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 Butler on: The pressure of writing in front of an audience (Length 2:16)

The output of Robert Olen Butler’s computer is one of three video sources available to producers of “Inside Creative Writing,” who will treat the project as a live television event.

The main feature of the viewable product is Butler’s computer screen as he sees it, but producers can also overlap smaller screens displaying a close-up camera view of the author as he writes, or a wide-shot of his office in the Williams Building on the FSU campus.

Yet one of the most intriguing elements could be sound. Butler will wear a microphone as he writes and even the author is curious as to what may be revealed.

Once the video and audio signals are combined in a mobile TV control room, the feed is uplinked to a satellite for distribution through RealNetworks (web) and the DISH Network (subscriber TV).

RealNetworks, based in Seattle, Washington, will downlink and decode the feed before distributing it to the World Wide Web. “Inside Creative Writing” will be available to 5,000 simultaneous users via the RealNetworks server. Streaming at 220 KBPS, the quality of the picture will be near the frame rate of standard television, allowing viewers to see the live result of each keystroke.

DISH Network subscribers can watch live by tuning in to educational channel number 9418. FSU has partnered with the Panhandle Area Education Consortium (PAEC) to utilize its DISH Network channel at 9 p.m. on each of the scheduled writing dates.

Viewers will be able to e-mail questions as Butler writes, which the author will answer before signing off each night.

Although “Inside Creative Writing” is billed as a live event, all 19 episodes will be archived, allowing viewers to return to the project at their convenience.

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