Thursday, September 18, 2014

September MCN Pro Session

This past week Emily and I brought together some wonderfully smart people to talk through file organization and the specific challenges we have when working with audio and video media. I learned so much from our guest presenters, and I look forward to incorporating tools and techniques from their presentations into my workflow.

Session Description: Have you ever gotten tangled in a web of disorganized video and image files? What are the best practices for organizing and storing images, audio and video? What is the difference between interpretive content and collections content? What constitutes a work of art and a backup work of art when discussing file types?

Anna Chiaretta-Lavatelli and Emily Lytle-Painter, co-chairs of MCN’s Media Production SIG, will explore issues around digital file storage and organization in cultural organizations with the follow speakers:

Heidi Quicksilver, The Jewish Museum
Crystal Sanchez, Smithsonian Institution
Patrick Heilman, DIA Art Foundation

This is an informal “radio show” style chat with short “presentations” and Q&A.

Monday, April 28, 2014

MCN2014 Proposal: Iron Editor

Here is a potentially fun/ridiculous idea for a panel:

A group of video editors are given a shared set of assets and a few different challenges (no animation, use only still images, same b-roll from an iPhone, keep it under 1:00, use only creative commons licensed materials for anything additional, etc). Those editors sit in a public location (maybe in the conference room) and have their screens projected while they edit for an hour (?) prior to the session presentations, (perhaps with a moderator providing Iron Chef style play-by-play?). The participants then discuss their thoughts in general about editing and storytelling, and the works are presented, questions are answered.

Anyone game for being a part of it? It would all be in the spirit of fun and not harshing judging your chops. I'd down to be a moderator, announcer, or editor and hand over the reins to anyone. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

MCN2014 Proposal: Collaborative Video Production

I'm interested in talking about collaborative videos produced between multiple entities, to look at how they create a more rounded story that fosters partnerships and allows the museum to engage community. It creates connections between the museum and participants by acquiring greater exposure, and engaging people who may not necessarily ever be in a museum video otherwise.

Collaborative video production has the potential to create more exposure because the videos become more engaging stories rather than self-serving promotional videos (even though the collaborative videos can be self-serving, it may not seem as such since it's not just the museum promoting itself).

Lastly, I'm thinking about discussing how important it is to think about video being internally collaborative and not just something per department. It's not just an educators/curator/marketers tool, but rather should be a collaboration between all of the above and more.

I'll be looking at a few collaborative videos I've made at the Balboa Park Online Collaborative and how they have all differed in some ways but all created a very meaningful and powerful story that united different groups.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

MWA2013: Making it Pretty and Easy: Video for Museums on the Cheap

This is a very late update about my presentation at Museums and the Web Asia this past winter, I encourage those who were able to attend to share their experience of the recent MW conference in Baltimore!

So I have this production philosophy, and I know that at least several of you are on the same page with me on this-

Anyone can do it.

Consumer technology has come such a long way that we should not hesitate to put the camera in the hands of the curator, conservator, any professional at your museum, even (and perhaps especially) if they are completely inexperienced with video. Video is just another language for sharing information ideas and stories, augmenting text or replacing it.

As a video artist I was always toying with inexpensive technology to see how I could push it to behave either in a stylistic way that blindsided quality or as the technology has dramatically improved (understatement) using consumer cameras with my production know-how to create something that looks great. This wasn't any kind of revelation, it has been happening all around me over the past decade. In 2003, two years before YouTube was even born, Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation was released in theaters. It is a feature film created from years and years of footage captured on handicam as his own video diary dating back to childhood, and to further underscore the role of consumer technology, he had edited the whole thing in iMovie.

I didn't realize the relationship of my independent video practice to the work I was doing in museums until I began working on the Conservation Reel project, This Kress Foundation funded project provided the opportunity to explore the landscape of conservation video as it currently exists and then imagine up what the future of video production and conservation looked like with the voices of the Advisory Committee expanding my perspective. It became a two year endeavor to understand how video can be used by the conservation community, and how to teach someone from scratch to make great looking video quite simply with minimal tools.

I took this philosophy with me to Museums and the Web Asia in Hong Kong and a second abbreviated version of the conference in Beijing. It was a wonderful experience bringing these ideas to the broader community and I hope that it is just the beginning of a longer and broader conversation that will help us move forward in considering best practices for content production in museums.

My presentation from the conference is available on SlideShare: