At Urban Sketchers Symposium Singapore 2015. Picture by Ken Lee

The City Sketchers Symposium is coming back for the 11th time in 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. FYI, the 2019 USk Symposium was attended by 700+ persons that bundled members with workshop and sketching passes.

With each and every USk Symposium, there will be phone calls for sketching and video clip correspondents. These are volunteer positions to assist doc and share what is taking place at the function.

I’m composing this to share my experience of what it is really like to be a movie correspondent at the USk Symposium. I was the video clip correspondent at the USk Symposiums in Singapore (2015), Manchester (2016) and Amsterdam (2019).

My very first USk Symposium was actually in Barcelona (2013) and I have made a video clip for that way too even however I was not a movie correspondent back again then.:

I have also created films for other worldwide sketching gatherings these kinds of as the Asia-backlink Sketchwalks and additional:

What’s it like?

If I can explain my practical experience in just one word, the phrase would be exhilarating. If I have to use two terms, it would be exhilarating, tiring.

It’s a obstacle to convey the spirit and vitality of the symposium to viewers throughout the world. For me, making every day vlogs was the most effective way to doc the party in a way to make viewers, particularly sketchers who were not able to go to, to come to feel like they are on place with our massive family of urban sketchers. It was incredibly tiring to make these videos, but very fulfilling as perfectly. Seeing individuals old videos from many years ago make me sense like I am back seated on my little stool beside my mates, chatting and sketching away.

The symposium is a large celebration with several workshops, pursuits and contributors, so it is really not possible to be everywhere you go at the same time to history all the things. I keep in mind I would get started just about every working day of the symposium at the accumulating position with hundreds of other sketchers and just adhere to a random group to their workshop destinations. Generally, I just go with the movement.

I would document what I want devoid of substantially excess footage due to the fact I’m not guaranteed if I will have the time at evening to glimpse by way of all the footage. I would sketch as well with the sketchers and though ready for my watercolour to dry, I would do my recording.

At night right after evening meal, I would rush back to the resort to edit the videos, export and add them, and snooze. As I have to edit films at night, I typically really don’t be part of other sketchers for the night time sketching periods. Getting enough relaxation is really critical due to the fact you require the electrical power the next working day. Attending the symposium without the need of producing video clips is already exhausting ample generally owing to the strolling, carrying the sketching equipment and supplies (pack as mild as feasible) and often the climate.

I remember whilst doing work on my previous laptop, I would just take a shorter timed nap so that I can wake later on to add the exported online video to Youtube.

This workflow manufactured it achievable for me to report and write-up the videos day-to-day. And I preferred to write-up movies every day so that other individuals can adhere to along each day with our occasions and practical experience the excitement. By the way, the energy and the significant you get from truly getting at the symposium is various occasions bigger than what can be portrayed via the films. Every day is a shock waiting to happen since you will not know who you may satisfy on the street as the town will be packed with sketchers that weekend, all carrying the similar USk badge which is hanging from the lanyard.

I even now check out those people previous videos often and I am normally reminded of the thrill, enjoyment and vitality. The video clips are also extremely nostalgic since there are folks who are my pals now but usually are not at the time the video clips had been made. And the movies could make me come to feel in different ways yet again if I view them in a couple of years time.


Making films in the course of the USk Symposium in Amsterdam was especially grueling for the reason that I was down with some, possibly, virus. My bones ended up aching the whole time I was in Amsterdam. It was so unpleasant to even transfer whilst bathing or flip ever so slightly on mattress although sleeping. It was poor. The only thing bought me out of the bed each day and retained me likely was the adrenaline or electricity of remaining at the symposium.

What does it just take to be a movie correspondent?

Let’s choose a appear at tasks and technical abilities outlined on the web site calling for movie correspondents, repeated below:


  1. Capture films of key each day activities for the whole duration of the symposium April 19-22, 2023. These activities would incorporate, but are not restricted to: pre-symposium established-up, workshops, demos, lectures, and sketch walks.
  2. Exhibit the spirit of the symposium in video structure, e.g. bonding involving individuals, favourable general public conversation, casual foods, consume ‘n’ draw, opening and closing receptions.
  3. History longer movies that aspect interviews with instructors and symposium organizers that go guiding the scenes and serve as instructional and marketing supplies by Urban Sketchers.
  4. Submit quite a few each day video clip summaries on USk social media channels.
  5. Recreate “the experience of getting at the symposium” and showcase its one of a kind location in Auckland, New Zealand for the USk community who will be looking at from afar.
  6. Function with the other symposium correspondents and symposium committee as a team.

Technical competencies expected

  1. Sophisticated abilities in online video editing and rapidly turnaround. This includes picking, chopping, adding transitions, new music, text, and titles, and subtitles as essential.
  2. Create information that is suited in period [short, medium, long] for respective on-line platforms i.e. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  3. Have the technical tools to assist the above responsibilities, these as a telephone with a video clip camera, online video digicam, microphone, and a notebook, as perfectly as software program for video clip enhancing and uploading.
  4. Generate information that is captured in both of those vertical and horizontal formats to match respective on-line platforms.
  5. Fluency with social media platforms in get to share online video product created ‘on the fly’ by way of Live Functions, Stories, and Reels on Instagram, Facebook and a range of other platforms.

It goes with no indicating that you should be good and quick at enhancing films. You ought to have and know your equipment and your program. You can find just no time to discover online video enhancing through all those couple times at the symposium. It can be demanding if you’re hurrying for time, specially if you have to get the video clips out every day.

The aspect on enhancing movies to distinct formats to fit various on-line platforms is really hard. That sounds like a great deal of additional miscellaneous do the job you have to produce from the main movie you’ve got designed. These additional work will just take far more time. I have been explained to there will be a social media group encouraging out with the re-formatting and posting of these movies on to distinct system. In any case, all these do the job will have to be completed on a laptop to be productive or help you save time.

Though I was at the symposium, I only experienced time to make the daily video clips, and perhaps 1 or two reside-streams.

What are the benefits

You get to be at the USk Symposium! And you can have an Open Pass that gives you obtain to all symposium workshops and routines so that you can document the function and guiding-the-scenes footages.

The video clip correspondent will obtain an honorarium in the amount of five nights’ lodging or $500 in funds. Nice. Journey expenditures are not included nevertheless.

I cannot recall if you can reserve your very own resort or you are presented a place at the lodge where by all the instructors are. If you do have to book a hotel, the a person closest to the symposium venue is the most effective hotel.

The past perk is the amazing knowledge that you may don’t forget vividly for the relaxation of your life, and the mates you make along the way.

By arnia