Great science videos need not be “professional”

12 09 2008

One of the hesitations many researchers might well have about producing video of their work is that they are not “professional,” in the sense that they don’t have a perfect command of shooting or editing techniques. But science and engineering have something on their side that regular folks do not — very cool subjects! Take a look at the Wired top ten amazing chemistry and top ten amazing physics videos, and you’ll see that very few have slick production values. In fact, many are downright amateurish, when it comes to titles, sound, videography, or staging. But they do show cool science.

Fortunately, YouTube and the science video sites such as SciVee.tv are quite forgiving of newbies. So, even if you haven’t yet bought the top-of-the-line equipment or perfected your shooting or performing skills, pick up whatever video camera you have access to and start shooting your work. Practice makes perfect, and while you might not want your initial efforts to be seen in a national symposium, you’ll make a good start. And it’s only by shooting videos and critiquing your own work can you work your way up to top quality.

The online references for the Explaining Research chapter on video offer a good resource, as does the discussion in the book chapter. In fact, I’m jumping into the video pool myself, and I hope to have videos available soon.

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