Panning the Empty Chamber
At first the video link was done from a room where the speakers stood in front of a backdrop featuring an aerial view of the Van Nuys Civic Center. This can be seen in this now classic video of Zuma Dogg appearing as Gene Simmmons via the Van Nuys video link.
At some point, the City Council or whoever is in charge decided that this close up image of the speaker with the pretty backdrop may have created too authoritative an image of the speakers. Therefore speakers on the video link now appear in the Council Chambers at Van Nuys City Hall before hundreds of empty chairs in a cavernous room and with an extreme long shot of the speaker. This seeks to diminish the speaker visually and is reminscient of when legendary Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill would order C-SPAN cameras to pan an empty chamber when Republican members of the House were speaking (though it was common practice for legislators of both parties to speak when most members were engaged in activities in other parts of Capitol Hill).