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(186) Hanging in there


On this week’s show we talk to Marcus John Henry Brown about his latest work Hanging in There. You can also find his previous work on his YouTube Channel here:

This week’s automatically generated transcript…


Matt: Well welcome once again to WB 40 and you join us in the bubble, that is the show. And another week in this strange old time has passed us by Chris. Well, it’s

Chris: been another week, isn’t it it’s been a lot going on in, in inside work and outside work too much of it probably. But it’s been, yeah, I guess I am in that stage now where.

Hey, this happens every March where I am, I’m desperate for the sun to come out and sort of go outside and, and warm my bones outside, where it remains relentless and cold and miserable. So I’ve been a bit grumpy about that. But I, you know, life goes on and also I had some good news and as much my brother tells me that he’s going to be a father for the very first time, which means that that’s it means that I’ve got some more inkling to do And his his partner is is Zoe who I was on the podcast for you again a couple of years ago, if you, if you remember back that far.

So it was I climate. So we are that that’s going to be extremely exciting later this year. So, you know, there’s lots of things to be positive about.

Matt: Excellent. Yeah, that was the opportunity you had to be able to sit in John Humphrey’s chair. I remember it. Well, I remember correctly, very exciting. And that was and joining us once again on the show direct from Munich in Germany.

Marcus, how are you?

Marcus: Ah, good evening. Good afternoon. Good morning to you all wherever you are in the world. I am. Hanging in there, ladies and gentlemen, I’m hanging in there. It’s been a difficult time, lots to get upset about, but I’m delighted to be back on the podcast.

Matt: It’s very good to be able to see you again and hanging in there as a thing, we will come to a little later in the show cause that’s the title of your latest piece which actually was released today.

The day we recording Monday the 15th of the year.

Marcus: That’s not true. That’s not, that’s not true. It was released in March the 11th.

Matt: Ugh. Well, okay. You tweeted about it this morning. No,

Marcus: I tweeted about it last week, but you never paid damn piece of attention to watch all this, but it doesn’t matter. We’re not, but please don’t edit this out.

It just shows what a competent. And

Chris: it’s all going very well.

Marcus: I was two, Y’s all going very, very well, but I’m delighted to be here. And hello everybody.

Chris: And we are delighted to have you Marcus. It is a it’s great. And there’s, which is your very presence. Is it, is it, I don’t know whether Matt seems to be discombobulated by the whole thing.

It’s fantastic. So I put much your week. How’s it been?

Matt: It’s just, you know, another one of those chugging away had a few major revelations. I caught up with the head of technology at Kingston council. We had a great walk in person cause he is just on the other side of the river from here. So we were able to catch up and also be in the same physical presence, socially distances.

We walked one side of the tent. Did you

Chris: have to share it across the teams with each other? Is

Matt: that , that’s probably better. Ridiculous. Keeping an entire river between people is probably a little extreme. And apart from that, I’ve got my my first COVID vaccination booked in for a little later this week, which is good.

And I am about to embark on a whole series of half-day training programs at work, which is going to be. Interesting as to what it’s all about, to be honest, there’s some stuff around better collaboration across organizational silos and that’s going to be a day of the week ahead. So that’s all good stuff to look for.

Yeah. You know, chucking away. All good. We just wait for basically a bit more. Locked down stuff to release, hopefully in some point in the near future this week we are going to be talking to Mark as Mark has been doing lots of work around do people understand how to deliver more compelling video on line when we’re working in a virtual environment for events and such like, so we’re going to talk a bit about that on the show this week.

So let’s crack on.

Main Section

Matt: So over the course of this interminable series of lockdowns Marcus, you’ve been busily producing some amazing bits of video content, some videos that helps be able to explore ideas about how to get better at making compelling content during a time where we’re not meeting in person. You’ve put out a new short piece today called hanging in there.

And tell us a bit about that.

Marcus: Yeah, well, I was trying to ask answer the the very, very difficult question that everybody seems to be asking at the beginning, beginning of every zoom or video call, which is hi. And it, it’s a question which is very, very difficult to answer right now because when the kind of not great being British you kind of eat you don’t Germans.

When, when you ask a German, how are you? And they’re not very well done. I say, well, not very well, it’s quite jarring because you don’t want to hear that. Nobody wants to hear that. I know very well. And it’s one of the wonderful, wonderful things about the pandemic as it is. So it’s a gloriously democratic it’s hitting us all hard.

