Just spent the last half hour being filmed for a promotional video for my school, which was an experience that I’m not prepared to experience again any time soon. It isn’t as if I can’t talk about why I like working in ECS (I’ve been here for seven years, so I had better like it), nor of what my research is, nor why the support I’ve received from ECS is valuable, nor of the importance of ECS’s research excellence (these last two being last minute requests from our marketing manager), but saying it to camera in a pithy manner without stumbling was much harder than I thought it would be. I don’t think that I dried up that badly, or littered my monologue with glottal stops, y’knows, likes or other verbal tics (“I say to you: research excellence, research excellence, research excellence”), but I’m sure that I didn’t come across as articulate as I could have. I almost added “as I usually am”, but that’s just inviting the brickbats.
One incidental thing I have learned from this is that I need to be much more careful about what I wear when my sartorial mistakes may be preserved for posterity. The grey ribbed turtleneck I’m wearing was too dark for the camera, so I had to take it off. Fortunately I was wearing a fairly innocuous t-shirt (see below), but it could easily have been an unfunny geek joke t-shirt, an obscure band t-shirt, or something with an obscene message.
I’m glad that I didn’t stay around to see the rushes; I hate seeing myself on film (I find my body language infuriating), and I can’t stand the sound of my voice, or at least the way it sounds to microphones and presumably other people. I know my voice is quite low, but it is really that much of a monotone? Also, is my voice really that plummy, to use
On the plus side, if it makes it through to the final cut, I will have won £10 from one of the lab managers by getting the word ‘flange’ into the video in a serious context (using the multiple meaning of the word ‘flange’ as a reason why the Semantic Web is cool/won’t suck/will cure your dromedary of thripp). Go me!