So you’re running an arts project that has lots of participants, artists and you – the organiser – and you want some way to use digital video to document the process. It can’t mean a whole bunch of extra work though right? It has to be relatively easy and pain free… we’ve got some ideas!
Idea 1: Two minute interviews
Each day/workshop assign someone as the interviewer (it could be you).
At the end of day, each participant has 2 minutes in-front of a camera to talk about what they’ve been doing. They can say whatever they like, the only rule is that the video runs for exactly 2 minutes!
Make sure you’re extra careful about file management of the videos. Create a folder on your computer called “2 minute interviews”. At the end of each session, save all the videos to a folder with the date, eg “2009-02-19” (year-month-day) and rename each video to the participants name. Eg jane-smith.avi
Best to use a camera that you can easily transfer the files to a computer with. Something that records onto flash memory or a hard-disk. Something like a Flip or even a better-model digital still camera that has a movie mode (and a mic of course!) (editor’s note: wow this article really is from 2010! Just use your phone!)
- easy to do, no special skills required
- casual, informal
- Can give an insight into the perspective and attitudes of everyone involved
- Gives everyone in the project a voice
- projects with lots of participants will mean that the interviews could take up quite a bit of time at the end of the day
- file management, there’ll be a lot of video footage at the end of your project. You’ll need a clever way to publish it or archive it (check out our Video Publishing guides for other ideas)
Idea 2: Hotseats
The hotseat performs as a daily diary with simple questions asked. It is performed at the end of each workshop with all participants and co-ordinators/artists.
Step by Step
- On the first day, decide upon 3 pertinent questions that you can ask each day. (ie What did you do today? What did you learn today?)
- Decide upon one additional question to ask only on that day. Each day, one day-specific question gets asked. This can be more fun and less formal than the other questions.
- Setup camera and frame subject. An interviewer stands to the side of the camera.
- Press record.
- The interviewer asks the agreed upon questions, the three that are asked everyday and the one new question for the day. The subject answers.
- Stop recording once the final question is answered.
Idea 3: Video Diary
Kind of similar to 2 minute interviews but only for organisers and project co-ordinators / artists leading the project. These are longer videos which consist of the subject alone, looking into the camera giving a wrap-up of the week. What were the highlights, what were the challenges, what’s happening next, what are you looking forward to.
Perform these once a week, at the end of the week.
15 – 30 mins long.
- A laptop with an inbuilt web cam is perfect for this kind of documentation because you can record your entries in private or if you’re on the road
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