So everybody is not doing great. It doesn’t matter if you have, you know, kids at school. It doesn’t matter if you kids grown up like mine doesn’t matter if you don’t have kids at all. If you’re single alone in a one room flat center of Munich, or if you have a Villa, although if you have a Villa is property, there might be a little bit better than, you know, the one bedroom flat things, but we’re all in this pandemic and doing, going through various levels of.

Difficult nurse. So I wanted to run thing about how I was feeling, how I am, how to answer the question, Marcus, how are you? But it would in a way, which was kind of relevant to the context of where we all are. I’ve been stumbling on struggling for the last 12. Months to find a way of creating a performance or a piece or a piece of video, which wasn’t necessarily a how to do a online performance or online presentation, but to do a proper piece, which was four hour, had a beginning, a middle and an end and touch people’s hearts and made them think about where we all were.

And I’d be hopeful and be emotional and really, really struggling with it. Partly because I was just in the same struggle that we all are. I think we all have to admit that things take much more time. Now we’re much more sluggish were timed, notionally exhausted by it, all it all. I think that’s a really good way of describing it all is.

The it all. And then I stumbled on I think Julia Hoppesborne, who was your guest? A couple of weeks ago? Posted a or tweeted an article for Nerf financial times, which outlined Stanford university study about zoom fatigue. Fascinating study. It’s not really a study cause, and they say that in the study that it’s not really a study, it’s just a series of questions and some findings and more, but could somebody do a proper study on this?

Cause it’s really interesting, but a lot of the stuff that was in there was basically a toolkit for doing better online presentations. On one side and on the other side kind of like the kick up the ass that I needed to right. Hanging in there, hanging in there is, is kind of

I know it’s a it’s basically a zoom. I’m having a zoom call with myself and I’m asking myself, I am. And it’s quite raw. And it seems to have touched people and that really, really pleased me. So, yeah. So that’s, that’s hanging in those it’s a four and a half minute video about how we are one year into a pandemic.

Matt: And I thought it was beautiful. I thought there was a, a level of emotion in it. And especially when you’re talking about seeing your kids and that sense of disconnection from others, it was a it’s. Yeah, really, really? Yeah. Arching I think is the right word for it.

Marcus: That really, really makes me happy big, cause those are the bits that really really mean something.

To me there’s a bit of a, a kind of a departure from the stuff that I’ve been doing before. So a lot of the work that I’ve been done before, stuff like the passing, which I think we talked about in the last podcast here That’s very detached. It’s very cold. And I’m kind of looking at a situation and trying to describe it in a, in a very detached narrative dystopian kind of fictional way.

This one is much, much more personal. And there there are bits in there which are real and raw, and there were other bits in there which are kind of more

Scripted. So the bit it’s about yeah, but that, that, that describing a feeling that I get when I talk to people. So on this call right now, while your listeners don’t know is the we are actually having a video call when I’m looking at Chris and Matt. And there’s a part in hanging in there where I talk about looking at them and re really looking at people on the call and re are they really you guys rarely hanging in there are your fing you know, are your knuckles, why is your grip still tight or are your fingers or your fingertips lippy too?

So it was kind of like it’s a way of describing a particular feeling, but then there were other real, proper bits and like not seeing the kids the fact that they’re not kids anymore, they’re grown women, that realization that I live in a course of a year. And you can have, you can go from having free daughters to free grown women.

In your life. The, my youngest will be turned 21 this year, and I’ve only seen her, I don’t know, maybe two or three times in the last 12 months. And I haven’t seen the middle one since Christmas of 2019. So there’s a lot of stuff in there. Cause you know, it describes you know, when you have kids and they grow up and they start have a diary.

That doesn’t fit in that diary. And then when a pandemic comes along, that kind of makes the diary entries possible, the possibilities to fit into that diary, even, even slimmer. So so it makes me, it really means something that you say that map because it, there is a very, very personal. Pace and it feels like it it’s kind of sent me down a different path for you know, the performances that I will probably be doing in the future.

The Le less kind of story universe as a more kind of personal.

Matt: It’s interesting because the, the work that I know you for has been. You playing characters and Ashley to the move to be able to use some of the techniques that you’ve been talking about in the last year about how to be able to produce video in a way that people want to watch it and be able to consume.

