Event Review – This Is My Brave – Teens

There are some events we get involved in which, due to their content and audience, make us immensely proud of the small part we have been able to play in making them happen.

This is My Brave is a non-profit organisation dedicated to sharing the stories of young people who are recovering from (and experiencing) the trauma of mental illness and addiction. By sharing their individual stories as widely as possible, they open the door to the discussion of subjects which are too often glossed over, or even ignored.

Through an initial recommendation, I have now helped with 4 events altogether, focused specifically on college age and teenage students. The format has been similar for each, where the focus is on the screening of a professionally filmed documentary (featuring individuals telling their own unique stories). We first have the founder of This is My Brave on screen introducing the film, then making comments afterwards, and last we have a live discussion with the students who starred in the film.

In determining the best way to schedule this, we had the following challenges:

  1. The host would need to be live on screen, and the Zoom discussion would be live and spontaneous.
  2. The film itself is made to high production standards, so it was important to stream that in the highest possible quality for video and audio.
  3. The audience would be unused to the Crowdcast platform, so it had to be a seamless production for their experience.

So here’s what I did, to ensure the event held earlier this week ran smoothly.

  1. Edit together multiple video snippets, to make a 3 minute video to be used in the intermission, between the 2 halves of the main film. I used Camtasia for this. I branded this video with a logo overlay, and event graphics.
  2. Setup Crowdcast (the event video platform) to have 4 separate sessions, for the different types of content.

    Session 1: Introduction by the host, Jennifer Marshall, live and in-browser.

    Session 2: In this section, I would stream the pre-recorded video content via RTMP, at 1080p and in stereo. This included Part 1 of the film, the Intermission video, then Part 2.
    I streamed these 3 separate video files directly from ManyCam. As an RTMP stream buffers to have a c.40 second delay, I set a holding screen to be visible when I pulled the audience from Session 1.

    Session 3: The host, back on screen live, and in-browser, commenting on the content of the video, and introducing the next session.

    Session 4: This was a live discussion between 8 guests and a moderator, on the Zoom platform, and streamed via RTMP to the session in Crowdcast. Again, given the buffer delay on RTMP, I hit the Go Live button as Jennifer was introducing the discussion, and pulled the audience to the session at the appropriate time. This was tricky, as I was monitoring Session 3 on my laptop, speaking with the Zoom host, and watching the live show on my phone – with 3 different headphones.

  3. As with all events, and particularly this one, the quality of the experience for the audience is mostly dependant on the content and those appearing on screen. As the founder of This Is My Brave, Jennifer was fantastic, the videos were created to a very high professional standard, and the Zoom participants were exceptionally engaging, with a terrific moderator. They all knew the format of the event in advance, and had been well prepared with all the correct links to be exactly where they should be, at precisely the right time. This kind of organisation and preparation really pays dividends, in ensuring those on screen feel as comfortable as possible, and give their very best on camera.

As I said, this was a hugely enjoyable event, for a terrific organisation doing very important work with vulnerable young people. It was vital that the event matched their message of being open, authentic, engaging, and professional.

My Setup

Altogether I had 6 screens to use:

  1. My main Windows PC has 3 screens which really helps to spread things out.
  2. I used 3 separate browsers, to separate out the instances of my mic and camera being connected to each – Microsoft Edge, Chrome, and Comodo Dragon.
  3. On my PC, I used Manycam, which means my camera and mic can be connected to multiple browsers at the same time.
  4. My Windows laptop was also logged in, to manage more sessions. Between the pc and laptop, I could prep 2 sessions and speakers to go live, and also be ready to end 2 sessions that were finishing.
  5. I have an android tablet logged into the event as an attendee, for monitoring purposes.
  6. My iPhone was logged into the event via the Crowdcast App, as an attendee.
  7. I was balancing 3 x headphones on my pc, laptop, and iPhone.


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