Publications Students Take On New Challenge

Livestreaming becomes popular option to broadcast sports and theater performances

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LHS Publications

Jayce Haun (10) uses OBS (a live-streaming software) to prepare for the streaming of the football game.

Rhett Cunningham, Talon Yearbook Co-editor-in-chief

Due to strict COVID-19 spectator regulations, the fall sports season brought a unique set of challenges for being able to keep up with games. In addition, Liberty’s publications program was unable to resume their regular coverage styles, especially with such demand for additional news and updates. All of these factors led to the conclusion that livestreaming was the best and safest option. 

As the livestream team worked out a good system for fall sports coverage, the theater department was ready to bring the next challenge to the team. When the theater department announced that they were able to perform their 2020 one-act, a normal filled audience was not an option with the pandemic. The theater department decided to work with the live stream team to pre-record the show, so audience members could watch it in the safety of their home. 

“I was a little nervous about recording a show with students,” theatre director Ms. Gehrke said. “Not because of them being students, but because the idea of recording and live streaming a show is something that was brand new to me, and the pressure was on because this would be a major way we’d be able to include an audience during this COVID-19 era. But as soon as I saw them come in with all their equipment, and saw how organized they were, I felt so much better.”

It wasn’t just the teachers that were nervous at first. Sophomore Jayce Haun, the head of the livestream team, was also skeptical.

“I was a little hesitant when I was told about the theater show as I had only ever done sports livestreaming before. Once we got rolling with the show, I started to feel more comfortable and it all turned out great,” Haun said. 

I was a little hesitant when I was told about the theater show as I had only ever done sports livestreaming before. Once we got rolling with the show, I started to feel more comfortable and it all turned out great.”

— Jayce Haun

Going into the rehearsal process, the big question, “Can we make this happen?” was answered within the first few days. With just a few differences from previous streams, the stream team got more and more comfortable with the mechanics of setting up and recording.

“One major way it was different was that it was a lot more face-paced and detail-oriented. We also had multiple takes, where in sports it’s just an on the fly thing,” junior Sruthi Ramesh explained. “It also helped that we were inside so it wasn’t completely freezing as we got later into the night.”

Mr. Eversole, the technical advisor, found himself fine-tuning sound from the actors’ mics even more than usual. “It was awesome working with the live stream team because I got to see problem-solving done in real-time. They really worked as a professional team and didn’t settle for anything less than the best that they could do,” he said. 

Anna Wright, a sophomore who was a lead in the show, said it was a really cool experience and something she has never gotten to do before.  “The team was all really professional and seemed like they knew what they were doing. They made sure to get the best angles possible and the finished product was amazing.” 

COVID-19 has brought many different changes and challenges to all activities, but students have found new creative ways to still make things happen and made memories while doing it. 

“Throughout 2020, I’ve been trying to look for small silver linings, and this experience became a big silver lining. If we hadn’t been in a position where we needed to stream a show, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work together in this way, and now it’s opened up so many more possibilities for collaboration. I’m hoping we can collaborate again on our future performances,” Ms. Gehrke said. 

The winter sports season and both of the upcoming theater productions are set to be live-streamed.