And I think there’s a bit of a character around that. That’s that’s marvelous. Brown the the presentation training person, as opposed to necessarily the Marcus that is in that video that you put out today.

Marcus: Yeah. I mean, there were a bits of there were bits of that in there. One of the things I do when I’m, when I’m training people, eh, is to talk about giving 20% more of yourself than you’re prepared to give.

It’s a  the camera is in one of the, you know, one of the, how to videos that I released last year that went down very well. That the camera sucks energy out of you is that there’s a completely different energy that you need to bring for this black dot that we’ve been staring into for the last 12 months.

Audio, the microphone is also something that you, you need to use. You need to know how to work with and hanging in there as is a, is an exercise in both of those two things. So you have, for those of you who haven’t seen it my th the, the text is read by me. It’s a voice over. But what you see is me listening to myself saying the voiceover.

So I’m having to give the 20% version visual version of me without saying the words. So it’s, again, it’s just another, in a way it’s an, an performative experiment for me. It’s something that I’ve been considering for a while, but could never, and could never find the entry point for it. But the, the zoom study from Stanford university was that entry point.

The idea of gazing that the, the all day mirror the cognitive overload that you have with The kind of a streaming environment. So if you run kind of, if you run a live stream or if you do a podcast, it’s not just you talking, you have buttons to press. You have things to consider dear listener.

We started this podcast three times, I think, because something didn’t work or you know, a file wasn’t rendered properly. So we had to start again and that’s and we’ve all had that. We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve been in a call where something’s not being recorded. You couldn’t hear the, you couldn’t hear the sound.

The video was playing. But it wasn’t rendering properly. It was dropping frames and all of these things. These are things that we didn’t up until March the 11th. Last year we did that. It wasn’t part of our lives. It wasn’t part of the problem. We would go, we w we would go to a conference room and then we would and then fumble around with cables and things, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t a major cognitive problem, but now it’s part of everything as part of the entire day.

Can you hear me? Am I muted? Can you see the slides? It’s kind of all of these things. Kind of pile on and, and, and lead to this cognitive overload. And then you have which is particularly interesting. For me as a performer who normally deals with a live audience, you have what Stanford describe as an audience of listeners, which are also speakers.

So we’re in an environment now where we’re all living, kick each other, we’re staring each other and you’re not the audience. You’re also the participant and it’s very, very weird and super, super stressful. And so that was some of the, a lot of the thinking that went into hanging in there, but it’s also flavored.

The speaker training or what I now call, I used to call it tiny talks, but I now call it speaker, read the format, which is how do you present? How do you keep an audience engaged with a presentation in a virtual or hybrid or blended environment? So

it’s been a, it’s been a hell of a year. And for me, in terms of learning how to, to deal with this is take it literally took me 300 and just realize it. Now it literally took me 365 days to work out how to do performance online. Interesting. I, you know what, that’s the first time I’ve, I’ve heard that.

Phenomenon called out. And I’m thinking that psychologically the way we act in meetings. So the way we would act, if we all sat down to do a meeting in a room, From my perspective, that’d be, there’d be two of the people in the room. Right. And that’s that, that’s the people I’m meeting with when you’re on a zoom call or a team’s call or whatever it might be.

And just like this that we have now, we’re all there. I can see myself looking splendid and I can see YouTube looking, you know? Okay. So I, but I can see the meeting happened. It was like that it’s a body experience. You and your there’s a potential for. You to change the way you behave, partly because you can see yourself and you can’t see yourself when you’re, slobbing around in a meeting in a, in a, in a room.

So whether that’s psychologically more draining or whether it gives you, I might, maybe it’s a

Matt: phone call. I

Marcus: don’t know. According to according to the Stanford study is it’s a massive factor towards soon fatigue, which is quickly becoming a thing. In very much the same way that imposter syndrome, Matthew became the thing shortly after you stood on the stage and said, Oh, this is the thing.

The study points out some other work which has been done around where you look when you’re in a physical room, crass. So if you’re in a meeting, let’s say you’re, you’re in a, kind of like a round table pitch environment. There are 10 people in the room. Three as ice people might actually be looking at the person who’s speaking, but in the rest of it is kind of like looking out, looking around, listening, but looking around that the out the window, the glass, maybe it’s somebody else.

