The Rhythm of Making videos

Patia Davies film on making buttons shows a real sense of rhythm to life and the processes she is going through. The video isn’t a video of a teacher standing in front of a class and doesn’t stop to explain. For someone with a background in making there is a lot she is teaching and a lot to learn. We see in this video there is efficiency to making buttons as they are a by-product of making platters.

The questions of how to treat a teaching video with the same sense of rhythm, as my own recordings always seem clunky or disjointed. I realise I need to be more critical and plan more thoroughly before setting out to film. My supervisors suggest trying to construct the narrative I want to show before I ever pick up a camera, telling a story in some way to help engage the audience rather than a clinical approach to filming.

Someone sent me a message over the summer of 2014 describing they had taught an online mechanic course. He recommended chopping videos into small focused segments so then there is clarity in each process. I can see the benefit of this for distinct processes for example making a coil and just going through that one process.

Though after watching some of the EU-Ceramics teaching videos I feel they are a bit too chopped up and I feel like they ruin the flow of making. The videos aren’t necessarily spilt in to distinct processes so there is a blur. Also there is no talking on these videos; I feel they would be good if used as part of a blended learning program but for distance learning feel too disconnected. My supervisors also suggested if you remove the physicality of the object, you have to replace it with something else. Which when you remove talking you have removed two elements, so it can feel like it is lacking something at times.

After speaking to my tutors I am thinking of a few different options:

– Using a cookery show style of filming videos with the demonstrator not necessarily talking to camera but someone off camera.

-A conversation between two people making to add a more human element to the videos.

-based on a traditional demonstration model based on talking through making one object, then repeating the making again without talking though it.

-using an actor instead of a professional maker as they are better at emoting.

-and finally exploring ways of doing a silent video, while still trying to explain things.

 

I really like the cookery show idea, and spend some time watching Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube. His method is rolled out over several channels of different cooks, each with their own style but following the same overall process. The videos tend to be with the presenter talking to someone just off camera, with plenty of B-roll mixed in and any time they need to make an extra ingredient such as a specific sauce it links to another video, which seems to be there to further engage the audience. The camera work is quite dynamic and has some movement to keep things lively. My favourite cook from Jamie’s FoodTube is DJ BBQ, probably because of the sort of food I am interested in. That and there seems to be a real craft to hot smoking food.

 

This makes me question what role I intend to take either I can make or I can film and there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to do both. I think a good example of someone who taking on the roles of both maker and film maker is James Gurney. He uses homemade rigs to move the camera and give a dynamic look to his filming. He uses the rigs as he doesn’t have a cameraman to move around him, and mixes these in with other shots from the location. IT all tends to be done with a voice over at another time.

Creating B-Roll will be something I haven’t tried before as well as making several times to give the option when editing the footage from the best views of either a long shot or close up. There is a lot to do and learn and just examining it here shows me how much I have still to learn.

Making videos is an area I really need to explore more, and just need to get down to it, film it and edit it all together

About Joseph Travis

Maker of ceramic objects, Ceramic Researcher and full time dad to two boys
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