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Videography and Text-to-Video Syncing

It is so commonplace these days, sometimes we don’t think just how powerful a medium video can be. Seeing the witness’ facial expressions and demeanor combined with hearing how the witness answers will impact a viewer much more than reading out loud to the Court from the paper transcript.

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goDEPO is a Louisiana company that has specialized in video depositions since 1984, and our expertise has constantly advanced with the evolving technology. We keep pace with the cutting edge to provide you with the best videography services available.

Wherever you need a legal videographer, call goDEPO .

We have several in-house videographers serving south Louisiana including Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Covington, Slidell, New Orleans, Metairie and Houma, as well as subcontract videographers in Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe serving north Louisiana. Plus we have additional legal videographers scattered all around Louisiana. We do our best to schedule videographers that reside near job locations so as to minimize travel costs.

Outside of Louisiana, we know and network with certified legal videographers throughout the U.S.

Do you also need a court reporter, realtime reporter and/or videoconferencing? Our experienced office staff can handle all your deposition arrangements wherever you are going.

Why video record depositions?
  1. “Ummmmm...nooooooo...” in a soft uncertain-sounding tone becomes “No” on paper. Seeing the witness say it on video and hearing the tone and uncertainty could cast significant doubt in jurors’ minds. Video engages visually and aurally so it is more compelling. Being able to see and hear how the testimony is presented gives jurors a lot more information than just the written word. Physical appearance, body language, facial expression, demeanor, inflection and even pauses all affect credibility and increase the likelihood that the jury will retain what they have heard.

  2. If the witness will be unavailable during trial.

  3. Calling a treating physician or physician rendering an expert opinion to testify in court is very expensive. A well-organized and professionally recorded video deposition is a good alternative.

  4. If you take a deposition by phone, the witness is likely to take it more seriously if you are video recording it. This may result in more complete and candid answers.

  5. If colleagues on your team are not able to attend the deposition, reviewing a video recording of the testimony will be more productive than just reading the transcript. You can send a video to experts, or share it with paralegals and co-counsel. They will have a better understanding of the testimony and how it will be perceived by the jury.

  6. The fact that the proceeding is being recorded to video can have a calming effect on the participants.

  7. As a tool that may provide an opportunity to impeach a witness.

  8. And now with synchronized text-to-video files, working with video has become easier, more precise and more effective.

goDEPO can provide video depositions in your choice of formats, the most common of which are:

  • Standard “DVD-video” (.vob and related files) recording that can be played in a DVD player or computer
  • Synchronized text-to-video (a group of computer files)
  • MPEG1 (most common single computer file type)
  • MPEG4 (most recent technology advance, but not yet widely accepted)
Synchronized Video Depositions- A Powerful New Litigation Tool

Videotaping depositions has been around since the 70s. But you had to deal with videotapes, fast-forwarding, rewinding and having to watch most if not all of the recording to find the parts that were key to your case or needed to be redacted. Using videotapes to impeach witnesses had to be planned out well in advance, as it was difficult and time-consuming.

That was until the advent in recent years of software that synchronizes the video with the transcript text.

Commonly referred to as:

  • Synced Video Transcripts
  • Synced Video
  • Digital Video Transcripts
  • Or just Syncs

A sync is the text and video of a deposition or other proceeding merged into one and provided on a DVD or USB flash drive. When played, the text is displayed beside or below the video, the text will scroll as the video plays and you can click anywhere in the text to jump to that point in the video. And it can do a lot more…

  1. Syncs are even more engaging than standard video. In addition to seeing and hearing the witness’ response in his or her own words along with all the meaning imparted by body language, demeanor and inflection, the viewer is now reading the words as they are spoken, providing greater impact and retention.
  2. Syncs permit easier and faster editing, which allows for fast, easy redaction of objections and other transcript portions ruled by the Judge to be stricken.
  3. A word can be searched in the text to quickly find where the word appears in the video.
  4. Clips of the video can be created quickly and easily, then displayed individually or compiled to play as one continuous video stream. Clips are often used in closing arguments to emphasize points.
  5. If the witness is hard to understand because of a heavy accent and/or the testimony is of a technical nature, the jury can read the words while seeing and hearing the witness say them. This makes understanding the testimony easier and keeps the listeners more engaged.
  6. Impeachment: Imagine impeaching a witness who is on the stand by quickly displaying a video clip of her deposition rather than just reading it aloud from the deposition transcript. And not just a different verbal answer could be used, but a significant difference in the way she answered. For example, a witness gives an unequivocal “yes!” on the stand, then you play a video clip of a deposition showing her pause several seconds, look at her attorney, then answer. The impact is tremendous. The witness cannot deny a video clip of a prior statement she made that is inconsistent with what she just said, nor can she deny the hesitation she exhibited when saying it in her deposition. You can go to trial prepared with clips that you, your paralegal or goDEPO created in anticipation that the witness will say something different on the stand, or you can search for a word in the text to instantly access the point in the synced video that the witness answered differently, or you or a trial team member can create a clip while the witness is being examined by opposing counsel. That is powerful.
  7. And exhibits can be linked to the text and video so they can be displayed simultaneously as the witness talks about them.

goDEPO can provide video depositions synced with YesLaw or inData DepoView (from the developers of TrialDirector).

One important piece of advice regarding playing a sync:

Don’t play a sync from the DVD. Copy the sync file set from the DVD to your computer hard drive or a flash drive, and play or work with the sync from there.

For more on Litigation Technology Support offered by goDEPO, read our goViaVideo Videoconferencing and Trial Presentation pages.