Who’s not speaking. So the focus is always somewhere else in a zoom or a video conference scenario where all of the cameras are on and everybody can see everybody. Everybody is staring at everybody. And they’re staring, and this is the really, really, truly interesting thing about this study because we’re so close to each other because of the distance of the camera, where it’s staring into people’s eyes at a distance, which is normally very intimate, it’s like B and they explain it as being trapped in a, in a Lyft and you’re staring into everybody’s eyes.

So if you’re in the left, can remember when we used to be in lifts with people. So you’re in a left, the doors would close, and then you do the thing where you’d look at the buttons or look at your feet or look at, or just turn around. And you do, you never look at the other people or it’s like that, or being on the London underground, you always look in between the spaces between people.

You would never look into people’s eyes. But in this scenario in a video conference scenario, we’re always looking into people’s eyes at a distance, which is very, very intimate, and that is incredibly distressing

Matt: and we’re seeing more and more people turning, I think T turning camera off now. And starting to be able to disengage, but then, then there’s that sense of, they’re not there.

They’re not participating.

Marcus: Yeah. You kind of, I’ve been in meetings where I’ve actually said Albert, can you turn the camera on? Because it feels like he’s not engaging with what’s going on. Yeah. So you have that, there are other lover things as well. So you have the you have, there’s a lack of cues. So in a physical space, you take more kind of signals. So you would, I don’t know, you would a register a nod, a wink, something that’s going on in the room, but you can’t. Get that in, in a, in a zoom environment, you exaggerate, according to the study, if somebody says something, you agree with you not more vigorously so that they can see in the tiny boxes that you agree with, what they’re saying.

I can Darling. If you listen to this, I’m really, really sorry, but it’s true. My wife does this and according to how I do it to East speak 15% louder when you’re on a call, I think that has a lot to do with the fact that you can’t monitor it Mo normally monitor in in, in with your headphones.

So I can see that Matthew and myself, maybe Chris, maybe you’re monitoring your own audio that helps. So you can hear yourself. So you can, you can, you know, when you’re whispering and you can use your voice properly. But for most people they’re just using normal headphones and they just shouting so that they can hear themselves, but also make sure that the other people can hear them.

It’s very, very similar to.

when, when when your grand mum used or her granddad used to telephone from the first time. So to heat, they shouted so that they could say for the other person at the other end, couldn’t hear them. So there’s all that going going on now. That’s really, really, it’s. It’s very interesting for I know you have corporate people.

Corporate people are listen to this. So it’s very interesting from a corporate perspective that, and purely with people who not necessarily performing, not nurses, necessarily doing presentations you know, you ha th th this is HR needs to be aware of this. This is a thing that HR needs to be aware of because there’s a huge amount of emotional stress and pressure, which we’re putting on.

Are people at home, but in terms of if you’re, you know, if you’re one of those people who have keynote speaker in your LinkedIn description, please take it out. But if you do have that in there, then these are things that you need to be aware of because they are hugely important for You know, nailing a presentation that will engage an audience, which is fundamentally knackered.

Dan, we are knackered from zoom to video conferences. We are exhausted from paying attention hybrid virtual conferences where we need. Something else. And that’s why I’ve been fiddling around with my, this now become a manifesto, but it is kind of, it’s just, it’s a growing list of observations and things.

I think that people should be doing to make their online presentations, you know, much more interesting. And right at the heart of that, the idea, the very central idea is I, I nicked it from Amazon. But it’s, instead of customer obsession, it’s audience obsession, and to be audience obsessed, you have to kind of like really get under and get into the nitty-gritty of zoom fatigue.

Matt: And so one of the things within that is short no more than five minutes. One of the things within that is prerecord. Another thing in that is to, to pre-record rather than to do things live

cutting through, or is it about. What is it? I mean, there weren’t that many good presenters before all this pandemic thing happened. Let’s be blunt. And then, but too many too long.

Marcus: Well, I made a career out of everybody else being shit.

Matt: He’ll be both. It conferences. No, no,

Marcus: my friend now, I think, I think it’s just a way of I’ve, you know, when I, when I work with, I, I make a very, very, there’s a distinction between the people I work with, who just want to get better at it and feel more comfortable with doing it.

And I really, really like working with those people, just to give some tips and tricks and just get them into a space where they feel more comfortable and where they can just. Every single time, get a little bit better at it. Web where their colleagues start to say, wow, wow. And to you, what’s going on there, you get a bit more confident now.

