Welcome to LiteRARy, a new blog feature where I document my time interning at Rhyme and Reason, a spoken word night based in Bath. LiteRARy will be a regular feature where I reflect on the things I’ve learnt from helping to run RAR, and will also act as a sort of diary / keepsake too!
To give you some backstory, earlier on in the week I was struggling to access filming equipment. I’d never needed to hire tripods or cameras from my uni before until the week of the event, so I didn’t have much clue with what I was doing!
With the help of kind strangers clearly sensing my distress and confusion, they ran me through how I could hire out equipment from Bath Spa University’s Asset Store through their website, SiSo. I did this the night before the event. The process was quite long-winded as I had to fill out risk assessments for the equipment for the two locations where we would be hosting (The Brewhouse on the 27th September, and Bath Spa Student’s Union on the 29th).
On the day of the Brewhouse event, I went to the Asset Store and explained that I was volunteering at RAR and I was new to hiring out equipment. The man was really nice and helped me find the right equipment I needed – two tripods and a DSSLR camera. I then lugged the stuff home and charged everything, including my phone so all could be ready for filming and taking pictures on the day.
The first hiccup occurred with our team. Nick had recently returned from a holiday and couldn’t come, and Eleanor couldn’t either due to travel complications. We’d agreed to meet in the Pump Room at The Brewhouse for 6pm, as the event started at 7.30. By getting there early, Billie could talk me through the way the night would work with things like the set list, entry fees and showing me how to set up the equipment.
My responsibility for the night was to run the livefeed from my phone on the Rhyme and Reason Facebook page and to also record each poet’s performance with the camera. I soon got the hang of how the camera worked but I’m still getting there with adjusting the tripods! Fun fact: poets come in different shapes and sizes – some are taller than others! You have to adjust the camera in time to avoid unnecessary boob shots when recording which is something I’ve learned through trial and error (god bless the editing process!).
Two things I’d like to improve on for future nights at RAR are:
- Battery performance – I’d been very thorough about charging the two batteries I had for the camera and both were fully charged when I came to the event. The first battery lasted up to the end of the second half and recorded half of our lovely headliner, Jasmine Gardosi‘s set before it ran dry. At the next event, I’ll change the battery in the interval to avoid panic and lack of YouTube material!
- Equipment hiring – I’m going to try and be super prepared and hire out the equipment online two days before every event, also to avoid panic.
Besides me adjusting to the equipment, nothing went visibly wrong and the night went on smoothly. It even took an unusual turn!
The overnight accommodation that was arranged for our headliner fell through, so I offered up my room for the poet to stay in for the night. Luckily my housemate didn’t mind me crashing in her double bed! Like her poetry, the poet herself was great, and had a 1-or-something-o’clock-in-the-morning conversation about creativity and freelancing with me and my housemate – not something I could have foreseen happening in my third year! But a big lesson I’ve learned from my first few days with Rhyme and Reason is that lots of little problems will pop up with big projects like RAR, but you’ve just got to keep calm and try to find a creative solution.
I left The Brewhouse last night with a tipsy smile and relief that the first night was a success! I can only hope for the same tomorrow!