Over the last year, It has occured to me that the demand for Digital media within the L.E.A far outstrips the capacity to deliver it quickly and efficiently.

The crux of the problem is making Teachers and Advisors aware of the turnaround time for projects.

Most weeks I get a number of Teachers and advisors who will bring me a project , very often at the last minute. They seem to think that it’s just a case of filming their even, and then burning the result on to a DVD.

The vast majority of users do not realise that filming itself takes quite a bit of preparation. Not only do you need to be sure if the things you actually need before you set off there are a number of factors to consider regarding the venue.

Here’s a basic camera checklist.

  • Make sure your camera is charged.
  • Have you got a spare battery?
  • Make sure you have the right amount of tapes to cover the project.
  • Do you need lighting?
  • Do you need Microphones?
  • Make sure you take an extension cable.
  • Take a tripod/make sure you have your floating head or foot.

Once you actually have your film. Then you need to clear adequate desk time.

I recomend that you use outlook, get your calendar shared so that other people can view your calendar. Then book out the time it’s going to take to complete the project. You might have several other projects on the go so you’ll have to allocate time each day, and make sure you are not diverted.

Your next problem is SPACE…. I recently filmed a conference that was 4 hours long. The size of that file was massive and I only had about 12 gig free on my G5 Powermac.

I had to do all the editing and then chop up the conference into dv clips that were managable…I did this by seperating the film up so each clip contained one speaker.

I am currently experiencing SPACE problems at the moment, if your new to video production this probabally wont be the case. However, I’ll warn you now that unless you have a serious plan, and stick to it your hard drives will become full very quickly. My G5 is approaching capacity, my terrabyte drive is almost full..

I’m gonna have to take drastic action.

Here’s a plan.

  • Burn all Projects to DVD/CD if possible, make at least 2 backups.
  • Label and keep all tapes, you never know when someone is gonna come back for a copy.
  • After burning backup disks, delete the projects from your computer. They build up so quickly.
  • Make sure you have an external drive as a backup. Firstly they make a great store, secondly they could save your life if your system crashes.
  • Don’t be sentimental, If you have backed up, bin it!!

Whilst all these tips might seem like nothing More than common Sense, you would be surprised at how many “professionals” dont use these simple time saving methods.

My final tip, is “BUDGET” try to secure some money for your projects…The amount of work you do naturally puts strain on your equipment. Furthermore you will need to upgrade your cameras, Editing Software and hardware at least once every 2 years.

Tripods break, batterys die, extension cables give up the ghost. You know you only have 1 dv tape and 3 DVD’s left… So you need to stay ahead and stock up. Kit is everything!!

Phil Gregory
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Phil Gregory

Phil Gregory is a Web Marketing Consultant. Specialising in SEO, PPC and Social Media.

Previously he worked in Education as an ICT Trainer delivering I.C.T / Audio/Visual solutions for Education and Business. Connect with Phil on Social
Phil Gregory
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