Former Prime cameraman Kyle Hands Media has been bringing live streams to the Coffs Clarence community across sport, ceremonies and even funerals.
Former Prime cameraman Kyle Hands Media has been bringing live streams to the Coffs Clarence community across sport, ceremonies and even funerals.

LIVE STREAMING: Glimpse into the future of mainstream media

AS WE start to use modern technology more in our everyday lives, one cameraman is looking further into the future.

Kyle Hands was part of the Prime News team for over 12 years, but in the midst of a global pandemic his latest project has been running full steam ahead.

“With COVID slowing the news down, I’ve been live streaming all sorts of things from funerals to community sport,” Hands said.

“TV is slowing down. It won’t die but live streaming is the way of the future. It’s been really busy. I’ve been doing more live streams than TV work.”

Kyle Hands Media on deck as Grafton Tigers host Sawtell Toormina Saints in an AFL North Coast clash at Ellem Oval on Saturday, September 5, 2020. Photo: Mitchell Keenan
Kyle Hands Media on deck as Grafton Tigers host Sawtell Toormina Saints in an AFL North Coast clash at Ellem Oval on Saturday, September 5, 2020. Photo: Mitchell Keenan

Under the Kyle Hands Media title, Hands has assembled a small crew to work on local projects and has been covering up to five funerals a week along with AFL, rugby union and other sports.

“I had been doing the Coffs Harbour rugby union games. When they had an away game I offered to do a Coffs Harbour Breakers game and they took up the offer,” he said.

“Of course then the Grafton Tigers saw that so when they played each other the next week we came up there to stream that one too.

“It’s gone really well. They’re keen to get a few more games filmed or live streamed.”

Hands has encouraged the use of commentators, often asking former players or reserve players to add some colour and said it has been a success with sizeable viewer numbers.

“We’ve just been getting a couple of guys to have a bit of a chinwag. We make sure they keep it positive so when someone drops a ball they don’t say ‘they’ve dropped it’. Instead they’ll just say ‘it’s gone slippery all of a sudden’,” he said.

“It’s a bit of fun and the banter with the live viewers in the comment section has been great as well. We also got the umpire on at half-time which you don’t see to often at community sport.”

Grafton Tigers host Sawtell Toormina Saints in an AFL North Coast clash at Ellem Oval on Saturday, September 5, 2020. Photo: Mitchell Keenan
Grafton Tigers host Sawtell Toormina Saints in an AFL North Coast clash at Ellem Oval on Saturday, September 5, 2020. Photo: Mitchell Keenan

Hands said it was good to be able to assist clubs and families watching from right around the country who may not be able to get to games.

“It’s catching on this year because of the limits on spectator numbers. We’ve had people watching from as far as Melbourne and even overseas,” he said.

“Next year we’ll look to step it up with more sponsorships and potentially advertising during streams but this year we wanted to make it affordable during a pretty tough time.”

Other events Hands has covered include the Port Macquarie Iron Man, an ANZAC Day Dawn Service and a Government media launch for the Department of Primary Industries.

Hands said the portability of modern technology has removed a lot of boundaries for filming and streaming events.

“We can live stream anything. I was at a job the other day with my SIM cards plugged in inside my backpack so I was completely wireless,” he said.

“We could broadcast from anywhere and that’s really exciting.”

While Hands has been hard at work, he is looking to expand his team of camera operators in order to deal with the growing demands.

“Next year could present a big problem with a shortage of people who operate streams for us,” he said.

“We’re going to start getting double booked so we want to get a few more guys who can use a camera as well as being smart enough to sort the problems involved with live streaming.”

Hands will be streaming a number of upcoming events, including the senior and junior AFL North Coast finals, as well as rugby league and rugby union finals to come.



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