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Old January 30th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #61
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DVD Recorders

To answer Rodger's question, there are a few DVD systems that were developed specifically for court use, and some can be also adapted to use for depositions. An internet search would offer dealers near you. These products offer anywhere from 4-8 or even 10 channels and give crystal clear recordings for transcription. The software for transcription is often a free download. You could research FTR, BIS, JAVS, VIQ, even ExpressScribe, which is my favorite transcription program. Some are standalone units, some are in conjunction with your laptop, such as the VIQ. I prefer lavalier mics, depending on the situation, other table top models will work. Visit the AAERT website, which is a national org. of recorders and transcribers. You'll find a lot of useful info there. Some states require recording equipment to meet certain specifications, I don't recall if Texas is one. I would not recommend using the small digital recorders that are purposed for other situations, i.e. dictation such as doctors and lawyers use. Again, I would emphasize as other posts have, best to check with your state court system to see if you need to be certified to do recording and provide transcripts.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 10:12 PM   #62
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like someone said you can do both but you must follow the guidelines for your state regarding equipment. my state requires, 3 chip camera and wired mics to name a few. Your minimum equipment would be:
2 cameras (one for backup)
3 wired lav mics
1 4 channel mixer
1 backup recorder (i prefer a Firestore)
1 collapsible background and stand
1 tripod
1 closed headphones

thats about $8,000-9,000. you could save yourself 3k and shoot without a backup camera until you earned enough to get one and finance the your equipment on one of those interest free for the first year credit cards.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 10:34 AM   #63
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Thanks Everyone,

I am very definitely going in the wrong direction here. I am not quite sure where I got the DVD idea but it is obviously the wrong way to go. I Paul Tauger's post he said that a S VCR recorder is the correct way to go. Pete recommended a Firestore recorder, anyone have a another recommendation for a S VCR recorder? Thanks Again Rodger
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Old February 1st, 2010, 07:17 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
like someone said you can do both but you must follow the guidelines for your state regarding equipment. my state requires, 3 chip camera and wired mics to name a few. .
What state do you live in Pete??
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Old February 1st, 2010, 07:53 PM   #65
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Old February 15th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #66
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In California the majority of deposition videographers are recording to two separate DVD recorders and not even using tape. If one recorder goes down they still have the other one. I record to DVCAM tape and then make a separate DVD recording as a backup. The Sony VRD series of DVD recorders have lasted me for over two years at a time under extensive use.

Rarely in California will an attorney want or need a copy of the video on the spot. One reason is that most law firms in California want their video copies delivered in mpeg1 and synched to the transcript in post. This means that you will need to encode your video to mpeg1 and have the court reporter provide you with a final copy of the transcript in ascii form so you can sync it to the video.

Video depositions are an audio job with a little bit of video. ECM 55-B microphones, while around $300.00 each, are a must IMO, for the witness, the questioning attorney and witness attorney. A good table mic can pick up anything else (including air conditioning systems and other such annoyances). Most mistakes are made on the audio side. Audio problems cause serious issues with the auto sync process. The editing of video depositions is performed almost exclusively by trial techs in trial presentation programs like Sanction and Trial Director. No one is delivering in HD right now because trial presentation software can't handle it when synched and the files take up too much space on networks, including e-Discovery networks.

Video depo and court reporting work has been slow for a couple of years now. Large national court reporting agencies are in fierce, I would even say ruthless competition with each other and are almost giving their services away in some cases just to win over clients and grab what little revenue is out there. Small video companies and little guys are getting caught in the crossfire.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #67
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Video depo and court reporting work has been slow for a couple of years now. Large national court reporting agencies are in fierce, I would even say ruthless competition with each other and are almost giving their services away in some cases just to win over clients and grab what little revenue is out there. Small video companies and little guys are getting caught in the crossfire.
What are the big national agencies? Would they be a good place for a novice to get some experience in this field?
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Old April 28th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #68
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^^ Veritext, Esquire etc.. You can google it. As for are they a good place to get in?? Yes & no. If you establish a great relationship with them, yeah they could farm out anywhere from 1-5 jobs a week possibly. However getting in with them takes time. Other than sending them some marketing materials & business cards, it's a sit & wait game. They likely have a handful of other videographers in most markets already, so you get on the bottom of the list. If the others are all booked on a date they need you, yes they might call you. Be ready to go though, they could call you 2 days in advance, if you show up unprepared, or unaware of the steps needed to take, it might get back to them.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #69
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Already having the gear, I was thinking of going into the deposition biz as well, as a supplement to other freelance work. Besides the shooting setup, is there a basic 'script' to folllow? (i.e "In the matter of Smith v. Jones, we are recording Ms.Paula Harris, the time is 10:30 am and the date is 5/26/10".) If there are some of these basic scripts/procedures, is there any way to learn/access these aside from an expensive training program?
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:54 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Rodger Anderson View Post
I am very definitely going in the wrong direction here. I am not quite sure where I got the DVD idea but it is obviously the wrong way to go. I Paul Tauger's post he said that a S VCR recorder is the correct way to go. Pete recommended a Firestore recorder, anyone have a another recommendation for a S VCR recorder? Thanks Again Rodger

Don't forget that post was in 2004. technology has changed and the laws may have also . The original post was started many years ago.
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Old February 2nd, 2017, 10:24 AM   #71
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Re: Deposition Videographer

Greetings, everyone! Deposition videography has changed a fair bit since this thread started "way" back in 2010. I wonder what Paul Tauger's thoughts are regarding all the new digital equipment out there these days? Paul wrote one of the most comprehensive pieces I've seen anywhere on DVINFO (and I've been here since '07) and I have personally been the benefactor of his insights on deposition video work. And for that, I say thanks!

~TW
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