Creating digital media

One of the main aspects of my new job is to produce video lectures for the Centre’s online and blended programmes. In my previous role I had experience of recording and editing screencasts to support my own teaching, and had been involved in planning the filming of the Get Started videos. However, I had never taken a video project through from planning to production before.

The discrete nature of the task is something that I particularly like about video production. The work I did in libraries was often ongoing development or maintenance, so it’s nice to do something with a very definite ending and final product.

Getting to grips with the technical side of the production has been a steep, but enjoyable, learning curve. I have been grateful for the well documented processes already in existence within the team as well as the excellent resources provided by JISC Digital Media.

Here’s a quick outline of our process:

  • record video of an academic delivering their lecture in front of a green screen
  • at the same time the lecture slides are being recorded using Camtasia
  • use chroma key composition to combine the two recordings
  • apply some general edits to the audio and video
  • produce the final version of the lecture to post on the VLE

I’ve found when I tell people about my new job the video production is the element that they latch on to. I think that’s because when you get to the part about the green screen it sounds like you’re in the movies. The image above isn’t too far off the setup we’ve got in our makeshift recording studio. A new business school building is due to open in the next couple of months and with this we’ll be moving to a custom built media room. I’m looking forward to getting a look around that soon.

For those of you interested in the final product, here’s an example of one of our video lectures (this one is not created by me though):

Things 11 & 12 – Podcasts and YouTube

  • Thing 11: Find and listen to some podcasts
  • Thing 12: Search YouTube for videos and discover YouTube channels

When I was a kid I didn’t read that much I was much happier listening to story tapes and when I listen to the radio I would much rather hear spoken word rather than music – these are the two main reasons why I love podcasts. I started listening to podcasts when I worked on the Oxford Digitisation Project. One of my main tasks was surveying the collections across Oxford’s libraries to see what could be digitised; it was a very repetitive and mundane task and podcasts were the only thing that kept me sane.

The podcasts I am currently listening to are

Now what about YouTube. I like YouTube but I’m not the kind of person who can spend hours searching for videos on it. I tend to only go to it when someone shares a link with me and more often than not I find the videos I watch are information related. Whilst on holiday recently I spent an evening sitting in the hotel bar observing a group of businessmen huddled around a laptop watching videos of car crashes on YouTube – I don’t understand the appeal.

For thing 12 I signed up to a couple of YouTube channels. One of them was the Common Craft channel. If you’ve not heard of Common Craft’s In Plain English series then I’d thoroughly recommend you check it out. Here’s their video on Twitter to get you in the mood for next week’s things…