Lives in Focus: Recording oral history interviews on video (London)

PLACES: Places Available
Date: 09/09/2015
Time: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm

British Library Centre for Conservation

In response to a growing demand, this one day course, jointly organised by National Life Stories at the British Library and the Oral History Society will give an introduction to the principles and techniques of recording, editing and distributing oral history on video. It is aimed at those with little or no experience and it will take participants in a plain and simple way through the various stages of video production – plan/shoot/edit/share. It will examine the advantages and disadvantages of video over audio recordings, give practical advice on recording techniques, offer guidance on suitable equipment, give an introduction to digital video editing software and techniques, show examples of ways in which video interviews can be shared with others and clarify legal and ethical issues and archiving. The day will offer many opportunities for discussion and hands-on work. Previous attendance on an oral history basic training course, or a familiarity with oral history interviewing techniques, is desirable.

Roger Kitchen is a BL/OHS- accredited trainer with more than thirty years experience of collecting oral history on audio and video.
Colin Barrett is an experienced video producer in community and corporate video settings, author of books on digital video and founder of

Course Structure

10.00 – 10.30 Overview of the day, course member and tutor introductions
Introduction to the principles of the video recording process

10.30 – 10.45 Why record interviews on video?
An introduction to the day and different types of video interview and the reasoning behind them

The difference between an audio and video interview
Group discussion with course members – why do you want to use video?

10.45 – 11.15 What equipment should you be using to record your interviews?
A session at which different equipment will be discussed and in which a basic kit of camera, tripod and microphone, will be recommended that will be:

Not too expensive
Give excellent quality results
Easy to operate

11.15 – 11.30 Coffee

11.30 – 12.00 How do you record interviews on video?
Illustrated session on basic set up for static interviews, one and two-person operation.

12.00 – 13.00 A chance for course members to have a go at two and one person interview operation.
Gaining practical experience

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00-14.30 Another interview collection technique – the ‘on the job’ interview.
An illustrated talk. Discussion about interview length.

14.30 – 15.00 An introduction to digital video editing
An illustrated talk on the digital editing process – digital capture, editing and outputting to different format, using Adobe Premiere Elements as an example of cheap yet excellent digital video editing software. (There will be a handout for people to take away)

15.00 – 15.15 Tea

15.15 – 15.45 Planning a video project
The steps in the process from research to DVD production

15.45 – 16.30 Outputs
An illustrated discussion on ways to use video interviews including

Putting the bits together
Uses in Museum Displays

16.30 -17.00 Legal & Ethical issues and Archiving

17.00-17.30 Feedback on the day

17.30 Close