From the dark and into the light. Explore the renaissance of Memphis by the MSCD project in this exciting new video.
What happens if you remove some dust from a unique piece of gold? The MSCD project did this at Memphis and brought Egypt’s old capital back into the light again.
Our video audience are archaeologists and Egyptologists to inform them of the great improvement of Memphis and explore new paths linking the sites. The work of the MSCD project is a product of a collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) and the University of York.
We had group discussions creating ideas to attract academics and experts. Each one of us presented ideas to describe our message about the importance of Memphis and the MSCD project for reviving it. It was not easy because the success of the video depended on narrative ideas, and we had a lot of these. But, finally we decided to use a narrator to tell the story and make interviews with professionals who led the project.
After this we started to build the video story by dividing it into scenes and drawing it into storyboarding worksheets. We detailed the narrative, shot number, camera angle and time to be prepared for production process. We are lucky that most of us draw well!
Our interviews with professionals in archaeology and heritage management took place in Memphis and the AERA Egypt center with Dr. David Jeffreys, Freya Sadarangani, and Dr. Sara Perry and focused on the importance of Memphis and the processes of the project, and interpretative trails of the site. At Memphis we also shot scenes with the sun rise emphasizing the revival of Memphis back to the light of life. We have a scene of a man riding a donkey and walking through the ruin field showing the connection between the ancient city and daily life of the local community. Workers of the MSCD project are shown cleaning the sites and walking with their tools and singing. We also imported a picture of some hands with clapping sounds to show that, “a single hand cannot clap” as a sign that the success of the project was only achieved through team work. Finally, we included a mosaic of photos showing all those involved and a scene of the vegetation around Memphis blowing in the wind with credits.
The team with Dr David Jeffreys (third from right).
During the post-production we faced many challenges. Firstly, for our interviews, it took time to formulate the right questions because for each interview we only had 2-4 mins to get the most from our interviewees. Secondly, we put the sound under the video parts, and we faced the problem of the sound level because at site it is completely different from closed places. The audio program Audacity was our hero, as it helped to set all sounds in the same level along with background music. Finally, inserting the Arabic translation and sub-titles was a challenge because they had to be matched with the scenes and sound.
This video was designed to inform scholars of the changes that have taken place at Egypt’s ancient capital. We want show how the project went about reviving Memphis and how the new walking circuit around previously closed sites can encourage further scholarly discussion.