AskLRR April 2020 - Often Hilarious
The ninth episode of AskLRR (YouTube Membership Exclusive).
Date: April 30, 2020
Board by: Paul Saunders
Produced by: Heather Dery
Description: You asked us questions, so Graham, Paul, and James sat down to answer them. Talks about who does what at LRR, some history on how LRR got started streaming, and at one point James claims to be a time traveller.
Surprises from LRR
Joey Brisson asks: What is the most surprising thing you have done because of LRR?
- James: It changes as the years go. In 2006 I was surprised we did a live stage show. Playing Desert Bus VR on stage for the entirety of the Gearbox presentation.
- Paul: Getting recognized in the street.
- Graham: Wootstock. Desert Bus.
Nate Twehues asks: Obviously LRR has done a lot in your partnership with Wizards of the Coast. Friday Nights, the PPRs, and Dice Friends. If LRR could have a similar relationship with another IP holder/content creator, who would you choose it to be?
- James: Marvel Studios.
- Paul: Games Workshop. Nintendo.
- Graham: Go big: Disney.
Sean Riley asks: How much are turnips selling for?
- James: 86 right now.
- Graham: I didn't check this afternoon, but this morning it was 61. Luckily I sold earlier in the week.
Pressure as online entertainers
Daye04 asks: A lot of entertainers are feeling the pressure of having to entertain a bigger audience with self isolation. Do you feel any of this effect?
- James: Our viewership has gone up on average 20% on Twitch. I don't feel a pressure because of it.
- Paul: It's not a enormous increase.
- Graham: No. We don't worry about viewer numbers in the moment
The original LRR
John Potter asks: As the original members of LRR, did you see LRR becoming what it is today, and what does the future hold for LRR?
- James: "Yes" and "I have no idea". I am a time traveller.
- Paul: The only prediction that has come true is my mum saying you're probably going to do something that hasn't been invented yet.
- Graham: I agree with James' second thing. I never had an idea of where it was going to go. So often we are the first we can find to do things and have to invent as we go.
Moving from sketches to streams
Jeffery Hayes asks: YOu made a pretty big (and very successful) change in moving from being sketch-based to being more stream-based several years ago. Could you talk a little bit about the decision-making and process surrounding that transition?
- Graham: James and I started streaming Magic once a week about a year before the big shift. When we were putting together the Kickstarter for the last season of sketches we put in that we were going to do more streaming. Then when we met the goal we laid it out so everyone got to do stuff and got to stream in a way that they liked. It ended up resonating and being very successful and took off in a bigger way than we planned.
- Paul: Streaming allows us to interact with the audience and create a type of content we were never able to do before.
- Graham: Especially people like myself who were involved so much in the post-production it's ... a great feeling to show up, you do the stream, you're done. You've made the content. And while you're making it you get the live interaction with people.
- Paul: We have the experience were we can look at making a thing, we say say "is this something that is better suited pre-recorded, or is this something we want to do live?"
Official job titles
Aldunis asks: What are the job titles or roles that everyone preforms at LRR? I've been supporting you all for 7 years now, but I actually still have no idea what everyone "officially" does outside of performing and streaming to keep the lights running.
- Graham: Generally speaking we doing have job titles. I think the only official titles written down anywhere is Co-President, which are Paul and myself. The roles though!
- James: The only time I use a job title is when I'm crossing the border, when I tell them I'm a Production Manager. I am basically the keeper of the schedule. I am the one who organizes all of our production meetings and keep track of all the Twitch streams, keep track of all the recording times for all of the podcasts and stuff like that. Basically making sure everyone knows where they need to be and when. I and generally the one who keep the office in somewhat of an organized state.
- Graham: James is the Production Manager for the streamed, Twitch side of stuff. In terms of the YouTube, the pre-recorded stuff, Kathleen is the Production Manager in that realm. And since Heather came on full-time, that's a zone she's in. So Kathleen is basically head of the video production department, which is editors so like Cori and Matt ...
- Paul: Keeping track of the editing pipeline and where various projects are in editing whether we have time to do a new thing.
- Graham: For example CheckPoint, myself and Beej and Kathleen write that, Kathleen and I both write CommodoreHUSTLE and Friday Nights, Everyone contributes to Crapshots. I think there could be arguments for Kathleen as our head writer honestly. She also edits The Panalysts. Heather does a lot of editing podcasts and VoDs. She also acts as Stage Manager during LoadingReadyLIVE.
