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Digital, digital, digital

Its all go with the digital just now. Yesterday afternoon I spent time at NRO to use their studio lights to take photographs of the documents. Today I had some time in the studio planning the edit and then a session with technical support. I have a new all singing all dancing HD video camera – getting it to work with my now (in digital terms) ancient editing software was in a word complicated. Downloading file converters, exploring different file types, trying to make things simple – no such thing in the digital world now.

When I first started working with video, it was all about DV tapes. It was fairly easy, the settings fairly basic, and compatibility issues seemed to me to be fairly minimal (although that may be rose tinted nostalgia). The other day in the charity shop I came across 3 DV tapes, unused, on sale for 25p each – I couldn’t resist and bought all three! I wonder if I will ever get around to using them. I do like obsolete or near obsolete technologies, the ways of working, the aesthetics. I have a load of DV tapes and I wonder what I will do with them, archive them? How? The final edits can be upgraded but what of all the footage on the tapes?

Part of the commission is about working with the digital preservation team at the Parliamentary Archives. I had an email a while back and have been digesting since. I have keep my files very neatly for this project, or at least at the end of everyday I organise things which just get saved to the desktop during the working process. I am also, given the size of the files needing to be very efficient with what I need, deleting unwanted files regularly. This type of digital management is something that applies to anyone who works digitally. Some may have a ‘come what may’ approach to back up whilst others may be extremely diligent. In terms of this diligence it seems to take the regular form of external or remote drives. When working with a student a few years ago, she showed me a note book of handwritten text message conversations. She had been undertaking this process for some years. I find this integration of hand recording processes of a digital source interesting fodder to consider.

Although I have worked with digital process for over 10 years I still work with ‘analogue’ processes. In this case I printed out some of the source material, cut them up, arranged them on the table and added in some notes. This informed the keynote presentation I have put together to show the project board on Thursday.

Just working on the digital trial now and will need to collect footage over the weekend.