For our most recent assignment, a digital video project, I recorded footage of the UW Raccoon Project.
While we do do some fun things, like trapping and processing raccoons, this is part of our dead season, so there really wasn’t a ton to video. I managed to get video of our new project manager checking camera traps and setting up a new pod experiment (which is pretty top secret because it’s brand new in the field, so I couldn’t get much on it).
I enjoyed the actual filming, and seeing what I could do with shots. I also enjoyed planning out what shots would go where with what background noise, whether it was the sound that came with the video, or another sound clip cut over it. It was creative, but not so incredibly much that I’d completely blank on what to do (as I tend to do on overly creative things). There was a nice flow to follow that kind of naturally fell into place, which pleasantly surprised me.
I’m going to be honest though, when it came to the actual editing part, I wanted to pull my hair out in great chunks. Repeatedly. I used Adobe Premier, and I’m not certain if it was the program or me, or a little bit of both, but my goodness I could not get it to play nicely. It kept doing this thing that I termed “cannibalizing” where if I accidentally put one clip over another, and then moved it when I realized my mistake, the first clip was permanently clipped to where the second one had fallen on it. What a pain! (Among other problems…) I also had some issues with audio that I couldn’t figure out how to fix (you can probably tell where).
I wish I’d realized just how shaky I was when I was filming some shots. The person I was filming was not one to redo something just so I could get a better shot, so I just had to deal with what I got. If I’d known how shaky I was (especially when walking), I would have tried to do something (not sure what, but something), to mitigate that.
Overall, this was a frustrating project. I don’t particularly like my final product, to be honest. Sure, there are parts that I like, but I wish I’d had more opportunities to shoot and reshoot. I think that some parts could certainly be fixed, and I would have nixed the entire second interview if I could have. Then the editing software just made me irritated.
In the future, I wouldn’t mind directing a film project. I would like to be in the editing area saying “Ooo, put this here! Put that there, and this over here.” but I don’t want to be the actual person doing the actual clip moving and cutting and such.
Video can be a powerful communication tool, so I don’t think I’ll be escaping it any time soon.
And I’d just like to say, yes, it’s a little boring of a video. But it is a part of our research. Science isn’t always glamorous and fun and entertaining. For the majority of the year, this is what we do, or even less. There are fun parts to the project, but it’s also important to see the not fun parts, the tedious parts, and the downright annoying parts, because that’s what science is. It’s not always “eureka!’s” and playing with cute little critters, sometimes it’s checking an empty camera trap for the third time that week. That’s just how it is. And with that being said, *gets off of soapbox*.