Guest Guide

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Welcome to the Guest Guide! This guide is meant for anybody who is going to be a guest on a show which broadcasts on <>.tv.

Pre-Show Checklist

If the show is about to start, review the following checklist to make sure you are ready!

☐ Skype audio tested

☐ Connected to IRC, with beeps disabled

☐ All unnecessary programs closed

☐ Show doc opened (if applicable)

☐ Remember you will be live & recorded as long as you are connected!

Shows Covered

This article applies to a number of shows, listed here:

Night Attack

Originally NSFW Show, and before that BBLiveShow, Night Attack is a comedy podcast hosted by Brian Brushwood and Justin Robert Young. The show covers random events that have happened in the lives of the hosts, ongoing community-developed projects, and made-for-the-show games. The show is unfiltered, so whatever is said goes in as it is said.

Cordkillers

Originally Frame Rate, Cordkillers is an entertainment-focused news and discussion podcast hosted by Tom Merritt and Brian Brushwood. The show promotes the idea that people should be able to watch what they want, when they want, on whatever device they choose. The podcast is filtered for language, so please try to avoid cursing!

Pre-Show Communication

Guests are typically booked by the hosts, and also by certain other people:

You might also receive communications from the show-related Twitter accounts:

Communications from other people are not necessarily official. When in doubt, confirm details with the hosts.

When it is time for you to join the show, you will be video-called by someone named "NSFW Line X" (line 1, line 2, etc.). Be sure to answer with video, and be aware you will be live and recorded for the entire time you are on the call.

Location

The vast majority of guests are remote, connecting to the studio via Skype. However, if you live in (or near) one of the following locales, then you may be able to appear in person:

  • Austin, Texas (for shows hosted by Brian)
  • Oakland, California (for shows hosted by Justin)
  • Santa Monica, California (for shows hosted by Tom)

Be sure to coordinate directly with the specific host to confirm that you will be able to appear on set. Plan on arriving at least 10 minutes before show start time, and staying up to an hour after the end of the show.

Computer Prep

To improve audio & video quality, please take some time before the show to prepare your computer.

Skype

Before show time, please take the opportunity to make sure that Skype is working and has been properly configured! If you are connecting any external devices (camera, headset, etc.), plug them in (and let Windows do its drivers thing) before starting Skype. Then, let Skype install any updates that it wants to do.

Wireless connections are not as stable as we would like for high-quality Skype calls. If at all possible, use a wired connection for the computer that is running Skype.

If you won't have a computer (or Internet connection) available, you can call in by phone. Please contact the hosts as soon as possible, so that they can get you call-in information, or so that they can get your phone number. Be sure to also email links to some photos of yourself, so that they can be shown on screen while you talk!

Audio

The best audio comes from a professional microphone. If you have it, please use it! Otherwise, a USB headset is fine. The built-in microphone should be used as a last resort. Connect USB devices directly to your computer (not through a hub). For laptops, plug in to the USB port that is closest to you

Audio coming back to you should almost always go through headphones (or a headset), unless you have taken measures to keep your microphone from picking up noise from the speakers.

Using the Skype Test Call is particularly helpful, as that will confirm that Skype is using the correct audio inputs/outputs. Please do at least one Skype Test Call before the show, to make sure your Skype configuration is good. If you do not know how to do a Skype Test Call, read this article from Microsoft.

For musical guests, you will probably have you own special setup that you have used before (a mixer, multiple microphones, etc), but please try a Skype Test Call before the show, to make sure your setup sounds OK.

Beware of ducking! When multiple people are speaking, and especially when one person is playing something (like a video or sound effect), other voices might not make it on to the stream. If some music or sounds are playing, talk louder, and eventually you'll get through!

Video

The podcasts on this network record video and audio, so if you have a good external camera, please use it! Otherwise, the camera built in to your computer will be fine. For external cameras, place the camera as close as possible to the top of the screen. Adjust the camera so that your head takes up the top 3/5 of the image, with the top of your head almost touching the top of the image.

If you do not have a webcam, and are not able to get one, then you can connect audio-only. Please contact the hosts ahead of time to let them know you will be audio only, and please also email links to some photos of yourself, so that they can be shown on screen while you talk!

