Wind Noise

Filming up in the North York Moors at Commondale, about half way between Middlesborough and Whitby, and the wind was whipping up the valley, buffeting kit, crew and Archaeologists. Shooting on DSLR and recording audio on the Tascam 70D using a Sennheiser gun mic in a Rycote basket and windjammer - the big, grey fluffy thing that looks like Dougal the Dog from the magic Roundabout. I’ve been using this piece of kit for over 20 years but never truly appreciated just how good a job it does and how important it is for good quality sound recording. The wind noise on the built in camera mics was ...
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Shooting Groups and Landscapes

For portraits and close up work, a shallow depth of field is often used to showcase the object and separate it from the background. Depth of field being the distance between the nearest and the furthest objects giving a focused image. For landscapes, a large depth of field is usually required but how to make the best use of your camera. When I was doing my degree, we were instructed to focus on the back row when shooting groups of people and you often hear people say focus at infinity when filming landscapes and that will, in most cases give adequate results. However, this wastes some of th...
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Hidden Context TV

I first worked with Community Archaeologist Dr Jon Kenny on Landscapes of Remembrance, a project commissioned by York Archaeological Trust in 2014. After filming the excavations uncovering the history of the Battle of Fulford in 1066 at Germany Beck, York,  we decided to create a YouTube channel exploring some of the other lesser know aspects of our Yorkshire heritage. In HCTV Dr Kenny presents an ongoing series of short films revealing the archaeology, history and heritage of our region. Each week we bring you a couple of shorts, some stand alone while some are episodes that build into lon...
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Projects in Development

We have a number of different projects in development at the moment and discussions with several clients are ongoing. The Battle of Fulford was very well received at the screenings for participants at Fulford Village Hall and the public at King’s Manor. However reports on the finding are now coming in and an update will be forthcoming soon. We are also planning to film this year’s dig at the end of July. Community Archaeologist of the Year, Jon Kenny and I are exploring other aspects of the conflict with a view to shooting at various locations in the region: Cawood, Riccal and Stamford B...
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Signing for the Deaf

We have recently completed three training videos for Explore York City Archive, to help community groups in and around York to create their own archives as part of the Gateway to History project. In order to make the films as accessible as possible, it was decided to add signing for the deaf. Sounds simple but it proved to be much more complex than we had imagined. Sign language has it’s own rules, grammar and syntax making the construction of sentences very different from spoken English. As these films contained a good deal of technical information, the signing also took much longer than s...
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Battle of Fulford – Update

First thing Thursday morning presenter Dan Snow was at Germany Beck filming a piece for a BBC film about 1066 to be screened in 2016, the 950th anniversary of that fateful year. The work Chas Jones and Jon Kenny have done in excavating the site proved to be of great interest. In his capacity as President of the Council for British Archaeology, Dan was only too pleased to interrupt filming and record a short endorsement for our film. This will be edited into the trailer we have already produced and will give a significant boost to the fund raising effort. At Oxford, Dan gained a double first...
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The Battle of Fulford

Everyone knows about William the Conquerer, 1066 and the Battle of Hastings but very few people are aware of the other conflicts that form part of a larger campaign by King Harold. In July this year, at Germany Beck, Fulford to the South of York, there was an archaeological dig to establish once and for all the site of the Battle of Fulford, the first military engagement of that fateful year where a Viking army defeated English troops defending York. Working with lead archaeologist Dr Jon Kenny, Chas Jones of the Fulford Battlefield Society and Mari Wickerts from Gothenbug City Museum, jrpp...
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Gateway to Your Archives

Having completed two of the three films for York Explore Libraries and Archives, we spent  a day filming at the library for the Gateway to Your Archives project. We actually filmed 3 short training videos back to back with an audience made up of volunteers from previous workshops run by Sarah Tester and Jenny MacGarvey. Using three cameras, three Arri lamps and four Sennheiser gun mics, we converted the archive reading room into a studio for the day. In her presentations, Sarah uses powerpoint but projections don’t come out well on video so one of the cameras was locked off on a shot of her...
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Conference Audio

Simon Collins, of York Filming & Editing, and I filmed the first two days of a residential training programme at a hotel in York earlier this week and will be covering another 2 similar sessions in December and January. The client wants a resource that can be used by people unable to attend and as a refresher for those who were there. The event, held in a large conference room with several break out spaces available, presented a number of challenges, principally how to capture the sound. Throughout the two days, one or two presenters, assisted by powerpoint, ran a series of workshops an...
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Bits and Pieces

Some projects are done and dusted in a matter of days or a week or two and for that period there is one single focus to what you are doing. At other times, projects like Landscapes of Remembrance are still ongoing after more that a year. As with any process there are different phases of activity and we will have projects at various stages of production. At the moment, I have just finished script editing three training films for the Gateway Project at York Explore and Archives. We will have a final script meeting with the client before filming at the end of the month. I’m aiming for clarity,...
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