Video Diary

Wednesday Dec 05, 2007

Video it

Investing in some video equipment and exploring methods and techniques for using the medium would be beneficial for OA in several ways and I’m not just saying that because I like the idea of making some arty films about architecture and the historic built environment but in terms of building recording video would be ideal for showing how a building worked- how people moved and used or still use the space and give an integrated unified feeling of a structure or complex of structures rather than dividing it up into separate views/frames /elevations/sections as traditional recording tends to do.
There are numerous other possible applications, video diaries of sites and various projects/personnel  on the website for example, interviews, training films, introductions to OA for new staff, publicity for potential clients, educational videos for schools/public presentations etc.
Video is universal and accessible, it is understood by everyone and in a company of this size and with our range of work and projects in an ‘industry’ that has become hugely popular we could be using this medium to reach out via the web and in other ways to a vast potential audience.


Sounds like an interesting idea to me. What spec of camera would you need?

Posted by Chris Puttick on December 05, 2007 at 02:18 PM GMT+00:00 #

We occasionally use video for these kinds of things at WA. It's been useful to us, especially for explaining historic buildings (also have a look at the Weald & Downland Museum's video podcast) and with our marine archaeology (hat-mounted diver cam).

Some of the key things we've learned about using video are:

1) The kit must be robust and easy to use (point and shoot).

2) You will need a wind baffle over the microphone! The hours of video you'll have where all you can hear is wind noise...

3) Will there be a voice-over added after the event? You'll need a good mic and somewhere quiet to use it.

4) Make sure people allocate time in their project to edit their footage.

5) The software to edit video must be really easy and quick to use. We use iMovie on a Mac, and it's simple enough that lots of people can use it and show each other how it's done.

6) Take into account storage needs. Will you record on miniDV tapes (easy to archive), will you archive off your edited project file (can be many GBs) so it can be easily re-edited/added to later (hint: extremely good idea!)?

7) Make a quick guide to hand out to staff on how to film, covering composition etc (not just what buttons to press). Hours of poorly filmed video can be counter-productive.

8) Just give it a go ;-)

Happy to discuss / share ideas!

Posted by Tom Goskar on December 10, 2007 at 09:15 AM GMT+00:00 #

Thanks for your comments Tom, very helpful, I think the main decision is between hard drive or tape and I would favour hard drive as the footage would all have to be downloaded anyway. The Sony HDR-SR1E has been recommended to me by some archaeological users. I would be really interested to see some of the results you have achieved especially with buildings recording.

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