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Glaziers on YouTube

I think everybody likes to be recognized for their work


February 13, 2009
By Pat Bolen

"I think everybody likes to be recognized for their work,” says Michael
Byrne of Stadia Industries in Concord, Ont., which has found a way to
use YouTube to show the skill, teamwork and professionalism of its crew
and company by posting videos of two of its glass installations on the
popular website.

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Screen shots of a YouTube video depicting glaziers from Stadia Industries installing large glass lites. 
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"I think everybody likes to be recognized for their work,” says Michael Byrne of Stadia Industries in Concord, Ont., which has found a way to use YouTube to show the skill, teamwork and professionalism of its crew and company by posting videos of two of its glass installations on the popular website.

Despite their visibility to the public, the complexity and skill required for large glass installation jobs is unknown to much of the public. As Byrne says, “YouTube is a really simple medium to distribute this type of media. It made the videos instantly accessible to the family and friends of the guys. Many glaziers have a really hard time explaining what they do for a living. (One time a person making small talk at a party asked me what I did for a living and I said, ”I’m a glazier.” To which they responded, ”Oh what donut shop do you work at?”)

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The company has two videos on the website which includes ‘Big Glass Install’ and ‘Mighty Glass Install’ with the former shot at the Toronto-Dominion Centre in downtown Toronto and the latter shot at 111 St. Clair Ave. W. in midtown Toronto.

The confidence of both crew and company is evident throughout the videos as the team of eight men plus a crane operator use a vacuum lifter and a 15 ton crane to move the almost 900 pound sheet of glass to its intended location while avoiding power lines, trees and other obstacles. As Byrne says, “it does take some courage to release even these simple little movies to the web. You open yourself and the company up to potential scrutiny.”

“We have replaced a number of lites at the Toronto-Dominion Centre. They are 15 millimetres, 144 x 214 inches and the two glass lites at 111 St. Clair Ave. W. were 12 millimetres, 115  x 161 inches.

Byrne says the first shoot came about primarily for fun and was done with the cameras normally onsite with the crew. “It was edited on Windows Movie Maker and took about eight hours to put together and was kind of a novelty. The scenes came together pretty well to make a nice little story.”

“On the second movie I had a lot more video to sort through and it was much more work. It took about 40 hours to edit,” explains Byrne.  “You get so absorbed during the actual install because it is really intense and you forget to pull out your camera when you have a chance. A lot of the most interesting stuff gets missed,” he says.

“I think the guys really like it…we have a great crew and I honestly feel privileged to work with them on jobs like this. We know we have a good group of guys which the movie seems to capture quite well,” he says adding nothing was orchestrated during any part of the install to facilitate the movie. “This is just what we do.”

While the company has no definite plans for any more videos, Byrne says “if the opportunity arises and we have a spare moment to stop and film I’m sure we will. The guys really like them and the customers seem to as well and it is bringing more attention to our website which is good.”
Visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCS4I8AWnBA and www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q0cJiV1wDI as well as www.stadia.ca .


* Pat Bolen is a professional freelance writer based in Ontario.


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