Today was spent getting ready for travel to the AIA – gathering computer equipment, clothes, etc. It looks like about 8 PKAPers will be there and it will get us a chance to talk and plan for the summer. This will be done in a limited fashion since one of our directors (Bill Caraher) will not be able to make it to the AIA since he is vacationing in Australia, and while I am disappointed he won’t be in Chicago, it is a well-deserved vacation with his wife – but don’t tell him I said that. Anyway, I keep an eye on his blog in case he mentions something I need to think about and he did a few days ago in a blog on Archaeology and Filmmaking. Bill did a nice job of summarizing our efforts at documenting the project in film and the problems we encountered – particularly this summer. Having a camera follow you around certainly changes things in 2 big ways – 1) people act differently or refuse to interact with the camera, and 2) you are really forced to think through what you are doing and why.
This video production is an area I would like to continue to explore and will bring it up at our PKAP meeting/dinner this weekend to see what others think. My thoughts on this have been a bit hazy, mainly because I know so little about the process, other than I would like it to be done professionally and reflect well on the project. Bill thinks that "In some ways, however, the goal of the exercise has already been achieved. By being forced to think critically about the archaeological process and exploring the tension between field procedure, methods, and narratives in the performance and presentation of field work." While I agree with him, I would also like to pursue making our video shorts more useful for classroom use in archaeology and ancient history courses. What I mean by that, I am not really quite sure. I guess I would like to create a few more shorts so that our web delivery of them becomes almost a self-contained class for people interested in the basics of archaeology or of our project. I will see what everyone else thinks, since this will require more effort on our parts than in the past. We have been relying heavily on Joe Patrow, our videographer, to guide us through the process and have certainly been pleased with his results – they are better than anything I ever hoped for, to be honest. But, to continue this part of the project will require more thinking on our part and more work instead of expecting Joe to deliver us a finished, polished project without help from us.