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MATI Debuts its first video podcast

On 25 January 2016, the Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters (MATI) debuted its first video podcast. This 30 minute video was conceived to be a complement to the quarterly newsletter published by the Communications Committee. To the best of my knowledge, MATI is the first ATA Chapter to produce a video podcast with the intent of producing one quarterly. So, as this podcast was my brainchild, and as I would like to encourage other ATA chapters to do the same, I thought I would take the time to explain what happened behind the scenes in producing the first video podcast and show that putting it together does not take as much time as one would think.

Back in the July of 2015, I was installed as Vice President of MATI at the annual business meeting. Among the items on the agenda which included a multitude of tech-related items that the board had been holding back until my installment, I added that I, as a translator, did not necessarily want to read when I was done with work for the day. In fact, when I arrive back home, reading is the last thing on my mind. It was for this reason that I argued for a video podcast as surely other translators shared the same mindset. This was well-received as a fresh approach to disseminating information to our members in the second decade of the 21st century.

I worked for a couple months making sure the approach was correct and the environment I was creating was the idea I was portraying with the intent of formally announcing the podcast at MATI12 in Merrillville, IN. On 26 September 2015, during my closing remarks at MATI12, I played this teaser video for the attendees. The response was overwhelming. I guess that for other members, it was a “why weren’t we doing that before?” moment, like when Kilgray introduced the DTP package in 2014.

Unfortunately, the podcast was put on a back burner for a few months because I got busy at work and with other organizations I am involved with, but every now and then, I would revisit my planning document to make little tweaks to the plan and other adjustments. Then, out of nowhere, the new year happened and suddenly I found myself rubbing elbows with other MATI members again at the holiday party. It was then that I resolved to not leave it an abandoned project any longer. I got the Communications Committee together along with the MATI Secretary, established an outline, and gave them each different items that I thought were important to discuss. I also told them that the idea should not be mini-presentations, but a discussion of topics and that the more we discussed the items and had a conversation, the more enjoyable the episode would be. They each submitted varying degrees of outlines, from my bulleted list of discussion topics to something that could only have been described as a short novel.

Despite technical issues the morning of recording, I was really proud of the team that assembled for the first podcast. They overcame nerves and fears and we got a discussion going about different things that were affecting the association and the industry. My target time was about fifteen minutes, assuming everyone else would say what they wanted and get out. However, we got to talking and the recording itself went on for 45 minutes to an hour.

For the first session, we had a simple conversation over Google Hangout. I recorded our session with liteCam Game which is normally used to record video game play, but it could also have been done with Open Broadcaster Software or any other desktop recording software. The webcam I use is a Logitech C920 HD 1080p Pro Computer Webcam this renders a clearer image than the built-in webcam and the resulting video on the recording is fairly good. I also have a Sony Handycam camcorder that allows me to record video on location in 1080p. With footage from all these sources, I can bring them all together and edit them into one movie with Final Cut Pro X (FCP X) on my Mac (the only reason I still keep my 2009 Mac around is for video editing).

After the hour for recording, an additional half-hour for re-recording my parts (I had forgotten to tell the program to record audio from the webcam microphone), putting it all together in FCP X took about an hour and a half to two hours. After that, I exported the video, uploaded it to YouTube, and the first podcast was posted! Sure the first one is a bit rocky, but moving forward, the podcasts will get more fluid, the presenters will become more comfortable with recording, and editing these together will become second nature. My eternal gratitude to Alaina, Meghan, and Amy for collaborating with me on this first one.

Watch the first podcast below. We’d love to hear your comments either comment on the video or send comments to matiemail@gmail.com. If any ATA Chapter leader would like more information on how to get a podcast or video podcast started, please feel free to contact me, I would be more than willing to help.

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