GLAM Blog Club September – Top 5 ‘Favourite’

My, my… it’s September already. Top 5 ‘Weird’ for August turned out to be strangely fitting, eh?

Although there isn’t really a huge amount of top 5’s there is certainly enough weird and delightful blog treats to go around. But if you want a straight up wild and weird top 5 of Museum finds, then check out Nik’s post. It’s a little bit freaky.

If you want to go exploring the oddest corners of the internet, however… maybe try these:

Do you know what Software Gardening is? Or Inventive Robots?
Did you know about the Untitled Drawing Club and virtual tours around the world?
Maybe you can commiserate with a little PhD Loopy La-Las, or work how the who and why of a digitally dexterous workforce and the accompanying copyright?
Did you want a little bit of weird historical fact about Matilda of England and Vera Deakin?
What is the best way to make public spaces successful (and not weird at all)?
What will libraries look like in a world Post COVID (a prospect that is appearing to be a little weirder everyday), as well as a museum streaming service (oh la la!)?
Last, but not least, some W.E.I.R.D steps to a greener library

Through September the theme is top 5 ‘Favourite’

It’s spring- let’s spread a little bit of joy where we can!


cardiWatchParty 2021-05

Amareswar Galla - International Centre for Inclusive Cultural Leadership

 Registration is closed for this event
Amareswar Galla is Professor of Inclusive Cultural Leadership and Founding Director of the International Centre for Inclusive Cultural Leadership, and Dean of Faculty Development and Leadership, Anant National University, Ahmedabad, India.

About Amareswar Galla

Prof Galla is the Founding Executive Director of the International Institute for the Inclusive Museum (iiiM), Australia/India/USA.

Before attending the cardiWatchParty, please visit inclusivemuseums.org for more information and think of some great questions to ask Prof Galla, who we will have for about 15 minutes of Q&A following the screening. The screening will start at 7:35, and the Q&A will be 7:45-8pm Melb time. Please don’t be late!

Getting There

This is an online event, you will need a computing device and an internet connection.

Accessibility

This event is run on Discord. There are some known deficiencies for sight-impaired users.

Continue the conversation

It may be online but it's still a cardiParty! Stay after the Q & A to chat to fellow GLAM nerds.

NOTE: Times for this event are AEST (UTC+10) - please adjust for your local timezone.

When
5th May 2021 starting 7:30 PM through  8:30 PM

The newCardigan 10 Minute Film School

“So you want to be a film maker? Wrong, you are a film maker.”

– Robert Rodriguez

Look to be honest, you probably didn’t want to be a film maker but then COVID-19 hit and your GLAM closed and you’re trying to resist the pull of vocational awe. So instead of endangering the lives of your colleagues and community you’re looking to share and show off your collections online. Be it storytime livestreams, object of the week posts, behind the scenes tours, or even cocktail making book recommendations, you’re probably going to have to deal with video at some point.

As someone who’s pivoted from doing zero video work to almost full-time video editing, I feel you. Prior to all this, I was in the middle of setting up a podcasting and recording studio so had already dipped my toes into video production with the intent of teaching other staff and the wider community. I also edit the Perth cardiCast episodes, and have done some other creative work so video is something that I’ve had a cursory interest in (I like watching it :p). Thanks to my friend Danica who taught me a bunch of great tips for the library project I was working on (hire them if you can!). I’ve created a very crash course of things that helped me, in the hopes that it can help other GLAM folks who want to start engaging with video work. This is by no means an extensive or expert list and all errors and mistakes are entirely mine.

Let us begin.

Many years ago the great Robert Rodriguez did a 10 minute film school which I think applies well in this situation. I’ll distil the relevant lessons below but the main take away is don’t let a lack of funds stand between you and being creative. Grab a camera, any camera, and shoot something. Edit it, move on, try again, and above all have fun with it. So with that in mind here are some lessons for quick and dirty video production:

Become technical

There is no getting around this. It is 2020, the world has moved online and at some point you’re going to have to pick up a device, use some software, and publish on a platform. As a creator if you know the limits of your technology and skill with that technology you can begin to understand what is possible, what is not, and find creative ways to get around it.

