Museum Setup: Update 2

Things are progressing nicely here at the Museum - Additional floorspace has been ordered (from Ikea) and will be collected soon. Then, our chief architect will work on the long construction process, which may be shortened if he bothers to read the instructions.

First video shoot

The first ever video for the Youtube Channel began shooting recently. It took a while to work out a process to make it feasible - and after some laughably bad pilot shoots (culminating in the featured exhibit failing to work), I rethought things and went with a different approach.

Filming, talking and demonstrating intricate miniatures all at once is just too much (for me anyway). Too much going on to keep things sounding natural and also try and think of things to say when you're trying to remember where a tiny button is and keeping it in focus on the camera.

So I tried a different approach of recording the video and the audio separately. For the first shoot, I did the video first, and then the audio afterwards. It seemed to go really well, and meant I could focus on each task, getting good quality video shots and then taking time to get the audio right without the pressure of everything else.

So I spent half an hour demonstrating with my hands and doing pantomime style gestures that I could then edit in to suit the dialog - it sounds like it wouldn't work, but it does! And without having to sync in live dialog, retakes and additional camera angles become more achievable. I was able to do a run-through and then redo the whole thing but with a macro closeup, so I can inter-cult between the two in the edit stage. And recording dialog when you're not distracted by a camera viewfinder and getting the exhibits to work properly makes things a lot easier to sound natural.

Above is a shot of the filming in process - as you can see its a pretty high-end Hollywood kind of production. The desk, the room and everything you see was hand-crafted by prop masters to perfectly replicate cheap-ass scummy housewares. You can't see a camera in shot, as the budget only allows for one and I was using to to take the photo. But if you're interested, Im using an iPhone 4S, combined with the excellent Olloclip add-in wide-angle and macro lens. Without these, the quality of shots would have been useless. Lights are little tabletop bright LED things I found on Ebay - the white one is usually in my bathroom... as I say, pretty high-end setup. And the iPhone is mounted on a cheap knock-off Gorllapod style tripod, which allows me to create a low eyeliner. Other than that, the only other kit used is a cheap clip-on microphone, which plugs directly into the iPhone and helps to give clear audio - much better than the built in mic.

So it all went well, and in half a day I had pretty much all the shots and audio takes I needed to edit. (Shown here are my extensive, professional notes.)

I'll be using iMovie on my iMac (which in the photo double up as a back-board prop stand and light power supply) which should give me everything I need - although its been a few years since I looked at it, so might have to relearn a fair bit.

Next update soon.

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