Working on a Project?
Your media project is going to take more preparation than projects you might be used to. Fortunately we’re here to help, and we’re striving to make the process as accessible and smooth as possible! Learning to use multimedia development tools effectively will help you communicate ideas more clearly and make you more marketable to potential employers. What may seem like a lot of time now is truly an investment in your future.
Check out our equipment rental FAQ for important information about borrowing equipment, or go straight to our equipment list. Note that some equipment now requires training before you can reserve or use it.
Not sure what software you should use for your project?
Browse our list of software available on multimedia machines in the GNMC.
Understanding What’s Involved
Know what you're getting into? These are the general steps involved in most student projects, though all of these may not apply to your project:
- Flesh out your project/assignment idea as much as possible. You are welcome to request a consultation to help find out what is feasible, or to better understand your options and how the GNMC can support you.
- Create a storyboad, a visual layout of the main shots or images outlining your project.
- Determine which software and equipment you’ll be using. Some professors will assign equipment, but the rest of you will need to browse our selection of software and equipment to determine what will be best. You can also give us a call or make an appointment to find out what will work best for your needs.
- Know the basics when it comes to copyright, fair use and ethical filmmaking.
GET TRAINED & AUTHORIZED
- Learn the software you’ll be working with.
- Don’t wait until the last minute! Learn the equipment you’ll be using before you take it out into the field. Your project will be better for it, and you will save time re-shooting or recording.
- GNMC editing spaces require training and authorization before you can use them (the one exception is the Picchi classroom, but no projects can be saved to those computers so you'll need to have an external device, like a hard drive). It is possible that we will come to your class and do this as part of your class instruction, otherwise you will need to request a consultation.
- Some advanced equipment now requires proof of training before you can reserve and borrow it. No consultation is required, simply view the online instructional resources for learning that equipment, then take the corresponding quiz!
- Plan ahead! Equipment loans are limited to 24 hours. Make sure that you know when we open and close. Our front desk MUST be open to return equipment. Do NOT leave equipment unattended at any time. You will be held responsible for items lost or stolen.
- Reserve your equipment. At least 3-5 days in advance is recommended.
- Some of our video cameras require “MiniDV” tapes, which you will need to purchase yourself. You can purchase tapes at the Georgetown Bookstore.
- Be on time for your equipment pick-ups and allow 15-20 minutes to pick up your equipment. Call if you are running late (202-687-7410). Because equipment is in high demand, we will delete your reservation if you are more than 15 minutes late.
- Return the equipment on time and in good condition. Fines are steep because the gear is in high demand and needs to get back in case it is reserved for another user.
- If you recorded video to tapes, you will need to capture your tapes (turn your video into digital files). Tapes are captured in real-time: if you have 3 hours of footage, it will take 3 hours to capture.
- EDIT. Editing takes longer than most people think it will. The better you want your project to be, the more time it will take. Spread editing over 1-2 weeks for best results. WARNING: Waiting until the last day to edit your project will lead to frustration, confusion, disappointment, and a mediocre project.
- PUBLISH. Once your project has taken its final shape, you will need to make it viewable. Decide what form you want it to take. Here are some common examples:
a.) Burn to DVD
b.) Upload to Youtube, Vimeo, or other video hosting.
c.) Record project to MiniDV tape
Considerations for Multimedia Projects
- Good videos don’t TELL that you are inspired by a topic, they SHOW it by trying to instill in the viewer how your topic makes you feel.
- What are you making?
- What are the ingredients?
- What does your environment look like?
- Who is your audience?
- Who are you?
- Do you know your content?
- Is it informative or vain?
- Funny is hard!
- Editing is hard! Start simple. Your next project can be more ambitious.
TECHNICAL considerations. For best results...
- Always use a tripod.
- Never zoom in or out while filming.
- If indoors, strongly consider using additional lighting.
- Never work with children or animals.
- Turn off technology that is not in use.
- Get a second take when you think you can afford it. A second take allows you to get closer, or ask a question a different way.
- No crawling or moving text.
- Pan or zoom in on images with moderation, if at all (Ken Burns effect).
- Images must fill the screen, so use only landscape images (horizontal, not vertical).
- Your video should stand on its own with no added introduction or defense.