Wednesday, April 29, 2009

In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up

About a year ago, I went to the Greek Theater in Berkeley to see the Arcade Fire. Seated in the nosebleeds, I noticed that only half the audience was really watching their performance. The rest were watching the show through the tiny screens of their cell phones recording shaky videos with blown out audio to later post on YouTube. It would appear the next best thing to being at a concert is watching it as a 2"x3" video.

Not to be left out of the action, the library has created some shaky videos of its own for your enjoyment. Over the next few days, we’ll be posting recordings of the various events that went on during our anniversary celebration for those who were unable to be there.

During the course of the previous two weeks, I learned a few things about videotaping that I’d like to key you in on:

1) Tripods are excellent. If you have “dancy hands” like myself, a tripod is your best friend. Or it would be assuming the tripod was not vertically challenged (it is also bad if the tripod is an aggressive alien species, but that’s another story entirely). If that happens to be the case, you will have amazing footage of the back of someone’s head with occasional guest appearances from the featured speaker. Which leads to tip number 2…

2) Always look through the viewfinder. Even if you think the shot is perfect, looking away inevitably leads to the unfortunate framing of someone from nose down or, you guessed it, the back of someone’s head.

3) Videotaping an event involving a large group of children is like being in a low flying hot air balloon in the midst a fireworks display. The movement around you is constant, the trajectories are wild, the noise is deafening, and there is a continuous sense of possible calamity.

The list could go on. But in the end, if people will watch this with its bad audio and low lighting, then this is looking pretty good:

posted by jw