MA project: First recorded video

This week I recorded the first footage for the content of my project.

I did two interviews this week in London and Birmingham, speaking to Sir David Omand and Francis Clarke about the Investigatory Powers Act for my project. Both interviews were filmed with the usual camera setup, but also with a Theta S camera.

In terms of production, both interviews went as expected. The set up was easy, and framing shots on the primary camera was just as I anticipated. However, careful consideration for the environment was not something I had put into thought.

Obviously I knew that 360º video would capture the entire environment, the surroundings, however without any foresight into the location of the interview I had no way of planning where the camera should be placed or whether it would be appropriate to film.

In the first interview, with Sir David Omand, we filmed in his university office. I placed the Theta S camera on a tripod on the desk, however my positioning of the primary camera meant that I was mostly hidden from view. This defeated the object of using the camera to, as I explained in my previous post, provide ‘a seat at the table’ for the viewer.

““““”””” Sir David Omand, in a picture taken from the interview video at his office.

I spoke to Francis Clarke yesterday, and while setting up shot outside, I used an adapter to set the 360º on the same tripod. By using the app on my phone to preview the picture, I moved the adapter in such a way that it was in front of, but not obstructing, the primary camera. This allowed me to create the setting for a ‘third person at the table’ as I desired.
Unfortunately the interview didn’t go as planned; while the discussion and points made by Clarke were as I required, an outside interview was disrupted by a change in weather. After quickly moving undercover, I had only thought about the framing of the primary camera as the interview transitioned from seated to standing, but in order to minimise disruption to the flow of conversation, I decided to let the 360º continue. It was already fixed to the tripod in such a way that it wouldn’t need further adjustment, but its position within the environment should have had more consideration. There was a wall in close proximity to the Theta camera, and my own position was slightly behind the primary camera – putting me in the same framing as the interview with Omand.

These wider complications, through not being able to prepare enough, is the biggest thing I’ll take from conducting interviews with a 360º camera. In the future, more attention needs to be placed in the wider environment and the positioning of cameras in order to minimise hiding.

As far as the video production goes, despite reviewing the footage I filmed this week I have not yet started editing the video.

Over the next two weeks, I plan to cut down the interviews to appropriate lengths so that they can be paired with graphics and voice overs. It is still necessary to get more people to speak in the video, and so I am continuing efforts to source additional interviews.

While I wait for further contact, I hope to progress with the code to a point where it functions at a point where the show/hide buttons appear after set video duration.

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