Online Video - Creating new programming



With recent advances in the quality of equipment and a rapid drop in price, it is now possible for museums and regional arts organizations to acquire and deploy equipment to record educational lectures, special events, tours, interviews, "behind the scenes" content [1] and other programs of sufficient quality for online video. Prices are also falling for full-service production outsourcing. These advances and cost reductions, coupled with improved online delivery solutions and the lessened cost of video streaming and downloads, now afford many museums the opportunity to record, stream and/or download video content.

Besides exploiting educational opportunities offered by online video, museums seeking to increase visitation, membership and other forms of support will find video a useful part of their marketing programs. Vignettes can be produced for online presentation that:



1. Behind the scenes content can include:

In this general vein the Getty Museum in Los Angeles provides on a web page excellent "Behind the Scenes" contextual content such as individual videos on the thought process of an artist, the installation process of an exhibition and conservation processes.

2. In the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum 2003 Museums of Tomorrow, An Internet Conference symposium Olu Oguibe, a panelist for the topic "Museum Education and Padagogy," said:

Of course, it would be wrong not to acknowledge that there is a trend within museums, in line with their market-oriented evolution, to fall for name-recognition when assembling their exhibitions, which means that celebrities are brought in to form the facade that sells the show. The Brooklyn Museum took the plume in this regard by having David Bowie do the voice introductions for its "Sensation" exhibition, and as someone has pointed out, other museums now prefer such figures to art historians as catalogue contributors. There are two blades to the sword. There is no reason both blades cannot be put to use. Celebrity presence is a good marketing tool and will become more evident with the museum's transformation into a culture mall. However, unless equally knowledgeable, celebrity presence cannot replace the wealth of valuable knowledge that the art historian offers to the museum and its public, even as the art historian no matter how exciting and knowledgeable may not be able to provide the appeal that the celebrity brings. The winning route, it seems, is not either or, but both, and the museum should be able to utilize the specialist depth that the art historians brings, and the marketing appeal that the celebrity curator, collector, director, actor, magician, stunt figure provides if it so chooses.

TFAO suggests that museums wanting videos produced that both educate and compel people to visit their facilities obtain study copies of the popular KCET shows produced by Huell Howser. Mr. Howser's engaging, conversational manner and impromptu interview style captivates viewers and propels them to the California venues he visits. His famous signature series California's Gold is endorsed by a number of organizations including: the California Teachers Association; the California Federation of Teachers; the California State Library Foundation; the California Library Association; the California School Boards Association; the California Council for the Social Studies; and the California Historical Society.


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rev. 8/22/05

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