That was great. So there’s a difference between that kind of stuff too. Keynote space people, literally people have keynote speaker in the LinkedIn description who were just doing the same old, same old, and it’s boring as hell. The pre-recorded stuff. I still stand by it. I think it’s, I think it’s, it’s a much, much better way of doing it.

It’s scalable. It’s great for the organizer is great for you because you’ve got it. You’ve got it nailed down. You know what you know, that works. Everybody knows how long it is. But it should always be seen. And I think this is something that I’ve really understood now for the last 12 months that the talk you do is nothing more than a teaser for the discussion that happens afterwards.

And I think that’s something that really got lost somewhere around 2016. When kind of like Ted really blew up, like properly blew up. The conferences got bigger, everybody got a bit lazier. But the, but the, the presentation that you give is a teaser for the conversation that happens afterwards. That was always very difficult in a live conference environment because of the setup and the hierarchical systems of a stage and an audience.

So as a speaker, you would normally be in the green room with the access or area badge and on a stage physically higher than the audience. And so that was always kind of like some kind of physical. Distancing between speaker and audience in the, in the virtual environment, that’s completely gone because we’re staring at each other in the eye.

We’re all in the elevator. So. Why waste time waffling on for 45? Honestly, I eat no idea how often I’ve said in the last three years to corporate people. And cause I’ve been doing these virtual events for the last three years way before the pandemic started because procurement CFOs discovered virtual events years ago.

They love them. Because you don’t have to fly everybody in to Las Vegas to do kind of like a big kickoff, but I see, you know, senior, senior management business unit heads, they hate the idea of being only being only allowed to talk for seven minutes. Hate the idea. Now I need 45. I always get 45. See if I don’t get 45 because you see he’s a CEO, right.

And he gets an hour. And I’m the CMO. That means I need at least 45 minutes and I’m a business unit head and I get 20 it’s all pants. It’s all hierarchical nonsense. So the, the, the talk in an environment in, in like a virtual environment, should I think the perfect length is about seven minutes and you’re pushing it to a Ted talk.

17 that’s around about the length of a, how I met your mother episode. They were, they were 22 minutes long. And I always say, I always say to the senior management that the moan about not being able to go, they need more time. They need 30 minutes. I said, so you can, you can do more than a, an episode of how I met your mother.

Because I don’t think you can. So keep it short, focus on what it is you want to do from, you know, there are some S what’s his name? Chris Anderson from Ted that book, Ted talks. There’s a lot. I disagree with loads of stuff in there, but there’s lots of valid stuff. The big one is focused on the one idea.

Seven minutes, one idea. Constantly throwing forward to the Q and a. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I’m more than happy to, to chat about this on the Q and a put questions in people’s heads, ideas in people’s heads pre-record that bit, and then be live for the Q and a and do a Q and a 30, 40 minutes. Cause that’s the interesting bit.

That’s the meat. That’s where the action is. So that’s, that’s where I am right now. So

Matt: do we still need to have events at same time? Because the thing I get mean, the Q and a from doesn’t have to happen synchronously, you can make that asynchronous Bye bye. Breaking the speaker, having to be speaking at the time at which they speak, you’ve given the opportunities to be able to engage with questions as they come up as they go.

Is it still all a bit too fixed in still the temporal model for traditional event?

Marcus: I think you can play with all of this stuff. It kind of an even in the event you can mix it up so you can have. The events were always very, became very programmed. It’s one of the it’s one of my things in the manifesto.

This is the end of lazy. So we all got lazy speakers, got lazy events, got lazy, super easy to program staff, put speaker wrong. The only thing you really, really fought about is who, who come, who goes on before lunch and who comes on last after lunch. He opens and who closes? Those were the kind of like the major things that are an event organizer would, would, would think about you can program an event.

Programming event has got a lot, much, a lot more to do with a live television event than anything else. And I like to compare it to breakfast television. So, if you look at programming and breakfast television, you have slots, which are always on the point. So the viewer knows what’s coming when, so at the, on the hour.

That they half an hour, you would always have news. And then after on the hour news, four minutes long, then you would have weather. Then you would have sport. Then you might have weather, then you’d have point of interest and you’d have, and you can kind of, if you just watch the programming behind breakfast television, you pretty much have the blueprint for a really, really good event.

