ex­pe­ri­ence will re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it.

I say go­ing live with­out a net should be left to the more skilled folks.

You in?

That one time I had my shot do­ing video on Hot Rod Un­lim­ited. I never got asked back.

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