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Science Video of the Week! The Making of a Superstorm

Nov 20, 2013

Welcome to the fourth Science Video of the Week feature! Each Wednesday I will post an interesting science video with some comments from either myself or the producer, and will conclude with some questions for discussion. I started this feature for the Women in Film and Video of Washington, DC email list, and I really want to hear your comments as well!

If you created a science video you would like to share, especially ones that had interesting challenges you’d like to discuss, send it to me and we can chat a little about how you approached the production!

Before you watch the video: Giant tropical storms are on all of our minds with the recent devastation in the Philippines. NOAA and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) partner to create videos about ocean topics, originally designed for a kiosk in NMNH’s Sant Ocean Hall. Today these videos can be seen in 40 museum kiosks across the country and world, as well as online. The most recent Ocean Today video describes the making of last year’s Superstorm Sandy.

Watch the video: [length – 3:06]

After you watch the video: Executive producer Katie Snider says that one major challenge in creating these videos is finding the best footage, because her team doesn’t shoot any of the footage themselves. They find some of their video clips from NOAA scientists, the Weather Channel, and NASA Goddard. Their typical process for making these videos is to identify stories and put together the scripts and then coordinate with scientists and researchers to ensure the accuracy of the content. Regarding making a video that involves human tragedy, Katie says, “We keep that in mind as we’re writing the script, and we show the video internally to make sure we’re striking the right note. … With this video, we were really trying to educate people on the science of how the storm formed so they will have a better understanding of what can happen the next time a major storm is developing.”

Discuss: I want to hear your thoughts! What are some ways to make an informative video while being sensitive to people dramatically affected by the content?

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