So you can and they mix it up in there as well. So you can have a call Lin with you know, with a star. And then you can have mail-in questions and stuff, so it doesn’t have to always fit into the same kind of model you can mix it up. The only thing that really, really has to work is timing and pace is, has got so much to so much to do with pace.

The real burden is on the host of the event. And being able to, to, to kind of glue it all together, have the energy to kind of drag an online audience along For 90 minutes, because I think 90 minutes is the perfect length for an online event. I don’t think, you know, I’ve seen things particularly here in Germany, you know, events that have gone on for three or four days.

Awesome. What has got, what is that about? No, I’m not going to do that. Yeah. Well, Marcus, you, they can hop in and hop out and, you know, pick cherry pick. What’s interesting for them like an event. No, no, no. You would book a three-day event in, in Lisbon because you basically going on holiday for free days in Lisbon

or Berlin or London or ballbar or wherever it was. You’re not going to do that online because you’re fitting it into your calendar. So 90 minutes is a stretch to put in somebody’s calendar that will block the 90 minutes. And then there might in the mindset. Oh, well, that’s my 90 minute block. And I’ll kind of like, I might drop in and out of that.

So the moderators and the PA and the programming’s job is to figure out how to make sure they stay engaged and not drop in and out on those 90 minutes, but you’ll never, ever, ever. Ever going to hold people longer than that. Not for an event it’s just not going to happen.

Matt: I guess the other challenge within a loss of the traditional events world then is also how do you then get the sponsors slots to be?

And this is something that the, the tech world I think is, has been It’s been a real problem for, for many years now, is that for some reason, a lot of it events are free to attend, so somebody has to pay for it. So they’re paid for by sponsors. So basically you have to put up with an awful lot of crap, which are really bad sales pitches to then have the interesting bits in between and the opportunity to meet other people.

And I’ve, I know a lot of organized stations in that. That model has been trying to translate that into an online event, which is just the worst, because you’ve basically got really crap sales pitches, interspersed with none of the valuable bits because you don’t meet anybody.

Marcus: Come on guys. Let’s be honest.

I mean, if you’re going to physical events that we used to go to soon as the sponsored talker stepped on stage, everybody buggered off and got a coffee and didn’t it. That was the bit where you networked. Yeah, really well. So that’s obviously not going to work in a, in a, in a tele Matic virtual space.

The biggest thing that’s changed is, is that we’ve left. We’ve left the context of theater and we’ve moved into the context of television, television, and cinema we’re on a screen. So the expectations and the completely different we’re expecting television. And if it’s live, we’re expecting live television.

So let’s break that down a little bit. So what’s missing from live television at the moment, applause. So we expect applause. We expect you probably don’t realize it, why it’s happening. Really, really. I would, I would. Next time you’re watching the news. Look at how long each segment is that we’re talking about 30 seconds to one and a half minutes.

They’re just running frou staff at a rate. There is an amount of content that they’re putting together and putting in front of the viewer to keep them engaged. So when I’m saying seven minutes, that’s actually six minutes too long. For, for the screen context. So in a live context, and this is something that I’ve experienced with hybrid things, you kind of need the light, a tiny live audience, or at least canned clapping because your expecting it.

So in that context, if you have a sponsored thing, that’s an advert and the people gonna get up and go to the toilet. And come back when that bit’s over. So you have to sponsors or have to think of innovative ways to to get into or to involve themselves in these kinds of events event. Organizers will have to come up with innovative sponsorship products that.

Okay. That’s why this is the end of lazy. We have to re rethink everything and it’s not going to go away if it’s absolutely naive to think that when this is all over, it’s over. It’s not because the chief financial officers are looking at a spreadsheet and saying, guys, we’re not going to send you to Las Vegas because it had no impact on our bottom line.

We didn’t lose any money because we didn’t go there. Some we’re not going to spend two, we’re not gonna spend a quarter of a million peop people, quarter of a million dollars or euros or pounds to send you. They’re still going to happen. They’re not going to do it. So I think that this is a. I mean, this is devastating for the entire industry.

It’s devastating for event photographers, for technicians, for event agencies, for people that on the events for speakers perform and all of that, we have to rethink this stuff. But it’s slightly ironic that a, an, a business sector where a large chunk LA earn their money from spouting off about business disruption have had dead business disrupted by a virus, and they re were really, really not very good at working out what to do event.


