Do you want to be in my movie?

My sheer amount of challenges with regards to recording started last year when I had the opportunity to take up a two-day video course delivered by Be Inspired Films here at the university. On the first day participants learnt how to record interview, use monopods and record cutaways. We then had 2 weeks gap during which we were left to do some more recordings at our own pace and met back again to put together our footages and edit these into (according to our standard) a near perfect piece of video. The course highlighted few technological issues: some of the participants had their footages in the wrong file formats, or even some videos were of poor quality mainly due to inaccessibility to good quality camcorders or unavailability of mikes while recording. Six months after, many more video courses have been delivered in the university; and ITS has been proactive on these issues, providing at our disposal a brand new camcorder and mike, and the Digital Development team has been organising follow-up sessions.

I was now equipped with adequate skills and have access to brand new equipments and that was what I thought to be the end of my challenges with recording. To my dismay, further practical barriers posed themselves. I was soon to realise that having the grand idea of recording lecture sessions was far from possible. I had forgotten an important element: the deliverers.

Being behind the camera for several times now, where it is easier saying “camera rolling”, I forgot what it was like the first time I was in front of one. I was soon to run into people who are camera shy or simply do not want to be recorded. And understandably enough, there are some people who do not want to be seen making a mistake on a video which is accessible to many others.

I had wrongly assumed that with the technological push in UK HEs, Reading being one of them, it was simply about the delivery of lectures/sessions online or even recording them to for future reference to students. The  unpalatable truth was that it also involves sitting down with course deliverers and highlighting the importance of recording lectures and how this can in the long run decrease their work load.

What came to my mind was that may be recording the lectures in a different location (perhaps an office) at the deliverer’s own time could be a solution. However, we will be missing on all the resourceful lecturer-students interactions during the class.

That led me to rethink my approach. This challenge is very much dependent on individual lecturers and with this behavioural barrier; we might still be far away from a “ being online culture”. With our forthcoming campus in Malaysia, there might be a more pressing need for us to adapt and to pass on the important message to deliverers that there is a rising need for students (particularly those remotely-located) to be able to access recorded lecturers.

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1 Response to Do you want to be in my movie?

  1. David Wong says:

    Agree that for a long time, recording video was such a technological barrier. There’s a misconception that once that tech barrier is overcome, “the rest is easy”; in fact, not the case. As you said, some people are shy; for the videos that make it to web sites, countless trials and retakes have happened due to errors in what they are saying in particular, you can’t just do “saying your thoughts out loud”, or do too many of correcting errors you said earlier.

    And with video you do need to have a “thought plan”. When people think being shot for video is like going on TV, there’s some truth in that (!). From a viewers point, it’s slightly irritating when there are gaps or distractions with the speakers in the video; you don’t need to be a newsreader, but a good story teller will be good. However, we all have to start somewhere. The days of “I wish somebody comes up to me with a mic and I get on TV tonight” is almost over, now we can record ourselves and put us on the worldwide web.

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