Modes of Making

                 

  • Talking Head
  • Interview
  • Exploration
  • Over-the-Shoulder
  • Narration

 

Other methods:

  • Alternative techniques for long-term documentation
  • Lecture/Conference
  • Case Study

 

Talking Head

Consider how close do you need to be and what angle best demonstrates what is happening or how something works.

This type of video always gets better on the second try, so it is great to do a practice run to get your thoughts worked out verbally.

Study the shot for strange shadows and for a clear view of the work area without anything blocking your view. Make sure to tuck microphone cables inside clothing, it is easy to get tangled in cables while working.

We recommend using a tripod and minimizing camera movement. If there are details using a camcorder (like in the low budget package) instead of an iPhone will allow a camera operator to zoom in and out. This requires some practice, but consumer video cameras are much more user friendly than they once were.

 

Interview

Consider the lighting and setting, outside light mixed with indoors makes it difficult to white balance and will result in poor color. Try all one or all the other for better color on your subject. For instance, you can draw the blinds and turn on more incandescent lights indoors, or you could turn off work lights and move closer the window. Of course, if you have daylight-balanced bulbs in a lamp you could use that in combination with the light from outdoors.

Find a quiet location to shoot your interview. You probably won’t find perfect silence, but reducing background sound can be done in little ways. There are so many little sounds all around that microphones will pick up on, turn off fans and unplug noisy machines. Move away from vents in the ceiling or an open window. Close doors to where you are working and hang signs around the area you are recording in so that colleagues know to be quiet. Lastly I recommend doing a test recording and play it back loudly, this is a great to find out what sounds you might not be hearing.

Always check microphone sound levels by using headphones. You need to be sure you are getting crisp clear audio from your subject, there are not filters that can fix poor audio quality, you need good sound to start with. Use your headphones through out the Interview, this way you will know if a background sound is interfering or if your microphone battery runs out.

Your camera should always be on a tripod or similar stabilizing device. Movement is distracting for your viewer and will make it harder to concentrate on what your subject is saying.

Keep your subject on topic and don’t be afraid to ask them to state ideas more clearly a second time, you can cut out parts that are repetitive, or stop and start your camera so that you can quickly patch the good clips together using one of the free editors.

Make sure that you sit on the same eye level as the camera so that your subject isn’t looking up or down. Sit to the left or the right of the camera on the same level as it is placed.

 

Over-the-Shoulder

This is a mode of shooting that will allow the camera shy conservators to share content while maintaining a bit of anonymity.

Just like with a talking-head demonstration you will need to consider how close do you need to be and what angle best demonstrates what is happening or how something works.

Study the shot for strange shadows and for a clear view of the work area without anything, particularly your own arm or hand blocking the view of what you are showing. Once again make sure to tuck microphone cables inside clothing, it is easy to get tangled in cables while working.

 

Exploration

This is another mode of shooting that will allow the camera shy conservators to share content while maintaining a bit of anonymity.

In this case it is a handheld on the fly version of video shooting more on parallel to the lab notebook. Using the camera to expore the object you are examining while narrating what we are looking at so that you have a record of the physical state of an object while accounting for moving around it and demonstrating motion if there are elements that move.

This is something to try before and after treatment as another aspect of your documentation alongside photo documentation, to further aid our understanding of the treatment, deterioration, or other elements of an object on your workbench.


Alternative techniques

We encourage you to experiment with equipment to find new ways of documenting projects, treatments, and examinations.

For case studies long term documentation can be captured with time-lapse:

  • Place a point-and-shoot camera on a tripod in a way that it will not be blocked or moved. Shoot stills of your process with relative frequency (every minute or couple minutes) or use timelapse during working hours, this is not that common of a feature anymore, but one model that has time-lapse functionality is the Nikon CoolPix L610 ($150).
  • A webcam can be installed long term and used with a streaming timelapse recording software, or now you can get cameras that are designed specifically for timelapse like the Brinno products. Please note haven't tried these yet but are looking forward to testing with them.
  • On an iPhone, iPod or iPad the Timelapse app works great too, of course if you are using your phone this would be better implemented for a one day task on a project, when you won't be needing to make any calls.

For all methods you are trying out for the first time, run a test before depending on the camera to do what you expect.  There are always little adjustments that can be made for better capture. As you use video more and more it will become second nature to accommodate elements that interfere with your process in the beginning.

 

Conference Presentation/Lecture

Screen record your talk, it is the simplest thing, take a look at the screen capture tutorial for the technical details.

Another option is to record the audio of your talk using a simple voice recorder, ideally with a small lavalier microphone connected it, or you can use your computer or phone (using an adapter cable). You will take this audio file and load it into your PowerPoint and adjust your timings, you can then export your presentation as a movie file and upload and share.

 

Case Study

Use the “case study script questionnaire“ as a starting point to lay out your ideas and core message you want to share. From this questionnaire you can create a "script" for your talking points as well as what details you will need images or video footage of.

When discussing your project it is easy to speak extensively about every single detail, but it is important to be concise and stick to the important details of the project, avoid tangential information that will make your video excessively long. It is great to do a practice run to get your thoughts worked out verbally.

Gather important images of the treatment process, stills that demonstrate elements of the process already completed. Ideally you will have been documenting the project from the start with video and photographs, as you never have too many supplemental images and video clips of the process (B-roll!). Capture techniques or technology in action either with video or stills, this may require hand holding the camera to move around an object or get close enough to capture details. Make sure to get an image of every part of the process you are sharing so that you can more easily represent the ideas, (and have less face time in the video).

The case study is probably the most versatile and potentially complex mode, as it may incorporate any or all of the below modes of shooting as this is a mode where you want to assemble a comprehensive understanding of a project. If you are unable to connect the pieces together using the simple editing methods, you could collect several individual videos into a series you have embedded/uploaded to Conservation Reel and create a series to share the case study.

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