I’m working at the Urdd National Eisteddfod – a major European youth festival – in Aberaeron, Wales, this week. Colleagues from the BBC Welsh-language children’s news programme Ffeil have been recording viewers’ stories using an adapted London black taxi cab as an experiment here. It’s not something they’ve built themselves; it’s been hired in.
The cab contains a video camera which starts recording onto a flashcard as soon as someone opens the door and sits in the cab. Question prompts can be given either on-screen or, in the case of Ffeil, by a presenter off-camera.This taxi strikes me as a fleet-footed story capture device. The best way to use this would be by guiding the individual through the process so they gain some element of media literacy from the process. Giving a copy of/link to their video to the storyteller or interviewee would also be nice. If you were planning to formally broadcast or publish what’s captured, you’d be wise to ask participants to sign a consent form and let them know how the clip may be used.
With these thoughts in mind, this kind of mobile, automatic capture device is a way of giving voice to people whose voices might not otherwise have been heard. It could be used by a museum, storytelling festival, media literacy conference, TV reality show. I think it’s a booth using technology like this that’s used for the public’s reaction to Big Brother - etc