NOT ALL REMOTE ZOOM DEPOSITIONS ARE CREATED EQUAL
These are extremely difficult times for all of us and we sincerely hope that everyone is healthy and safe! We just wanted to let you all know that we have been shooting quite a few remote Zoom multimedia video depositions with great success since March and in that time, we have learned quite a bit about how to shoot these depositions correctly.
I have heard from quite a few people who feel that they don't need to hire a videographer because they can hit the record button just as easily as the videographer can, right? Maybe. A good videographer skilled in the art of recording multimedia depositions will not be using Zoom's record feature for several reasons. If not done correctly, you could end up with a recording of the court reporter or worse yet, yourself! The Zoom "Pin" and "Spotlight" features can be tricky so be careful when using them. Keep in mind, there is no back up either. You get one recording and if it fails during the upload or during processing in the conversion after the deposition is over, you will be left with nothing. Additionally, at the end of the deposition, you will have one large file that includes breaks in testimony and off the record colloquy that will need to be edited out of the final video. This type of editing work takes specialized software and quite a bit of time. The other option is to make sure you turn the recorder on and off every time you go on and off the record. This will still create multiple video files that will need to be stitched together in the final product. These are just a few things to keep in mind should you choose to record the deposition yourself.
If you decide to hire a professional videographer, here are a few things to look for:
1. Does the videographer have a solid internet connection? We are recording the remote Zoom depositions using three hardwired laptops with a FIOS gigabit connection. We also have an onscreen clock to handle multiple timezones as most courts require the time to be displayed onscreen during a deposition.
2. Please verify that you can receive separate recordings of the witness, the documents, and a picture-in-picture video of both together. If for some reason opposing counsel objects to the documents you are using, you may not be able to play that video in court. Having a separate full-screen video of the witness without the documents, in addition to the picture-in-picture video, will give you the flexibility to play the witness video without showing the documents should you need to do so. We record these remote depositions using 4 external Blackmagic video recorders. This gives us two copies of the witness, one copy of the documents, and one picture-in-picture copy of both together. The quality is very similar to a live video deposition.
I know. It sounds like overkill. But trust me, the final product is worth it and it doesn't cost any more than the other guys who aren't doing it this way. In fact, they are probably charging more!
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information and we would be happy to set up a demo for you.