Recorded Video Digitization

connector cables
Google video camera connection cables. This is what you’ll get…YIKES.

Professor Feldman of the Spanish Department proposed this project for the summer of 2017. It had the very simple goal of digitizing six videos, though in practice this proved much more difficult than I had anticipated. The videos, which mostly centered on interviews with a now-passed Jorge Ruiz, were recorded on the analog tapes of an old (and, it seems, technologically unsupported) video camera. I initially, though unsuccessfully, attempted to transfer the videos using a USB connection. I proceeded to search for the appropriate DV cable, which involved a trip down to the basement of the library I didn’t even know existed. The DV cable too presented issues, as its other end was a FireWire connector, and as few available devices had FireWire ports. One such device was an external hard drive, though neither the video camera nor the drive could initiate a transfer of the information encoded on the analog tapes. The ultimate solution was a DV-to-FireWire-to-Thunderbolt setup, which then allowed iMovie software to capture the videos as they were played from the video camera.

Perhaps more so than any other project of mine in the summer of 2017, this one demanded a considerable amount of troubleshooting. It also had me contend with several dead ends in my quest to free the videos from their analog prison, though it imparted no insincere appreciation for the ease and versatility of digital file transfer.

Physics Lab Tutorial Video

Professor Michael Durst in the Middlebury College Physics Department proposed this project during the summer of 2017.  The idea was to begin creating a series of videos that show the professor outlining a lab for students before they are asked to conduct the lab themselves.  This project was challenging because it involved: sound recording, photographing, and video recording.  All of the footage was obtained from scratch during filming/photographing sessions.  The software used for sound editing was Audacity.  For photographing and video recording we used Canon SLR cameras provided by Middlebury College’s Davis Family Library.  The bulk of the project was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, a versatile video editing suite. All of the photos had to be retouched and cropped using Adobe Photoshop.

Aside from creating the video itself, one of the main goals of this project was to create a template for future videos to be created for more labs in the department.  An official shot list, software list, and editing template needed to be created so that the next videographer and photographer could maintain consistency as new videos are created.

Overall, this project was engaging because it was created entirely from scratch which required me to become familiar with the equipment at Middlebury for filming and photography.  The project familiarized me with creative commons background music, how to properly credit sources on public media projects, and most importantly keep long lectures and labs concise in a 5 minute video. I love film-making and editing so this project was really fun to take part in!

Russian for Everybody Site

This project was initiated and completed in Summer 2017. I was asked to make a playlist of Russian instructional mp3 audio files in Panopto and then embed the link in a WordPress site that is open to the whole world.

I first created a folder in Panopto called “Russian for Everybody” and then under the folder I made 7 sub-folders. Under each folder I uploaded about 5 audio files. After that, I then created a WordPress site and activated the Panopto plugin. The Panopto Embed Handler Looks for URLs matching a Panopto session, and switches them out for the standard Panopto embed code.The files are for Russian language school but they are also open to the public. Initially I had problems with settings to make sure the site was accessible to everyone. While in the Panopto folder I made the accessibility public, on the WordPress site, I forgot to do the same settings. After I allowed search engines to index the site, that issue was solved. I also had to clear some unnecessary information on the site to make sure that it was clean and only show the important information. Finally, I included a few tips on how to use the site.

To learn more about wiki information for Panopto at Middlebury click here 



Fayza: First Year Seminar Website

My first project as a Digital Media Tutor was assigned over summer in June of 2017.  This WordPress website was created for Professor Tom Beyer’s first year seminar.  The seminar is based on Dan’s Brown novel Origin and serves as a place where Beyer’s first year students provide a chapter by chapter analysis of the book throughout the duration of the course.

The website features Dan Brown’s social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter down the sidebar so site visitors can get real time updates from the author about the novel’s release on October 3, 2017.  This was done using Plug-ins provided by WordPress.  Professor Beyer publishes the website’s main content himself.  Through the use of WordPress widgets I was able to isolate Beyer’s work from his students’ posts.  When creating this website, we kept in mind that students would be uploading/writing posts weekly and adding them to the chapter pages.  To make this process as simple as possible, a separate page was created for each chapter of the novel so rather than creating new posts and categorizing them, students can click on the chapter and edit the page to add information.

This was my the first official website I created as a digital media tutor and it took approximately 3 weeks to complete. I liked that this was a complex website with many layers of functionality.  This project really helped me develop expertise in using WordPress for website development.

– written by Fayza Rahman ‘20.5

In the fall of 2017 this article was written about a culminating experience with the current cohort of FYSE students.