Other Apps

To keep your computer from bogging down during the call, please be sure to exit all unnecessary applications before show time. A web browser is the exception, as that is typically needed to read show notes, and (if you don't have an IRC client) the web chat. In particular, make sure you don't have the live stream playing while you are on Skype!

Finally, if you are participating in the chat, or have a Twitter (or other) client running, make sure that those clients are not playing any sound effects when your name is mentioned (or when you are tweeted, etc.). The Chatrealm will notice that sound effects are on, and will leverage that fact for maximum entertainment.

IRC

If you normally use IRC, go here for the server connection details, and make sure your client doesn't beep when your nick is mentioned. Let the hosts know on-air what your nick is.

All <>.tv shows use IRC for live audience interaction. As a guest, you are welcome to use IRC, and in fact IRC is the preferred way to get links to the hosts. Click here for IRC server connection information. All <>.tv shows use the same IRC server and chat room. The term Chatrealm is used to describe the people who are in IRC.

If you do not normally use IRC, you can use webchat, which runs an IRC client in a browser tab. The IRC Page has links to webchat sites that are already configured to connect to our chat room. If you decide to use webchat, please make two changes to the default settings:

  • Change your nickname to something recognizable, such as your Twitter handle. If someone already has that nickname, you will get a message from NickServ telling you that nickname is registered (check the Status tab in webchat for messages from NickServ). To change your nickname, type /nick new_nickname_here.
  • Disable audio notifications. To do this in webchat, click on the blue IRC "button" in the upper-left corner, click on Options, turn off the option "Beep when nick mentioned or on query activity", and then click Save.

Once you are connected to IRC and you are on the stream, tell the hosts that your are on IRC, and speak your nickname. The server operators will give you "voice", making it easier to identify you in the list of users.

Each show is different, and although <>.tv shows have a common audience, that audience behaves differently for different shows. Some of your own followers may also decide to watch you live on <>.tv (especially if you publicize your appearance before the recording), and they may also show up in our IRC.

The Chatrealm can be distracting, so be prepared to focus on the people you're talking to (not the people you're typing to), and be aware that every chat room (even ours) has some assholes.

Show Structure

Each show has a different structure, with guests playing different roles in different shows. Start times can vary, especially around the holidays or big events.

Cordkillers

Cordkillers records at 16:30 US/Pacific time on Mondays.

Cordkillers is divided into seven or eight segments:

  • The cold open, show title, host & guest introductions.
  • For new guests, a plug typically appears at the top of the show, or a short interview might take place, focusing on the guest and their project(s).
  • The Primary Target: A general entertainment news item.
  • An optional Secondary Target: Another general entertainment news item.
  • A plug for the show's Patreon page appears here.
  • Signals Intelligence: News items related to how the shows get to you, which includes the Internet, broadcast, satellite, etc..
  • Gear Up: News items related to the devices on which you watch stuff, including computers, cable boxes, streaming boxes, etc..
  • A plug for one of the host's other projects appears here.
  • Front Lines: Multiple short news items, described below.
  • Under Surveillance: What the hosts (and guests) have been watching. That is, movies, TV shows, web series, etc.. Spoiler-free items only!
  • Either a Movie Draft Update or On Screen: Upcoming movies, described below.
  • Dispatches From the Front: Viewer letters.
  • Wrap up, short host & guest plugs, and end titles.
  • A short break happens here.
  • It's Spoilerin' Time: Spoiler-filled discussions about what the hosts have watched in the last week.

Front Lines is a rapid-fire news segment. Each news item has sixty seconds to be described and discussed. Each participant (hosts and guests) has two "extensions", allowing them to extend a conversation by an additional sixty seconds.

The second-to-last segment is either a Movie Draft Update or On Screen. Twice a year, the hosts participate in a Movie Draft: Each participant gets $100, and bids on summer/winter movies. The participant whose movies have the highest combined domestic theater gross wins. If a draft season is in progress, the hosts will use this segment to talk about the updated standings in the draft, and to discuss the movies that are coming out this week. Outside of a draft season, the hosts will just talk about some of the movies coming out this week.