Chris: Well, that was all fascinating. Wasn’t it? We’ve got a lot to learn and still, I think even, even a year on. So thank you for that, Marcus. Sorry, thunder on into the year, ahead to the week ahead. And Matt, what’s that got in store for you?

Matt: All right. Well, as I mentioned at the beginning of the show, we’ve got quite a lot of corporate training stuff going on this week.

It’s going to take quite a lot of my time. We’ve midway through a big procurement exercise. So still dealing with suppliers phoning me up and then having to tell them that they have to go through the official channels to be able to do this because we are still doing a procurement exercise.

She’ll great fun. We are. Actually talking a lot about data in the week ahead. And I think I’ve managed to get my organization to realize that data is now something more important than just the stuff in systems. And I’ve got some people at board level and are thinking that it might be important, which is a big step forward because before it was possibly just a bit too complicated.

So that should be interesting. How about

Chris: you? Well, I’ve also got some training actually. Funnily enough, tomorrow is a bit of a training day. We’ve got some training about blogging you know, desperately need some pointers on, cause I’ve been doing it very buddy for years and we’ve got some kind of personal stuff branding, and again, you always learn stuff in this sort of thing.

You know what I mean? It’s it’s something that you can always reflect on, so yeah, it should be okay. And. And yeah, and then all the stuff, you know, the usual I’ve been preparing for a conference in Serbia that that’s happening at the end of the month. So that’ll be really good fun because I actually do a video today, actually, funnily enough.

And it was only, only a ten second kind of snippet explained, you know, what are you going to talk about Chris? And I recorded it first. And then just as Marcus was saying, you know, I watched it back and I thought, okay, Yes, Chris, you couldn’t be less animated if you know, you’re just being worked by, in a very old person with asthma.

I was like, it’s hard to do it again. And it was inject the whole kind of spinning boat on all of that. And even then it comes out looking reasonably subdued, you know? So yes you do it. You’re right. It does. The camera sucks. The energy out of it. So, but yeah, a good learning point.

Matt: And, and Marcus, what what does the week ahead have for you?

Marcus: A lot of writing I’ve been commissioned to write a three films, which is very exciting for various. It’s interesting because these events becoming more films, film, like. It’s a very, very interesting phenomenon. So it is a, it’s a very exciting time for me right now. I’ve kind of moved away from as I said in hanging in there, I’ve packed kind of my art and the performance stuff in a box Mark 2022.

And I’m walking the talk and doing the do. So there’s a lot of doing the Duke at the moment. So I’m writing a lot of formats, which are more to do with film. Like short felt like 20 minute films than actual kind of live events. So I’m, I’m working on those at the moment and that’s very exciting. And staying inside, wash my hands, keeping socially distance, wearing a mask, watching the snow fall outside of the window.

Matt: Do you think when this, this pandemic thing is over, you might end up actually just making bigger and bigger films.

Marcus: It’s an exciting idea. I have rarely started to look at myself as a right of things. This has been probably the biggest shift to the last 365 days

thing for me was I stumbled. I don’t know when it was. I’m not sure if it was in the last year, but I stumbled across the pilot script for breaking bad and it changed.

It’s like a real moment for me. Seeing how he wrote that script because it’s like, Oh, you can do it like that. Oh, that’s how you can do it. Yeah. So it completely freed me up of lots and lots of preconceptions about how you, how you do stuff. And I’ve been involved in a few productions, live productions with incredibly talented production companies over the last couple of months.

And I’ve got a much better understanding of how, how the production of these things work and that’s really influenced my writing. So,

so yeah, it feels that that might be a thing that is that’s an option and that’s exciting. I’ve been trying, I’ve tried to keep optimistic. I’ve really, really tried to keep optimistic. And I think we all have, but for someone like myself who always has been always drawn to the dark side of stuff it’s been quite a challenging time, but the words making, turning those words into moving pictures as well.

Proven to be a really, really, really big thing and exciting. So, yeah, let’s, let’s see. There’s a Netflix and me yet.

Matt: I look forward to it. We’ll put a link on the website to some of Marcus’s work. If you haven’t seen any of it, you really should. There’s some amazing things that have come out.

Well, amazing things have come out over the last few years, but the stuff that’s come out in the last. Year or so and the relevance to what we’re doing and how we work at the moment. It’s really huge. So thank you again for joining us again, Marcus is a pleasure as always, and we will see you next week.

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