This morning I attended a meeting about the BBC Big Screen ‘Live Sites’. The idea was that we’d have an opportunity to discuss with Arts Council and the gathered digital, media and cultural organisations how to use Birmingham’s Big Screen – currently situated in Victoria Square – in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games.
The main thrust of conversation was around how the screen can be used to engage people passing by as well as using it as a focal point for streaming live events or supporting live performances.
The first point to note is that the screen won’t simply be used as a big telly. As well as being able to screen video content, the screens are able to be used interactively using custom software and mounted cameras. This interactive content has included games such as cricket and quirkier ideas such as mapping animated masks onto the faces of passers by. Here’s an example:
As well as for use locally, content for the screens can be relayed around the other Live Sites in other areas of the country and can even be used for competitive interactive games and events between cities. Several ideas came out of the discussion included:
- highlighting local cultural events with interactive performances
- creating interactive games to be played nationally and internationally
- and making innovative film content to showcase
Of particular note is the focus on dance in this region through the Arts Council’s Cultural Olympiad programme, predominantly the People Dancing strand of activities. This was an area in which creative projects using the screens would be welcomed, and although no direct funding is available from the Live Sites programme, ideas that used them and linked with Cultural Olympiad aims would be of interest.
Other points made included the upcoming dates of note, such as the Olympic torch relays in the region and the possibilities of events occuring during the Cultural Olympiad’s Open Weekend on 22-24 July this year, and how local organisations can get involved and contribute to the events.
So, in general, the big screen will be used for more than just BBC News 24. Let’s hope that our Live Site produces some especially creative content and showcases some of the region’s cultural highlights.
What would you like to see it used it for?