MCN 2010 – Video Production Workshop

Video Production Workshop
Museum Computer Network
October 27, 2010

Ted Forbes, Dallas Museum of Art (Instructor)

Also a very knowledgeable student from McNay Art Museum in San Antonio – Gary Wise
Reference to Mark Beth Webster at Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco — a lot of experience with vlogging.

Audio production is one of the most important aspects of video production
Most video cameras have poor microphones
-Condensor microphones
–less expensive, most must be plugged into a mixer
–USB microphone: Blue Yeti (can be plugged directly into computer)
–USB mics have latency problems; slight delay in voice
–Firewire hookups have fewer latency problems for monitoring
–Audio interface device: MoTU
-Portable recorder — record audio separately
-44.1 audio sample rate (standard)
-leave “headroom” in audio levels to prevent maxing out (5db gain used here)
-Don’t use wireless microphones due to drop out
Shure 57 microphone — small pickup pattern = very little background noise
Shotgun microphone, fits on camera — narrow pickup pattern, less background noise
For processing, you can do compression or limiters to level out the audio levels

-Canon 5D for HD video
–H264 codec
–low light okay, but issues with depth of field and focus
–interchangeable lenses
–12 minute video recording limit
–no stabilization
–HDMI out is compressed, which can be a problem
–original firmware was set at 30 fps; update allowed 24 fps and 60 fps
–ISO options: handles up to ISO 1600 equivalent okay; 100 has less noise
–Digital tape (DV)
–HDMI out signal is uncompressed
–decent motion stabilization for handheld
(BlackMagic Intensity express card has HDMI-in; also AJA Video Systems)

–get a good tripod
–Steadicam Merlin and other systems
–Zacuto, RedRocks, others have options as well

-SLR can use natural/low light
-Need continuous lighting
–Mixing different types/temperatures of lights can cause a worst-case scenario, very difficult to white balance
-3-point lighting system used for best results
-Florescents have a flicker that can be noticeable depending on the frame rate
-KinoFlo – florescent lighting that is useable, not terribly hot
-Lowel – video lights
-Lights still need to be diffused

-Use greenscreen technology to minimize background noise
-For greenscreen, use a high data rate and high color bitrate to get enough detail to separate detail from background (as close to an uncompressed signal as possible)
-Lighting greenscreen can help (Lowel has a light for greenscreens)
-External light meter is a good idea


Ask for DMA’s model release form as a sample
Center for Social Media Statement of Best Practices for Fair Use

-FinalCut (Mac)
–MagicBullet Looks plugin ($$$) allows user to quickly create templates for various adjustments
–Compressor used to encode final output
–Motion: easy-to-use equivalent to AfterEffects
-Adobe Premier
-Avid Pinnacle — more pro, broadcast/production quality
-Audacity for audio
-iMovie for Apple
-Windows MovieMaker
-MPEG StreamClip — transcodes footage from H.264 to ProRes 422 format (for FinalCut) because H.264 is not an editing codec


I am an independent digital collections and library technology consultant in Austin, TX.

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