Backstage with Shai

Guest blog by Shai Hussain

Shai Hussain

As an avid binger of TED Talks for the last couple of years, I felt honoured to be invited by my friend Zebunisa Ahmed (who leads the Impact team) to take post-talk interview snippets of the TEDxGlasgow speakers. To meet and probe the future thinkers of the UK on specialist subjects that lead the world forward was a dream come true. However, with 20 speakers to interview backstage and live editing, I quickly realised what I’d gotten myself in to.

Prior to this, I’d done one-off interviews with a day or two to play around with before editing and uploading. Here, I’d set myself a target to film, edit and upload twenty short interviews as and when they happened! I think by the end of the day, we managed to edit 65% and only upload a handful. The biggest stumbling block was the subtitling – a well-intentioned idea to help the social media crowd scrolling their mobiles without access to sound. It almost tripled the workload process in design. Lesson learned.

One of my fears was that I’d be too awestruck to properly interview the speakers, but apart from the laidback first one, there was too much pressure to get the videos done to let nerves get in the way. The warmth and ease of the speakers helped a lot, with ego being a far cry from reality.

What was most amazing was the range of speakers at the event on topics as wide as mental health to the environment, anger management to period poverty, the next step in mass transportation and so much more. The diversity was also fantastic to see, with a good male:female ratio, a vast age range and a strong representation of some serious Scottish talent.

I had a few favourites, but it would be unfair to list some above others… which is exactly what I’m about to do! The energy of Rachel Woods was infectious, the idea of Hyperloop was incredible, the insight into the banking system by Andy Haldane and how it wants to hear what the public wants was refreshing, the humour and exploration of different parts of mental health by Darren MacGarvey and Karen Dunbar were presented to be both entertaining, emotional and empathetic life journeys. Every talk had its own strengths and there wasn’t one interview I took that felt like I wasn’t learning something new.

I always learn so much from TED Talks as it is, and albeit the penalty of not getting to watch the twenty talks as and when they happened (I’m all caught up now), it was amazing to meet the speakers personally, and also to work with such a helpful, enthusiastic and hard-working team of volunteers. Thanks TEDxGlasgow, Zeb, the impact team and everyone involved!

You can take a look at some of the interview videos over on TEDxGlasgow’s Facebook page here (more coming soon) or on YouTube.

  • Written by Cat Leaver
  • Posted on July, 28 2018

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