How Are Scientists Using Video?

In the video embedded below, I continue my conversation with Eric Brennan, a researcher with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, who recently published a paper in Frontiers in Communication called “Why Should Scientists Be On YouTube? It’s All About Bamboo, Oil, and Ice Cream“.

That paper inspired us to join forces and initiate a video series to answer questions that science professionals may have about making videos. Each video focuses on a different question. In this one, we discuss the different ways scientists are using video to communicate.

In case you missed it, here is the first video in the series: Why Should Scientists Use Video as a Communication Tool?

Split Edits: J-Cut and L-Cut

In this tutorial, I talk about two types of split edits, the J-cut and the L-cut, and how they are used to soften transitions between two different scenes. I show how to use these editing techniques in iMovie.

Cutaways Versus Insert Shots

Cutaways and insert shots are two film editing techniques that are used to connect scenes, provide context, and/or to add visual interest to a video. For example, an interview featuring a person talking for several minutes can be pretty boring. One or more cutaways, however, can be used to show what the interviewee is talking about, adding visual interest to the film. A cutaway might feature a plant, animal, landscape, map, animation, instrument or some other object or process being described during the interview.

Insert shots are also used to provide context in a video, often showing some additional detail in a scene. For example, a medium shot might show a scientist working in the laboratory and pipetting a liquid into vials. An insert shot showing a closeup of the scientist’s hands or the pipette tip would be filmed separately and inserted into the main footage. Such edits can enhance a video by providing a new perspective or additional detail not apparent in the main footage.

The scientist videographer must plan ahead for cutaways and insert shots by filming “b-roll” footage along with the main footage. Such preparation may take a bit more time during filming and some effort during editing but is well worth it in the end.

In the following tutorial, I describe these two techniques and show how to use them in iMovie to edit video footage.

Who Should Make Videos for the Scientist?

In the video embedded below, I continue my conversation with Eric Brennan, a researcher with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, who recently published a paper in Frontiers in Communication called “Why Should Scientists Be On YouTube? It’s All About Bamboo, Oil, and Ice Cream“.

That paper inspired us to join forces and initiate a video series to answer questions that science professionals may have about making videos. Each video focuses on a different question. In this one, we discuss who should make videos for scientists.

In case you missed it, here is the first video in the series: Why Should Scientists Use Video as a Communication Tool?

How to Stop Procrastinating

I recently posted a new video on my scientific writing channel. Although it’s focused on writing, the basic solution I suggest will work for any type of task that you may be putting off.