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All about the making #DigiLab

Kim Osborne from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, explains the process she went through, as part of her Digital Lab fellowship, to create videos aimed at getting feedback from the Museum’s audiences. 

The next section of Digital Lab has been lots of fun. I’ve been experimenting, drawing and creating new things. But I’m having to keep reminding myself to step back and make sure I’m still looking at the bigger picture.

During this phase I’ve been creating videos to try to get some feedback from our audiences. They are short films to try and gain a better understanding of what people think of the main subject of our museum. We hope this feedback will help us make decisions in the future about everything from gallery content to café menu items. I’ve finished up with four films, which will now need to be tested.

But before we jump to the testing, this phase was all about the making.

One of the key things to come out of this project (and perhaps a little unexpected) was the amount of collaborative work across teams to make the films. This was mainly to do with the questions we wanted to ask, and the data we wanted to collect: how would be best to word it? What answers would be useful? I really needed to consider how the feedback would be used to make the films as purposeful as possible.

Once that was done, I wanted to jump straight in and film, but my mentor Ron Evans suggested I storyboard them first, so I was really prepared, and to help with creating more films in the future. I really enjoyed this, and he was right — it made the filming and editing stage much more straightforward.

I tried to develop new skills and try new things with the films. They are a mixture of live action and animation, so I did spend some time sourcing new equipment, and finding online tutorials for Premiere Pro. I also had to overcome the hurdle of finding good sources of free or low-cost images, music and sound effects — as well as creating this content myself. Overall, I really enjoyed it — although the visual planning and making did take a lot longer than I’d hoped. I feel this has given me a solid foundation in creating more films like this in the future.

One other off-shoot of this project is that I’m seeing how I can use these skills in other projects in the museum, and other people in the team are also suggesting ways I can put the filmmaking to use. These include content for screens within the museum exhibits, and films for the archive. Some of these projects are already ongoing.

I’m really excited to test the films I’ve made now, to see how people react to them — both via email and through our Facebook page.