[nSLUG] Richard Stallman in Halifax

Richard Bonner ak621 at chebucto.ns.ca
Wed Jan 28 20:29:19 AST 2009

On Wed, 28 Jan 2009, Daniel Morrison wrote:

> 2009/1/28 Richard Bonner <ak621 at chebucto.ns.ca>:
>> ***   I think I was there till about 10:15. I spoke with Richard for
>> a few minutes at the very end, mainly in relation to the somewhat poor
>> setup due to deficiency in the organisation of the lecture. Since this
>> is my professional field, I am more critical, but briefly, there
>> should have been proper lighting and Richard should have at least
>> been provided with water for his two-hour, plus talk. I also felt that
>> flash photography should have been prohibited.
> Water and flash photography: I agree.  Or there could have been a 
> specific time set aside for photographs.

***   I don't mind non-flash photos, and provided that those with 
digital cameras also use the viewfinder instead of the view screen.

>>    I put blame on both sides: Richard (or his people) for not
>> specifying better in his contract rider as to exactly what was
>> required, and Dal tech crew for not better anticipating what a
>> lecturer might require, rider or not.
> The bright light shining on Richard was for Eastlink TV;

***   Yes, but in a venue with all the lighting it has, Eastlink 
should not have even needed to set up any additional lighting. I 
understand that the crew is students with a regular change-over, but 
the long-term tech employees should have taken a closer hand there. I 
would never light a lecturer as they did: one-sided, spill on a video 
screen, and angles not far enough off to the side. Done properly, 
Richard could have been comfortable *and* the levels would have been 
enough for video.

> with those lights dimmed, they were unable to record the lecture, 
> I'm told. However this doesn't explain why the hall was dark.  I 
> suspect this is standard procedure for the format of the hall 
> (passive audience, presentations going-on on stage).

***   It is typical. Realise though, that some lecturers prefer to not 
see much of their audience, while others want eye contact. For my 
gigs, I work all that out ahead of time to be sure the on-stage 
personalities are comfortable and have what they require to be so.

> I think RMS prefers a more informal, conversational dialogue.

***   I agree.

> What I can't understand is why, having turned up the house lights, 
> it wasn't possible to increase the overall brightness, and record 
> anyway.

***   There was more than enough light level for video even with 
just the house lights (which were actually work lights, by the way). 
They would only have had to redo the white balance for metal halides. 
The scene would have been bland for television, but still seen by the 

> I imagine it was quite stressful during the opening few minutes for 
> the organizers to try to balance Richard's request for a lighting 
> change, with the requirements for Eastlink, and in the end, Eastlink 
> lost out.  At a guess, perhaps the Eastlink arrangements were fairly 
> last-minute to begin with. So really it came off quite well in the 
> end, I think!

***   Oh, I don't disagree. I just wish the Dal crew had been 
experienced enough to deal with what was thrown at them - last minute 
or not. I would have loved to have done the gig, but I can't be 
everywhere!  (-:


PS: I apologies for taking the group so far off topic, but for those 
that care, here are some of my recent lighting projects. Sorry - no 
photos of any of the lecturers I have lighted recently.  (-:



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