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Recording life stories for people with Alzheimer's part 2

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...Continued from Part 1

Getting the sound Right

When you record a life story, sound is one of the most crucial things to get right. If you donít, you can end up with a nice looking video that either nobody can hear properly, or that the sound quality is so bad that nobody will ever want to watch it. To get the sound right I recommend using a tie clip or lavalier microphone. It doesnít have to be a very expensive one but if you can get a known make like the Sony or Philips it would help. Make sure it comes with enough wire to reach from your camera to your subject, and make sure your camera has a microphone jack connection.

When attaching the microphone to your interviewee make sure the head of the microphone is not touching clothes, attach it to the shirt of your subject facing it towards their head, and hide the wire under clothes or behind your interviewee. Remember, donít try and hide the microphone inside or under clothes as it will cause a noise to be made every time your interviewee moves. Plug the microphone into the camera and now you are ready to do final checks on the camera. Plug some headphones into the headphone socket of the camera and check the sound is clear and without too much noise. Turn off any machines that make background noise, and close all doors. Make sure no one is around to disturb you and ensure you turn off all mobile phones, and unplug home phones if necessary to avoid disturbance.

You are now ready to record

You should have your subject seated comfortably and avoided them telling their whole life story to you while you were setting up. Make sure youíve got the camera plugged into the mains, or youíve got plenty of battery, or youíve got a spare on charge in another room. Start the camera rolling, wait for ten seconds, and begin with your first question, ĎIf you can, I want you to recall your earliest memory and describe the scene for me...í let the journey begin.

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