This post is being written as I am sitting here at Science Online 2012. Along with Jim Hutchins and Rob Nelson, I ran a workshop about making science videos. Thanks to all who attended, participated in the discussions, and asked questions!
We asked participants to consider their audience, their objectives and their budget (money, time and emotional).
My impression was that most people in the audience had made videos, or at least gave it a shot, and were looking for ways to improve production values. (Perhaps they were looking for the automated "Press Here to Make a Great Video" Button!)
There are many things to consider as video making is a multifactorial process that requires a lot of pre-planning, designing a story and imagining the flow. Then you need to consider the equipment, setting, lighting and sound, and your hosts/characters, choosing ones that are charismatic and interesting.
Producing a great video can be complex. Imagine replacing your roof. Sure, you can do it yourself, but a professional has the tools and expertise that will give a good result the first time in a short time. So, if you have a budget or other resources, it would be worthwhile to turn over the "heavy lifting" of production to people with experience unless you are particularly keen to learn how to do this yourself.
If you came to the presentation looking for nuts and bolts information (cameras, editing, what to wear, etc), see the powerpoint presentation that Carin and I presented last year.
One of the participants inquired about a video formula that scientists could use in making a video that presented their work. I was unaware that someone has created a resource to lay out what should be done. However, I did recommend, if you want to present your science to other scientists, versus the general public, visit the videos that are found in JoVE, SciVee and BenchFly for ideas.
Journal of Visualized Experiments are videos filmed by those at JoVE of scientific experiments. It costs to have the team come out and film and also costs to subscribe to watch the videos.
Benchfly is similar to JoVE. There is a fee to have them come film your techniques, but access is free to anyone who wants to watch the end result.
SciVee is also a subscription service where scientists have put up videos presenting their work or videos. There is no team to film the videos.
Participants were interested in stock video, which can be expensive. Rob suggested looking for video/movies in http://www.archive.org
There were many questions about editing. There is a learning curve and there are a lot of videos online that can help you learn it. Good editing is an art and if there is a vision, the editing is much easier.
iMovie is a free option on a Mac, but if you want to go to a higher level, you can graduate to Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro. There is a learning curve and thankfully, there are a lot of tutorial videos online that can help you learn it. Good editing is an art and if there is a vision, the editing is much easier. If you are on PC, you might consider Pinnacle Studio or Adobe Creative Suite.
Jim Hutchins, who helped to present the videomaking workshop has this to add:
'The strength of Science Online is the social interaction that is catalyzed by the meeting. As session organizers, it's our hope that we create and foster interactions that continue for long after the conference is ended. It's all about collaboration, folks! Social media are more powerful when we have personal interactions to back up the online interactions. There were a wide range of participants from a wide range of backgrounds with a wide range of budgets. Hopefully, we all found at least one other person in the session who shares a common interest and who can act as our sounding board. Writers have "beta readers" to look over our words before we foist them on the public; our videos should have "beta viewers" who not only can fact-check and edit, but who can develop their own ideas as they review'.
Feel free to contact any of us with future questions.
Joanne: through this site or Joanne Loves Science