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LTS - Digital Media Changes During Pandemic

| Sherrie Miles, CAP, OM, PM

Rob Mattison, Mike Gehrke, and Matt Peterson answer a few relevant questions about digital media on campus.


Question: How has the pandemic changed the demand for digital media?

Answer: Our team has seen a major change because it is a lot more on-line without being present with our clients due to a variety of digital recording platforms being used.

Question: What are the most important steps in pre-production?

Answer: Communication. Making sure everyone is on the same page with what is happening, and any planning and script writing that could be done ahead of time should be finalized before the camera is turned on. Communicating with everyone involved so that each person knows their responsibilities going into the shoot helps the whole process go much more smoothly and keeps everyone safe from unnecessary exposure.

Question: Did your clients seem to easily adjust to utilizing recorded content, or is there still a learning curve?

Answer: There is still a learning curve, but with more and more faculty and staff learning how the different technology and programs we use work, everyone is gaining an understanding of it all. We still help whenever asked, but we are seeing fewer simple questions being asked from people, and more in-depth complicated ones that are a lot of fun to try and figure out.

Comment: Describe a “day in the life of a videographer”.

Response: For a videographer, each day is different. Since the pandemic started, there has been a much greater need for us to assist with virtual meetings, coach people remotely with video questions, and edit and upload recorded meetings, but we still do many of the same things throughout the day. Like most jobs on campus, we start our day by checking email and seeing if anything has changed with our plans for the day. We make a basic plan for what video shoots or meetings we have for the day, and check to make sure all the equipment we need to use is in working order, batteries are charged, and memory cards are emptied. We spend the rest of the day in a mix of either setting up cameras to record lectures and other videos or editing previously recorded material in our office. When a video project is completed, we usually upload it to Kaltura or another video service, or transfer the file directly through a network drive, to be delivered to whoever requested it to begin with. Often, they will have changes or additions to add to the video, so some of the steps need to be repeated before it is considered done. Before we finish our day, we look at the schedule for the next day and make sure everything is set up and ready to go. Batteries returned to the chargers, memories cards cleared, and cameras put away.

Question: How do you prioritize incoming video requests?

Answer: Usually we prioritize video requests on a first come first served basis. When we get a request, we schedule it on our calendar. Depending on the time of the school year, our calendar can get full. We are happy to work with anyone to find a time to record and edit, but the earlier notice the better. We do have some reoccurring projects and standing meetings that we do on a regular basis, but it all revolves around our calendar so we can keep everything straight.

Question: If you had unlimited resources, what tools, equipment or software would make your job more effective/efficient?

Answer: With the use of multiple video platforms, we have been able to support all requests, the challenge is in how many different platforms are requested.  So far, we have been able to accommodate, but with increased demand, it may be necessary to scale the number of platforms down for efficiency.

Question: How did content for TV10 change since the stay-at-home order? (Matt)

Answer: Much like local news stations started producing content remotely and having reporters work from home, TV10 adopted a similar model last spring. Wherever students were located, they started putting together their regularly produced shows, whether it be news, sports, talk shows, and game shows. Students utilized BlueJeans and Adobe's free download of the Creative Cloud suite to work remotely.

Question: What adjustments will need to be made to continue TV10’s content? (Matt)

Answer: In the Fall, adjustments will be made to allow studio production to resume. Equipment will be spaced out 6 ft. to maintain social distancing, students will wear masks and gloves when working with equipment, Plexiglas dividers will be added, and the space will be regularly sanitized.