- Paul: Beej is also here as Business Manager which again is one of those job where you necessarily need one right away, but eventually the time you spend on that stuff start becoming more and more of your overall time.
- James: While he has served that role very well, there's still aspects that will always require you two or even certain other peoples inputs. The one area where I think Beej has absolutely taken on an important role is Merch Manager.
- Graham: He also deals with incoming correspondence, e.g. sponsored stream offers.
- Paul: Fundamentally part of the business ownership idea is everything else has to be done by either Graham or myself.
- Graham: And we didn't talk about all of the people who are on contract or all the part-time employees, which is most of the other people, who primarily do the stuff that you see, but also de behind-the-scenes stuff e.g. writing meetings and brainstorming, and Ben does setup and production working with Paul for AFK streams and Ian does stuff with programing aspects and Cori does some as well. There's lots of little things like that.
- Paul: each person that we bring on is a little less that Graham and I have to do.
- Graham: I do writing, I do shooting and editing and art direction and creative design. These days I'm doing a lot of podcast editing. Paul does a lot of technical thing that make the streams work and look great.
- Paul: That the stuff that I like to do. My job tends to be based around the streams we do and coming up with solutions to various problems that we have with that and setting things up.
- Graham: Everyone we mentioned and all the people we didn't mention also do more that all the things that we said they did.
Missing things in the pandemic
Harold Price asks: What is the biggest thing you miss in the midst of this pandemic/social distancing? Ed: COVID-2019
- James: I miss working at the office. I miss just walking downtown and getting a coffee. Not going to event (PAX, Magicfest). I miss my Marvel movies.
- Graham: Going on a walk with a purpose. I miss hanging out with people in person.
Spencer Powell asks: What is the journey that files take, from camera to edit to long-term storage? How has that changed with the current situation, and are any of those changes ones you plan to keep after a return to normalcy?
- Graham: I can answer the last part of that first and No because the process currently is a big-old mish-mash. Generally once we finish filming, we take the footage and capture it to a computer and either it sits on that computer or a drive connected to it while the project is edited on that computer and put onto our backup NAS where it lives and also gets backed-up online. Or sometimes it is captured directly to the backup because we don't know where it needs to be and then it can be edited from any computer. Currently the system is a bunch of USB drives that Heather and I have and we've got to get these backup on somewhere at some point.
Favorite Global or CBC programs
Scott Armstrong asks: Question for Graham and extended to others: What's your favorite old school Global or CBC television program? I've always been a fan of The Friends Giant myself. Such a soothing kids show.
- Paul: I feel like this is one of those situations where our evaluation of what's old school versus what some of the audience evaluation is might be different.
- Graham: I'm going to barrel through shows that I remember watching on early morning TV generally on the CBC. The Friends Giant, Mr. Dressup, Fred Penner, Sesame Street and Sesame Street Canada, The Polka Dot Door, we got a couple of UK imports because I distinctly remember Rainbow and Puddle Lane. Under the Umbrella Tree and Camp Cariboo.
- Paul: I'm still a fan of Fraggle Rock.
- James: I've got proper, old school CBC: Road to Avonlea.
Early backstage LRL
Samuraitiger19 asks: What are some interesting backstage stories from the early days of LoadingReadyLIVE?
- Graham: I infer this to mean LoadingReadyLIVE!, the fringe show.
- James: So did I, but there weren't any later days so ...?
- Graham: I just remember Tally, who had not been dating Jer that long at the time and was doing our stage makeup, being backstage during costume changes.
- Paul: There's another question here about what changes due to social distancing at the Moonbase are going to be continuing or could become permanent. Other than Jackbox games maybe?
- Graham: Sure we know how to do stuff remotely and we can and that cool, but it's so much nicer and the energy is so much better if we can be in the same room.
- James: It's interesting. The shows that have stayed the same, like Let's NOPE, LRRMtG, Talking Simulator, those shows work so much better in person, at the Moonbase like they have always been. Jackbox with everyone visible is probably the best way you could present that show. Eight people in one room wouldn't work so well. The other ones that have worked fairly well are the Arena streams where we're actually battling each other. I think that we could continue to build on those and make those a better experience for the viewer.
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