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ARRLD: wrap-up

20 August 2020

ARRLD wrap-up

Back in April when we first started planning for ARRLD, we had fairly modest ambitions: we would record sessions with maybe 20 authors during May and have a fun weekend screening the videos in June.

Well that is not at all the way it went. We sent out the first invitations at the end of April, and within 8 hours acceptances had started coming in. A lot of authors were excited to do anything at all, and many had great ideas and pulled in author friends to join them. Within a week we already had our target 20 authors and acceptances were still coming in.

While Debbie wrangled authors and worked out time differences, Sharon Sherry came on board to run the recording schedule. The first session was recorded on 16 May.

There were challenges with the technology—everyone in the world was just starting to learn how to use Zoom, and sometimes it showed. We also found that settings in the program did not always stay static and sometimes what we saw on screen was not what was actually recorded. It was a steep learning curve!

Before too long it became apparent that Sharon would not be able to do all the interviews we now had scheduled. Despite taking one day a week off work to do the recordings, and using weekends as well, Sharon just didn’t have enough hours in a day. That was when we approached Laura Boon to join the team as a second interviewer.

Both were incredibly professional in their approach to the sessions, and were well prepared. Sharon also wrangled an incredibly complex spreadsheet to keep track of all the sessions.

Diane learnt how to edit videos, and as well as trimming videos she would ‘top and tail’ each one with slides that Debbie prepared.

Charlotte was roped in to write little blurbs for each session, that we then used on YouTube and in blog articles.

For several months our little team lived and breathed Zoom sessions. It ended up being a massive undertaking, and incredibly worthwhile. The authors could not have been more generous with their time, and the videos we produced are all uniquely entertaining.

In the end we created a program with 50 separate sessions, featuring 69 authors.

The roll-out of our ARRLD videos on the weekend of 1–2 August went without a hitch. As of 20 August the cumulative total for video views is 2,657. That’s amazing.

You can still watch all the videos on the ARRA YouTube channel. And don’t forget to enter the Treasure Hunt—you can find all the details here.

[This article originally appeared in the Aug 2020 member newsletter. Some minor updates have been made.]

One Comment
  1. Malvina Y permalink
    20 August 2020 2:23 pm

    I watched everything, and loved it all. I was blown away at how on earth you must have worked to wrangle everything into place! Well done, everyone. A thoroughly enjoyable treat for lock down!

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