Considerations for producing media for science museum exhibits : a volcano video case study
Sable, Julia Elizabeth
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While science museums continue to expand their use of videos in exhibits, they are also seeking to add engaging content to their websites in the hope of reaching broader audiences. As a cost-effective way to do both, I propose developing a video for a museum website that can be easily adapted for use in an exhibit. The priorities and ideologies of science museums differ radically from those of science and nature television networks. This paper explores the needs of museums, identifying key contrasts with television, and shows how those needs are reflected in the content, form, and style of the two-part science video Living in Pele's Paradise. Through the story of the spectacular 1959-60 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, the video shows how research and monitoring contribute to helping communities prepare for volcanic hazards. I highlight the characteristics that make the video appropriate for a science museum through comparisons with recent volcano documentaries for television. I also discuss the changes needed to adapt the web video for a museum exhibit.