Hello! And thank you for being a part of DigNation 2020: Big Dig Energy

We've prepared this page to help make your filming process easier. If you still need help or have a technical question, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

If your team is in multiple countries, you don’t have access to your archive, artefacts or other weapons in your archaeological arsenal, DON’T WORRY.

Most of us are in the same position – that’s the whole point of the format of DigNation. How can we use what we’ve got to hand to tell the story of what we do as archaeologists? As long as anyone from the team can speak passionately about your work for around 20 mintues, you guys are good. Fire away!


So that we can begin to prepare the video stream, please reply to Lisa (by email) as soon as possible to confirm we have the correct details as follows:

  1. Your full name/affiliations exactly as you would like it listed in the programme, plus the same for all contributor and project partners you would like acknowledged (even if they are not also presenting)
  2. A short blurb on your project (approx 100-150 words).
  3. Website address for you/your project
  4. Any social media profiles/handles for you/your project
  5. Your postal address
  6. Your tee shirt size

You can send us your talk whenever it’s ready – we’ll be uploading from now until the festival, and it will help us a lot if we don’t have to do it all at once! We’ll be accepting talks through 5th June.

We’ve prepared this helpful video that will guide you through what to consider when you’re ready to film.

Remember: don’t film yourself from below! Prop up your laptop on a pile of books, or position your phone so that the angle is straight on. Make sure you’re evenly and well lit, and that there are no shadows obscuring your face.

 (This video was made for the DV team, so please forgive any specific references to our work! But it’s applicable and helpful to the DigNation presentations as well.)

Format and Storytelling

We want the festival audience to fall in love with your project, so your presentation should be designed to help us make that happen. We’re not looking for formal, read papers: tell us what’s amazing about the work you’ve done – or were meant to do this summer! – and why people should tune back in next year to see what’s happened. What do YOU think is exciting about the project? Tell us!

What’s your ‘hook’?

A snappy intro to grab audience attention is important. Most stats on how video is consumed online show that you have three seconds to make an impression before people bounce.

Your main talking points

Having these clearly outlined is important, so that you can foreground them in your presentation. The audience will keep watching for the good stuff!

What will you use to make it visually engaging?

We are happy with slides, video clips, photos, maps, drawings, social posts,3D models, whatever you’ve got. Please label everything clearly so we know where you would like it placed! Feel free to send us a storyboard / guide to adding the media.

What makes this project unlike any other in the world?

The one thing above all others that captures an audience is passion. Tell us the coolest thing about your work – something that might not make it into an academic paper, but that is what gets you out of bed every morning.

A bit of fun!

When you begin your presentation, please remember to introduce yourself, your project, and any partners you would like recognised. At the end of your presentation, we would like you to answer the following question:

What is your dig bag secret weapon?

We'll be hearing from archaeologists all over the world, and it will be amazing to hear about the DIY and hacks that you won’t leave home without.


We’ve given 20 minutes as a guide – but we are happy with presentations up to 35 minutes long.  It’s a helpful tip to do a Shot List before you start filming, so that you know approximately how much time to spend on each section. Here’s an example from a video about our site at Flag Fen:


You can film your presentation with a video camera,  smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Many of you may be familiar with doing this already, but for those that aren’t, the three important considerations are: CAMERA ANGLE, LIGHTING, and AUDIO.

Remember: don’t film yourself from below! Prop up your laptop on a pile of books, or position your phone so that the angle is straight on. Make sure you’re evenly and well lit, and that there are no shadows obscuring your face. Also, pay attention to your background. We also welcome Zoom environments as backdrops!


If the audio quality is poor, people will likely just stop watching. Here are some tips that will help:

  • Choose a room with as little echo as possible. Hanging up blankets, duvets, or lining the area with pillows can help dampen echo (just so long it doesn’t look like you’re in a pillow fort for the visuals).
  • Be aware that if you’re using a built-in mic and you use your computer while recording, the internal mic will pick up all typing and mouse clicks.
  • Shifting things that are on the same surface as your mic (moving a mug, adjusting a lamp) will also be picked up, and could interfere with your talk.
  • Test your audio before making your final recording. Listen for echoing, muffling or clipping (when you talk too loudly and the audio gets distorted).
  • Adjust mic placement (if external) or your distance from the computer to get a good balance. You can also adjust the settings of the mic on your computer (Settings on PC, System Preferences on Mac).
  • If possible, try to keep all other noises to a minimum while you’re recording. This includes closing doors and windows, switching off fans and other devices that hum or whir.
  • Make sure to leave a buffer of roughly 10 seconds at the beginning and end of your clips. If possible, try to record your talk in one clip (mistakes included!) as it makes it easier to edit out the errors and keep a consistent sound quality throughout.
  • If you’re worried about the audio, you can always record a backup on your phone to send along. While the audio quality may be different, it will be better than missing bits of audio. Just make sure you’re on ‘Do not Disturb’ or Airplane Mode so text messages, push notifications or calls don’t interrupt.
Sending your file to DigVentures

Most presentations are likely to be large files, so please send us your material by DropBox link or sharing service such as WeTransfer.

Please ensure all visual materials are clearly labelled so we know where they belong in the presentation! Feel free to send us a Word doc with a storyboard or guide to adding the media.

We hope you all have fun doing your presentations. We can’t wait to see the presentations and learn more about the AMAZING work archaeologists are doing all over the world. Thank you again for being part of DigNation!