My latest Sixty Symbols video is an extended interview with Professor Ed Copeland.
The video lasts nearly 30 minutes and throughout there are full-screen plates will with text.
Some viewers have said they disliked the use of text.
As is the way with YouTube, other viewers have said they DID like it.
I should say I feel no great need to justify it… I'm just an average guy who makes videos that some people like and some people don't.
However I'm aware there are people who interested in the technical process… So I thought this might be a good opportunity to discuss the thinking.
1. BREAKING THINGS UP
Thirty minutes is a long time to just have one guy talking on screen (even someone as brilliant as Ed). And with a topic like cosmic strings there's little else to put on screen… The text breaks up the monotony for people with shorter attention spans.
2. HIDING THE BAD BITS
I do not mind harsh jump cuts in my videos. In fact I quite like them. However we filmed for a LONG TIME and sometimes my arm gets shaky, or I spend too long adjusting the focus or fixing the exposure… Text lets me paste over those messy bits.
(NOTE: I'm not usually one of those people who films cutaways of people's hands or random flowerpots to do this - I personally find that a bit old-fashioned and weird!)
Sometimes Ed might say an unfamiliar term, like "Grand Unified Phase Transition" and putting the text on screen allows people to be sure of what was said.
Sometimes Ed may say something I wish to visually emphasise because it was important.
Sometimes I can do the opposite, and add the "gravitas" of a text plate to something which Ed said which was funny or "un-technical" - it just adds a bit of personality.
Sometimes I ask a question that I want left in the video, but don't want my voice ruining the flow… I can put the question in text.
Of course this is a stylistic decision and people may not like it.
However I will probably stick with it for the Ed Copeland trilogy, so you may want to skip the next instalments about inflation and dark energy!
UPDATE - HERE'S PART TWO: