Calling all archaeologist filmmakers…

For the Day of Archaeology 2013, I made a short film of my work week. It wasn’t that great of a film, barely above home movie, but I had a blast making it. Fortunately, I have a blog and a YouTube channel and have decided to make a few more films about cultural resource management archaeology.

In order to make better films, I did what any archaeologist would do: I Googled “archaeology filmmakers”. I got no response. So, I followed that with some other long-tail searches and still got few responses. I did find a relevant article from American Anthropologist called “Seeing the Past: Visual Media in Archaeology” by Ruth M. Van Dyke (108:[2]:370–384) (you can download it for free at It was written in 2006, so it’s a little dated, but I still have to commend Van Dyke for writing a summary of the different mediums archaeologists were using to create visual media– including video.

Despite the fact we have Indy on our side and reasonably powerful smartphones in our pockets, archaeologists appear to be slow on the trigger at making movies. So, I’ve collected some useful filmmaking videos that will give you the basic skills needed to go out there and fill up your phone’s memory with film.

Teach yourself Filmmaking from the Vimeo Video School

I want to make better videos for my blog and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars buying new gear (I’m cheap and I’m going to be a college student in a few days). I was also too lazy to read any books yet, so my education so far has been strictly devoted to the internet. The Vimeo Video School is one of the best resources I’ve come across so far ( You can learn the basics there. Here’s a little primer on video shooting basics that is really useful.


Video 101: Shooting Basics from Vimeo Video School on Vimeo.

Of course there are hundreds of filmmaking videos on YouTube. If you have a smartphone (specifically an iPhone) or an iPad, here’s a short instructional video about how you can capture quality video using Filmic pro (costs $4.99 in the Apple Store) (FYI: I get nothing for recommending this app. It’s just a quality basic filming app that will greatly increase the quality of your video).


I’m still researching the audio recording aspect of filmmaking, but came across this awesome review of a Tascam iM2 microphone for your iPhone. I use a Tascam for recording oral histories and hope the quality of this cellphone mic is as good as the little tabletop recorder.

I hope these short videos give you inspiration. Ultimately, I want to start making videos like this:

Poler Instructional Video from Poler Outdoor Stuff on Vimeo.

Let’s make some videos!

If you have any questions or comments, write below or send me an email.


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