I put together this short video on digital video and scholarship mostly as an opportunity to mess around with my new flip video camera but also as a reminder to myself of the work that goes into even the most modest of video productions. Once we get past the questions of the genre that might/will develop for video humanities scholarship, including the questions of scholarly validity, we need to address the material constraints such work imposes. Even for someone with real professional expertise (i.e. not me), producing quality video is expensive and time consuming. Generally it takes a group of professionals. Of course, if you’re going to shoot home video style that’s easier but is that level of quality going to fly for scholarly work?
Certainly there is something in-between professional, academic video of the type we see on the History channel for example and home movies. With a couple assistants, modestly better equipment, and a little practice and training, I’m sure I could put together something that would be of acceptable quality. But even that means an investment in time and money that goes substantively beyond what goes into humanities scholarship now.
Where is that investment going to come from? And what type of return will we expect from it?