Glasgow’s Star Turn

This Monday we hosted the grand final of Glasgow’s Star Turn, a talent competition in the Evening Times for singers, dancers, comedians, musicians and other talented performers.  The event was a great success, with an audience completely filling the Old Fruitmarket and a set of celebrity judges who were hugely impressed with the talent on show.

My involvement was in designing, building and running the bespoke site where contestants could submit their entry and the public could view and vote on their favourite acts.

The technical platform allowed talented hopefuls to submit their entries online including photographs and their four minute video performance.  To make it as easy as possible for entrants we didn’t place any strict restrictions on video formats, instead relying on our in-house platform to convert and publish the videos in formats compatible with desktop and mobile browsers.

The data volumes generated during the application phase were pretty vast, occupying over 10GB of server space before the videos were vetted and compressed into our web-ready formats.

Everything went smoothly throughout the 12 weeks of entries, voting and build up to the final.  The only lesson I’d take away for any future competitions is that we shouldn’t allow users to upload Flash video.  Unfortunately, it’s the one mainstream video standard that can’t be automatically transcoded into mobile-friendly formats – a significant problem when so many users are on an iPad these days.

Cameron Communications provided all of the AV support on the night and I edited their footage into a short highlights programme for the site which you can see below.