Get experience

Grab a camera and as we say in newCardigan, JFDI. The more you film, the more you edit, the better you will become.

Be creative

Odds are you don’t have full recording studios, high end equipment, and natural born actors sitting around your GLAM. You do however, have a trove of locations, collections, and staff to help you. A children’s area stocked with puppets, books, and toys makes a great background for storytimes. Walls with a single colour make for great backgrounds, even better if there is an interesting painting hanging on it. If you have a wet bar, make a cocktail. Do you have an inflatable shark that’s been sitting in a cupboard for seven years waiting to swim free through a museum. Now is the time to let your creative juices flow.

Take stock of what you have access to, then make a film about that. Kevin Smith had access to a convenience store and made Clerks (Lessons for the No-Budget Feature, Royal Ocean Film Society). You have access to galleries, archives, museums and libraries, what better place to film. Find something that hasn’t been shown before, find what makes your GLAM unique and show us!

Equipment

Beg, borrow, or steal. If you’re lucky enough to have something like a DSLR that shoots video you’re set. Otherwise mobile phones can do a lot these days, and honestly most of the videos you watch on Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are shot entirely on phones. A pro tip is to get a good stand. You could also use your hands, or someone else’s. I had a tripod at home but no phone adaptor for it so I grabbed my car’s phone holder and MacGyvered it together!

Stiff Steve as seen on It’s Alive with Brad Leone, Bon Appetite.

This is a great example of at-home video using a tripod with a phone adaptor (aka Stiff Steve 0:50 min), handheld shots, and multiple angles. All shot on a smart phone with an external microphone. If Brad Leone can do it anyone can.

Lighting is important when shooting video, ideally you’d have studio lighting that you can use to light your focus, but use what you have. For the quarantinis videos I used my HÅRTE LED bedside table lamp from IKEA for front lighting, and a standing lamp with a LIFX bulb for some cool purple backlighting. Never underestimate the power of windows either, they’re free and natural light is great. Just don’t over light and you’ll be fine. There are lots of great blogs and videos on how to light your subjects, like this one from Techsmith.

Natural lighting and diffused lighting.

In this Achievement Hunter video you can get a brief look at two different home setups in the same video. The first uses multipule cameras in an enclosed room with possible studio lighting (pro tip: they use the clap sync at 0:16 min to help with editing. You can align multiple camera footage and sync the sound!). Check out the other lighting setup at 22:26 min, and the creative use of makeup for the entire video (please don’t).

If you have access to an external audio recorder I do recommend using that for better audio quality, although it’s not at all required. I have access to Zoom recorders and USB microphones at home so could do voice over work, because I knew it would be better quality than I would get recording in an open room from a phone. That said, our own Justine recorded audio via her phone and it’s just as good. Separate audio can be a good solution for when you have a good camera but it has a bad audio input, use the phone for video then use your headphone/mic to record the voice over. Done.

Also be aware of over complicating things though. Separate audio can be good but things can go wrong, see Bon Appetit’s Delany at 17:33 min. You can also see a good example of a tripod verses a person holding camera.

Good use of slates as well to help identify video footage for your editor.

Prep better

Preparation can be key when doing video work. Some people need a script to work from, others need props or people to play off of. You don’t have to storyboard your 10 minute Instagram clip but it helps to have a good visual idea of what you’re filming, what you need, and how you’re going to do it. It’s easy to go to a location and film short clips on your mobile phone, rough cut it and then show everyone else before you use your DSLR and setup lighting etc. It might even be a good way to pitch an idea to management.

Don’t take yourself so seriously

This one is hard because so many GLAMS are tied with larger organisations, many state or federal governments. If anyone has tried to get things past a comms department in local government before then you know the pain. That said, odds are your organisation is looking for a good news story. Something that can keep staff occupied, be rolled out quickly and easily and remind the community that you’re still there. And if they don’t want it, newCardigan does!

