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A videographer records a national park ranger in a beautiful mountain scene.

Online Roving Ranger Videos

In February of 2007, Yellowstone National Park launched their initial online video & podcast series. One of those features, Inside Yellowstone, is a series of short talks that were written and presented by Interpretive Park Rangers. If you are interested in producing similar videos for your park, this site will tell you how to do it.


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The Online Roving Ranger Video Series

NEW - Our First Set of Video Tutorials have been Posted

Recommended Equipment for ORR Video Production (39K pdf)

NPS CMS Manual with Audio, Video, & Podcasting Instructions

Why Are We Here?

This site is devoted to providing information related to the effective production of Online Roving Ranger videos for your park. After producing Online Roving Ranger videos for Yellowstone National Park, I received numerous questions regarding the most effective way to produce such videos. After emailing responses to many parks, I decided it would be more efficient to put all the answers in one place, and this web site was born.

If you are interested in producing short online videos and podcasts for your park, stop back often. As time permits, additional documents will be added to this site to serve as a guide for those who wish to use the Inside Yellowstone video series as a template for the production of their own Online Roving Ranger Videos.

Draft Online Roving Ranger (ORR) Video Production Manual

If you have been asked to produce ORR videos similar to our Inside Yellowstone videos, this manual will tell you how to do it. Much of the advice here flies in the face of instruction provided to documentary film-making students worldwide. If you want a documentary film, this is NOT the manual to follow. If you want an Inside Yellowstone style ORR video series, please read on. 


Chapter 1 - The Perfect Staff
First, find a good interpreter, a good producer, a good editor, a good director, a good videographer, and a good production assistant.

Chapter 2 - The Perfect Script
The ranger-writer researches a subject and then writes the script. The ranger should time the script precisely while reading it at the speed that it will be delivered.

Chapter 3 - Subject Matter Expert Reviews
The ranger-writer sends the script to subject matter experts for review if they have any question about any of the content or if the subject matter includes material that could be considered controversial in any way.

Chapter 4 - Storyboard preparation by Producer/Videographer
The ranger-writer sends the script to the director/videographer who draws up a storyboard. The story board identifies that sentences where the ranger will appear on camera and the sentences where other images, stills and b-roll, will appear in the final video. Shooting locations are selected for the segments where the ranger will appear on camera.

Chapter 5 - Record the Ranger Segments
Record each of the segments that will have the ranger on-camera. Have the ranger notice the tone and volume they are using so it can be matched with the full audio that will be recorded later.

Chapter 6 - Record the Full Audio
Use the video camera to record the entire audio of the presentation while aiming the camera away from the ranger-writer who reads the script. Have the ranger attempt to match the tone and volume of the video recorded earlier.

Chapter 7 - Shoot B-roll
Shoot the required b-roll that is available to shoot.

Post Production - This section is still being written

Chapter 8 through 15 Preview

Chapter 8 - Finding Necessary Images
Locate still images and b-roll that were previously shot.

Chapter 9 - Capturing and Importing
Capture video clips and import still images to the video editing program

Chapter 10 - Editing
Combine the clips and images on the timeline

Chapter 11 - Finishing Touches
Add introductory and credits screens.

Chapter 12 - Compress Streaming Video
Compress the video for online streaming.
See the Video Tutorials on this Topic

Chapter 13 - Compress for Use in iTunes
Compress the video for online download - podcast.

Chapter 14 - Posting Video
Post the streaming video to your web site.

Chapter 15 - Write the iTunes Feed
Create an iTunes podcast with the download video.

That’s all there is to it, just 15 simple steps. Well, maybe not so simple, but not all that hard either, once you know how.

New CMS Instruction Manual - Yahoo!

The new CMS Instruction Manual is now on the InsideNPS web site. It is a welcome sight for many of us. You will find the CMS Manual under Documents on the NPS CMS page. Pages 69 through 75 cover adding audio, video, and podcasts to your NPS web sites.

National Park Service, Web Site Content Management System Page

(This manual is intended for use by NPS employees only. If you are with USGS, USFWS, or state parks, the link above won't help you.)

Best regards,

Tom Cawley
Online Roving Ranger Video Production

© 2007 - 2010 Tom Cawley

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