How Long Should a Video Be?

Check out the latest video in which Eric Brennan (USDA-Agricultural Research Service) and Karen McKee (The Scientist Videographer) talk about DIY science videos. In this series, they answer questions that science professionals may have about making videos to share information about themselves and their research. This video series was inspired by a paper Eric published in Frontiers in Communication: “Why Should Scientists Be On YouTube? It’s All About Bamboo, Oil and Ice Cream”:

This is the fourth video in the series and focuses on the question of how long should a video be.

CERF Workshop a Big Success

This past week I taught a one-day workshop (Beginning Videography for Science Professionals) at the biennial conference of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation in Portland, Oregon. I got a lot of great feedback from workshop participants who spent the day learning how to plan, shoot, and edit a video to deliver a science message. Each participant worked on an individual video project as we went through the practice exercises. At the end of the day, we watched everyone’s “rough cuts”, although some were not that “rough”. I had a wonderful time seeing participants get excited about the possibilities of using video in their research and outreach activities. Also, I’ve already been approached by CERF organizers to teach the workshop again.

Here are a few scenes from the workshop:


eBook Now Available in iBookstore

The Scientist Videographer BookI’m thrilled to announce that The Scientist Videographer eBook is now available in the iTunes Store for $14.99. If you are interested in expanding your communication toolbox to include video, then this is the book for you. In this electronic guidebook, you will learn how to plan, shoot, edit, and publish a professional and effective science video.

For more information, see the book’s media trailer or check out the eBook page on this website.

Note that this eBook is designed to be read on an iPad. Although it can also be downloaded to a Mac computer (running OSX10.9 and with iBooks 1.0 or higher), some of the interactive content may not work. Future editions will be available for other reading devices—stay tuned.

New Gear for the Solo Science Videographer

I’ve just gotten some new gear to assist with making solo science videos with a Smartphone….for those times when you don’t have anyone to help you. In the following video, I introduce some accessories (microphone, cable, monopod) that will facilitate filming alone with your Smartphone and will also make your videos look and sound much better.

If you like the tip, please leave a comment!

Links to where you can purchase this equipment are given below the video.

The microphone you will need:

Edutige EIM-003 i-Microphone

The cable you will need:

Smartline (ESL-001) Extension Cable

The monopod you will need:

iStabilizer ISTMP01 Smartphone Monopod


How to Create a Science Video with your iPhone

Scientists and students:  How much time would you invest to learn how to produce an informative and effective science video, requiring only an iPhone or other Smartphone that shoots video? In this new 15 minute tutorial, you can learn how to plan, shoot, edit, and share a professional-looking video that describes a research project, an important science topic or research finding, or a new method.

Such videos can then be used to meet the Broader Impacts criterion of the National Science Foundation or other funding agency, as supplemental online information for your journal publications, or just to enhance your website and show off your work.

All you need is an iPhone or other Smartphone that shoots video and supports the necessary software to edit the footage. Note that this tutorial is different from the one I previously posted, which used the Videolicious app. In this tutorial, I use the iMovie app for the iPhone (download from the App Store) and briefly show how to navigate the program to create a movie project.

Check it out:

There are other movie-editing apps and, of course, professional editing software that provide more bells and whistles, but these take more time to learn and are more expensive. The iMovie app for the iPhone is designed to use video shot with the iPhone, but you can also import media shot with a camcorder or digital camera (I use iTunes to transfer files from iPhoto to my iPhone camera roll). You will also notice that I included some animations that I created with PowerPoint and Photoshop, exported as movies, and uploaded to my iPhone. See previous tutorials for more information about doing animations in Powerpoint here and here.

Even though most of my videos are shot with a camcorder and edited on my computer with professional software, I increasingly find it easy and convenient to use my iPhone to capture video on the go and to quickly edit the footage and upload to a video-sharing site. As the cameras on these smartphones have improved, the quality of the images has gotten better and better. There has even been a full-length movie shot with a Smartphone (Nokia): go here to see the trailer and behind-the-scenes footage.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful and inspires you to use your iPhone or Smartphone to produce videos about your science projects.