Ben Allen

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Ben Allen
Ben square.jpg
Years Active 2019 – Present
Positions Held
Current LocationThe YSTV Studio. Definitely.
DegreesBEng Electronic Engineering with Music Technology Systems


About

Ben Allen, can often found in the studio in the early hours of the morning, screaming at technology, and is a prime example of a dedicated YSTV member. He is an all round lovely guy and is almost constantly busy and tired.

Joining as a fresher during the Give It A Go event in October 2019, Ben almost immediately became heavily involved in YSTV with his first event being a week or two later when YSTV hosted the 2019 NASTA People's choice awards. Acting as technical assistant to Technical Director Andrew Waddle during the setup and operation of the show. Having since worked on numerous live and recorded projects, Ben has worked within a variety of technical and operational roles; generally acting as technical and computing assistant to Andrew Waddle and Rhys Milling on live shows or working like a bugger with VFX. Not to mention his round the clock commitment to technical fuckary.

See also;

Trivia

  • Can be calmed down with a Snickers bar.
  • His favourite film is Sharknado, which he once called 'a cinematic masterpiece with an almost ethereal quality'.
  • Snack of choice probably a Pot noodle or Dominos pizza.
  • When in power-saving mode will only diet on breadsticks.
  • 100% fail-rate on setting up a dual boot so far.
  • 100% success-rate for eduroam setup.

Productions/Projects

YEAR 1

# Show Position Notes (Personal and Technical)
Autumn Term
1 YSTV Give It a Go 2019 Tech Intern Walked in, knew how an X32 worked, was told to patch XLR by Andrew, never looked back.
2 PCAs 2019 Intro Camera Operator & Actor First on-camera credit. Makes a cameo doing sound and looking confused, unfortunately has been stuck with the same expression since.
3 PCAs 2019 Camera Operator & Technician First role on an actual live YSTV show.
4 Bob Ross Livestream Sound & Livestream Technician Spent most of the time laughing. First time running computers for a live-stream solo.
5 RAG Absailing Editor First editing job for YSTV.
6 The Review Club - Wine Tasting Camera Operator Drafted in last minute. Pointed a camera and laughed a lot.
7 Boozy Broadcasts: Drunk Werewolves Director, Vision Mixer & Livestream Technician Spent most of the time laughing. First time vision mixing.
8 YSTV Sport: Volleyball Autumn 2019 Director & Livestream Technician Turns out the internet sucks in the sports centre so was done "as live" as no connection could be found. Spent all of the setup time trying to sort out the new live graphics he'd just got working. Didn't realise he had a remote JQuery dependency and no internet. Cursed the internet and did some running. Eventually, the graphics were working and the majority of the game was recorded with some admittedly out of breath directing.
9 Boxing Fight Night Live 2019 Graphics Programmer Realised from Volleyball that roughly thrown together Visual Basic, no modularity and constant rewriting didn't make for a good graphics client. Had a better idea, got Marks Polakovs to kindly teach him React over one VERY long night. Rewrote the previous client in React. Came up with initial planning for the Ghostbuster Graphics system. The new Electron-based client ended up being named Luigi's Mansion 2 which was deployed successfully after 20 minutes of testing as Ben could not attend the event. After someone decided to play the maracas with the one validated OB unit, was phoned by Rhys and required to rush home in the car and remotely setup the other OB unit while Rhys was fixing the initial one. The backup unit was not needed in the end.
10 Hunted - Episode 2 Title Sequence Graphics With additional shots from Andrew and Tom, the title sequence was VFX heavy and slowly constructed (barely in time for NaSTA). Ben's work can be seen in the footstep shots and some of the HUD elements as well as the title shot (foot graciously provided by Louis Dickson) which was the final shot completed. Also the first time Ben had motion-tracked anything and it hadn't sucked, so that was nice!
11 York's Got Talent 2019 Director & Technician Ben needed to learn that we owned a decimator, that would've made things so much smoother/less awful.
12 Please Sir, There's Been a Murder Sound Operator, Livestream Technician Learned the value of sleep, stared at clocks for hours testing latency, started to strongly dislike the Facebook live-streaming platform. The broadcast stream ended up being a bit unstable due to a sleep-deprived misconfiguration error causing our transcodes to stop crying. 'Solved' at the time by Andrew monitoring stream health and Ben appropriately spamming ssh commands with forehead while sound mixing.
Spring Term
13 60 Second Manifestos 2020 Director, Camera Operator, Editor & Graphics Cal and Tom assisted with shooting the 30 candidates with lighting expertise from Andrew. After Effects used for animating the YUSU assets. Used DaVinci Resolve and Nvenc for fast chroma-keying and exports with Edit 3's GPU being fully leveraged, along with some bodging to refine the graphics to never need to be re-rendered from the original comp speeding the process up greatly. Had fun shouting at EncodeSrv as it would misidentify the file's resolution when uploading to the website and transcoding. Ended up throwing files through Adobe Media Encoder as an easy fix. A fake manifesto from Ben may exist somewhere for pipeline testing purposes, this cannot be confirmed.
14 Debate Night 2020 Technician Didn't intend to do this, wanted to not do at least one election event. Ended up helping set up and assisted with tech for the start of the stream anyway.
15 YUSU Election Results Night 2020 Intro Director & Camera Operator Spent a night running around with Olivia Gibbs, Numi Gildert and Alex West battling bad weather ruining plans and his own inability to balance a gimbal well enough on no battery. Ate Greggs. Shot most of it handheld (not ideal running with no IBIS). Spend an evening making a hash out of the edit. Considered doing half of it live on the night. Saved by Olivia salvaging most of the footage into a good edit which was then tweaked some more into the final product.
16 YUSU Election Results Night 2020 Director Directed first major YSTV production having not slept since the day before. Instead, spent the night before the show secretly making the graphics assets with the embargoed names and finishing off the stingers and lower-thirds. Spent that day regretting it. Actual stream was mostly successful and uneventful although all YSTV power did die beforehand as not enough sockets were present at the venue and multiple 1k lights were a step too far. Also, OB1 started being electric shock-y so that was quickly decommissioned and replaced with Marty. Stream was followed by a full club night at Courtyard. That was followed by sleep, lots of it.
17 MMA Fight Night Graphics Programming Second fighting based live-stream he couldn't attend; wasn't happy about that.
18 Ben Goes to Kuda- livestream Director & Producer Missed a bus into town, got bored, started streaming to the YSTV website from Ben's phone with some basic graphics. Continued the stream intermittently through the night, much confusion occurred from the members still in Courtyard.
Summer Term (The year of 'rona)
19 Quarantine Weekly Executive Producer Despite not having time to work on the actual show, the concept format was the result of an SNL-style hosted variety show pitch from Ben combined with a happy news, game show and campus/member-focused show idea from the wonderful Stephanie Shires who went on to brilliantly produce the whole series as Ben ended up too busy doing radio stuff.
20 YSTV Rebranding 2020 Co-designer Finished adapting designs by Edwin Barnes with Joe Radford and Rhys Milling to create a complete branding package for all of YSTV's productions.

YEAR 2

# Show Position Notes (Personal and Technical)
Autumn Term

Technical Shenanigans

  • Notable for the discovery of the Holy Bodgeble in a field one day and has been hard at work translating the contents since
  • Dismantled an ATEM to poke a fan once (much to Andrew's dismay) and then wrote a poem about it out of boredom