Most viewers of Vision-TV and most fans of General Synod (there must be some) are familiar with one aspect of Anglican Video’s presence when the church’s chief governing body meets: It provides highlights and analysis of the day’s events on Canada’s religious television channel.
But the truly pervasive presence that Anglican Video has at General Synod and the crucial role it plays in the proceedings may be less well known.
For one thing, pretty well everything that has a technological ring to it on the plenary hall floor is set up and operated by Anglican Video. That includes the microphones at which delegates make their speeches, ask their questions or move their motions, the sound system that ensures they are heard, the lights that ensure they are seen on the floor and on viewers’ television screens and a gigantic, multi-use screen that is used in presentations and on which motions, resolutions and amendments pop up magically for delegates to read.
For the nine days of General Synod, which starts in Montreal on May 21, the normal Anglican Video staff of three full-time people swells to more than 20, including a handful of Church House staff who volunteer or are co-opted for certain tasks and more than a dozen technicians who are hired for the express purpose of covering the proceedings.
Three cameras cover the General Synod plenary, directed from a mobile trailer parked nearby where technicians also operate lights and the sound system.
Everything that happens in the plenary hall is taped. Much of that is distilled into 30-minute segments that will be aired on Vision-TV at 7 p.m. Eastern time on May 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29. But those shows, hosted by Information Resources director Doug Tindal and by Nancy Hinkson of Montreal, are more than dry recaps. They also include interviews that take General Synod fans (there must be some) behind the scenes, and feature segments, including, this time, a series on the host diocese of Montreal.
The parts of the plenary tapes that don’t make their way into the nightly broadcasts, nonetheless tend to acquire a life of their own over the next triennium. They become a valued video archive and record of who said what and what was done during the often confusing and chaotic deliberations.
All these myriad tasks look easy on your television screens only because of the skills and talents of the people who put it all together. Some of these people even claim to have fun doing it.
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