Guests are active participants in all segments. After some back-and-forth, one of the hosts will typically give the guest an opening to join the discussion, or (if both hosts have already had their say) the guest can jump in. Of special note, to prepare for Under Surveillance, be sure to think before the show about what you've been watching recently, such as TV shows, movies, Internet series, etc..

After the episode proper is complete, the hosts take a short break and return for It's Spoilerin' Time. During this recording, the hosts talk about what they watched, in detail, with spoilers. The recording is released only to Patrons initially, then added to the podcast feed after ~48 hours.

Guests are not required to stay after the normal episode wraps. However, if a guest is willing to stay, the hosts will typically order the list of shows covered to start with the shows that the guest has covered, so that the guest can leave before they get spoiled on other stuff.

Night Attack

Night Attack records at 19:00 US/Pacific time on Tuesdays. The hosts will actually start streaming up to an hour before the show start time. The pre-show will be used for prep, and to look at funny/interesting videos submitted by the Chatrealm.

Night Attack is divided into 3 segments:

  • The cold open, show title, host introductions. If a guest is appearing for the whole episode, they are introduced here.
  • Host Update: The hosts talk about what they have been doing since the last episode, and what they are doing right now.
  • A plug for the show's Patreon appears here.
  • If a guest is only appearing for part of the show, they are introduced here.
  • The Bit: A game, or other thing.
  • An ad appears here.
  • The Project: Starting, or checking in on, a Chatrealm project. Musical acts can also perform in this segment.
  • Chatrealm projects are plugged here.
  • Musical acts perform an additional song here.
  • Wrap-up, quick plugs, and end lullaby.

The Host Update is used for the hosts to talk about what happened to them over the last week, and what's going on right now. This is primarily back-and-forth between the hosts, but if guests are already on the show, they should feel free to speak up & react.

The Bit is a space used to play a game, or perform some routine, or generally do something to entertain the audience. Bits vary from episode to episode, and occasionally recurring bits are used (for example, Problem Solverz occurs once each month). If Chatrealm participation is needed, the hosts will talk about what is needed during the pre-show. For more complicated bits that require more work from the Chatrealm, the hosts will post on Twitter before the pre-show even starts.

From time to time, this segment will occur twice in a show, with the Patreon plug separating them.

The Project is a space used to talk about how things are going with whatever the Chatrealm's current project is. For example, while the album Night Attack 3: Too Old To Talk was being mixed, the Chatrealm was creating cover images, which the hosts were reviewing. The cover-creation project was introduced, and the submitted covers were reviewed, in this segment.

If there is no active project, this space is used for another bit. If there is a musical guest, then this segment will be used for them, or an additional segment will be created for the musical guest.

The last ad break is used for Diamond Time, where the hosts talk about the top three projects voted on in the weekly Diamond Time post. Justin reads out the top three entries (root comments) as they are written, and the submitter's stuff is shown on screen.

The hosts' significant others, Bonnie Brushwood and Ashley Paramore, will occasionally take part in the show, and should be treated the same as the hosts.

Brian takes calls from the Chatrealm during the show, and both hosts will not hesitate to Brody callers who are not entertaining them.

Night Attack, especially the first segment, is more like two friends chatting, and makes for a fast-paced show. For that reason, guests (especially newer guests) might not be called until after the first ad. Guests should think of themselves as part of the group, and should not hesitate to join in the conversation!

Show Doc

Each show has a different means of keeping track of their agenda for the episode.

Cord Killers

Each episode of Cord Killers has a show doc, which lists the stories that are being covered. Access to the doc for guests is optional. If you would like access, contact the person who booked you.

Night Attack

Night Attack has a community-maintained show doc. The link to the week's show doc changes every episode, and is regularly published in the IRC before the show. If you don't have the link, just ask "doc link?" in the IRC, and someone (or many people) will send you a link to the doc. The doc is public, and is editable until the show is finished. Doc links will usually be posted on the Night Attack google+ page a day or two before the show.

For certain episodes, the hosts will have an additional doc, containing information only they will be using.

Anything Else?

That's it! When you join the show, let the hosts know you've read this page, and ask them if there is any last-minute information you should know. Good luck!