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Old August 29th, 2013, 02:54 PM   #1
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Legal Video Certification

Hello all -

For those of you that do Legal Video Depositions:

- Do you NEED to be certified to do this? I've looked at the American Guild of Court Videographers and National Court Reporters Association sites and both look good, but they don't provide seminars in my area and neither provide webinars. Any suggestions in regards to either or some other company?

- If you have a cam that does not display the Time/Date stamp while recording but does so while playing back, is that suffice enough for the attorneys / lawyers?

- Legal Media Forum website. Do any of you utilize or heard of this site? It doesn't look like it has much action / posts there. Mostly from 2012 and back.

Appreciate any (positive) input, advice regarding the above!!

Thanks!!
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Old August 29th, 2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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Re: Legal Video Certification

I don't do legal video's but have researched it and came up with the same two groups as you did. The Court Reporter's Association seemed better to me as it is a widely recognized organization already dealing with court reporters. However it seemed more complicated and more expensive to be certified by them vs the Guild.

Regarding the date / time stamp. How can your camera be putting a date / time stamp on the recording that you can't view while recording? I have never heard of that. Every camera I have ever owned that would do the date / time stamp had a setting in the menu that would allow you to have that displayed on the screen as you are recording.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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Re: Legal Video Certification

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.J. Ammons View Post
......Regarding the date / time stamp. How can your camera be putting a date / time stamp on the recording that you can't view while recording? I have never heard of that. Every camera I have ever owned that would do the date / time stamp had a setting in the menu that would allow you to have that displayed on the screen as you are recording.
It's in the metadata. Specifically, I was at the Sony store and was fiddling around with the NX30 and it found that, like most cams these days, it doesn't display the T/D stamp while recording, but it will when you play back the footage ... via a menu selection.

Obviously, I'm not sure if that playback function applies to ALL cams out there, but for this cam, it does.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 06:16 AM   #4
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Re: Legal Video Certification

It's not a requirement to be certified to do legal videography. To be certified by either organization means that you've been through their program and passed the tests.

I was certified about 15 years ago, and the course was no big deal at all. You could probably learn it all by spending some time online -- I know there's a lot of good discussion about it here as well.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 03:35 PM   #5
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Re: Legal Video Certification

In my state it doesn't require it. I'd only get it if I thought it would bring in more business. Those certs don't teach you much like on the job experience. As far as the timecode not essential. Saves you from the long process of stamping in post. It is important to be able to read the time from the camera for on/off record.
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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Re: Legal Video Certification

I also researched this quite a bit. Being certified is not a legal requirement in any state. It is an expensive marketing gimmick. You can learn what you need to know on line and a bit of practice. The market seems to be controlled by some California based firms which employ regular freelancers in the busy parts of the country.

You should have a cam that can record onto the video, the time and date. The Panasonic HMC 150 is good for this as well as some of the Sonys. I used a Panasonic AG160c. It has a powerful lens and all kinds of outputs inlcluding the ability to feed a Sony portable DVD recorder. HD video is NOT a requirement! You also need a portable background...one of those collapsing reflectors, though instead of a reflector, it is just a beige background. You may also need the ability to record the sound of the interview room...various lawyers asking questions etc. So a little mixer maybe necessary. You do not need lights. You will need to know the announcements that the videographer is supposed to make, such as a warning when the DVD is about to run out because the DVD burning is live out of the camera (although you have back up from the camera card as well).

I recently used a setup like this for a wedding. The couple didn't want to pay much So I told them I'd record it like a deposition. They were happy. I delivered the video at the end of the ceremony, picked up my check and left!
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