Excavation Season 2012: Project Director’s Overview

Here at the BRP we are beginning to gear up for our annual training excavation at Bamburgh Castle and its environs, commencing June 3rd. Over the next few weeks we will hearing from staff about their hopes for the season. To kick start the blog thread Project Director, Gerry Twomey, tells us about his plans for the Media output this year.

Gerry’s Thoughts: Media 2012

Over the course of the year we have been looking into ways the project can develop it’s education potential. We have recently been accepted as one of the few independent non university providers of content to Apple’s iTunes U store, so we will be spending time over the season developing that site and creating content for future courses that we hope to make available to students as part of the BRP experience.

The popularity of Jo’s blog has led us to take a new approach to the project videography, with a view to producing more regular short on site video updates in addition to our long term project video record.

Gerry capturing the dig as it happens.

We’re gradually moving away from tape based media to SD and CF card formats which is a big change for us as we will soon no longer be generating a physical video archive.  The advantage is lossless high quality files that are easily labelled during capture, but they take up a great deal of disk space so we’ve decided to cross convert them to our standard HDV file formats. One of the problems BRP faces in the near future is the effective management of its digital data archives, which mainly comes down to the expense of large hard drives and their backups. Ultimately, our archives will need to be ingested into appropriate county archives. This season, we will begin to digitise the remainder of the tape archive that has previously not been digitised, with the aim of creating a master archive of the project video.

We’re hoping that more schools and volunteers will take up the media challenge to edit stills and video from the Kaims, and we will be hosting sessions for volunteers to have a go at crafting narratives from the existing footage, and video they generate themselves (To see an example of previous volunteer work click here). I’m also excited to be going up to the University of Stirling in the next few weeks to film the lab work associated with the coring that Richard Tipping and our volunteers have been doing recently. Click here to see the coring in the field.

The seemingly endless post-production of our feature length documentary about the Hope Taylor excavations is now roughly complete, pending narration and music recording. We hope to make the film available in the near future, at conferences and festivals, with a commercial release as the ultimate aim. This has been a labour of love for a long time and very many people have contributed to it over the years. It is to be hoped we will have a premiere in Newcastle before the 2013 season.

More to follow as the season draws near.

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