Post production

I’m not rushing out to buy a copy of Final Cut Pro. Firstly it’s expensive, and secondly odds are I probably won’t be doing much editing after this is all over. I’m a Mac guy so my editing software of choice is iMovie, and yeah it’s limited but I’ll just point you back to the lesson on creativity. When you don’t have a lot of options you get creative. Most phones have some sort of editing options in them too. It’s quick, cheap, and easy. You don’t need expensive software to make something, don’t let that hold you back. With limited software you may have to find a work around or re-shoot something to make it work but there will be a way to make it happen, you just have to find it.

Put it out there

If you’re interested in making a video, just do it. Have fun doing it and embrace your limitations. I’ll link to some examples below but honestly if you’re putting out content that isn’t some100% polished, Hollywood style blockbuster for your small museum or gallery I don’t think anyone is going to judge you too harshly. Some of the best videos come from people just doing things.

Other helpful tips and examples

Making things easier for your editor and use slates to identify footage. Relatedly label all your files with good descriptors not just MVI_0189.MP4, we’re librarians we’ve got metadata down!

Zoom Directing.

Working from home but want to direct/add input? The BA team directs via Zoom (3:20 min) this helps keep everyone together and allows errors to be picked up early or extra footage to be recorded at the time. The more you get right at the recording stage the less work you have to do in post!

The Lock Picking Lawyer is a good example of a video setup that almost anyone can do. Got an object you want to show off, but don’t want to show your face try this simple desk setup.

A simple overhead camera with voice over. Great for highlighting collection items.

If this is all too hard but you still want to do something then my final tip would be to look around and hire local photographers/video editors in your community who might have lost work. There will be wedding photographers, editors working from home, and you might be able to help support them during this time.

If you do end up learning new skills don’t forget to add them to your CV, and bring it up during your next performance appraisal. Being able to pivot quickly to an entirely new skill set is remarkable and should be rewarded.

If you want to have a practice then newCardigan is looking for content for our Quarantinis with Justini, virtual tours, and cardiShorts! Good luck and we look forward to watching your videos soon.


cardiCast episode 66 – The Presidential Debrief

Melbourne newCardigan Interview

We asked you to ask our ex President, Justine Hanna, some questions about what her life in Libraries and GLAM network is like and what her plans are for the future. We thought it fitting that our current President, Clare Presser, asks or former President these cutting questions.

What they actually did was bang on about cats, books and cheese.
And there is nothing wrong with that.
If you want to know what not really having an origin story to brag about is like, just click play!

newcardigan.org
glamblogs.newcardigan.org

Music by Professor Kliq ‘Work at night’ Movements EP.
Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons licence.


cardiCast episode 62 – BrokenShips

Melbourne newCardigan cardiParty

Recorded Live

Our August Melbourne cardiParty was held at No Vacancy Gallery where the current exhibition is Museum of Broken Relationships.

Gallery Manager, Hayley Haynes, and Gallery Assistant Roza Schenk, spoke to our biggest audience yet and shared a little about themselves, about No Vacancy Gallery and about the exhibition Museum of Broken Relationships.

newcardigan.org
glamblogs.newcardigan.org

Music by Professor Kliq ‘Work at night’ Movements EP.
Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons licence.


cardiCast Episode 60 – Matthew Coller – Temporal Earth

Melbourne newCardigan cardiParty

Recorded Live

Our July Melbourne cardiParty saw Matt Coller take us through a demo of Temporal Earth, a data visualisation of Australian colonial history. Time-machine.Earth combines a virtual globe with a multi-scale timeline to enable interactive exploration of cultural data throughout space and time.

Matt took us on a brief tour through the animated layers and showed us convict arrivals, European explorations and pastoral expansion, gold-rush sites, railways, telegraph lines and more.

newcardigan.org
glamblogs.newcardigan.org

Music by Professor Kliq ‘Work at night’ Movements EP.
Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons licence.

Audio Player