David Blanch is a videographer and video editor from Barcelona. Photography © David Blanch
1.In your opinion, what is the role of a museum?
For me a museum is a temple of knowledge where we find out what it means, and has meant, to inhabit this small planet we call home. Visiting a museum is an exercise of awe and humility.
If we visit history or archaeological museums we learn how we have evolved during our existence. If we visit art museums, they show us how human beings have felt throughout history up to the present day. And in the case of ancient pieces we see the world they lived in through their works.
And if we visit science museums, they show us how our environment is and lives. They teach us, as I see it, a very valuable lesson. And that is to make us see that we are not alone and that we live with other animals and plants. And that we must respect and take care of them. They relieve us of a bit of our human egocentrism.
2.What are your favorite museums in the world? Why?
I consider myself a passionate for history. I particularly like the historical period from the ancient world to the Middle Ages. For this reason two of my favorite museums are the Pergamon in Berlin and the British Museum in London. I haven’t been in Egypt yet…
As for art, I am in love with the Galleria degli Uffizi in Firenze. Its halls are filled with art everywhere you look and it is impossible not to feel humbled and overwhelmed by so much beauty. Although, I must admit, what I fell in love with the most were the ceilings of the corridors. They are beautiful!
3.How important are social networks in your business? And which platform do you prefer and why.
Nowadays they are a very important showroom to promote you. Although my main source of clients is word of mouth, it is true that I have had some jobs thanks to my publications on the networks. Although I publish on many platforms, as a freelance videographer the ones that work better for me are Instagram and Linkedin.
Instagram has an added feature, and that is that you can only post 59-second videos. Thanks to this I’ve had to learn how to re-edit my work to be able to fit it in that time. In fact, today many clients ask for 59-second videos, either for their brand or event, to be published only on Instagram.
4.To create greater engagement among museums, artists and professionals, do you have any advice for cultural projects such as #MuseumWeek?
I don’t think I am someone who can give advice to anyone, but I would like to mention something that I have found very interesting and that I liked very much. Perhaps you can come up with some useful ideas in the future. As I said, I am passionate for history and also for new technologies. In fact, technology progresses so fast that I believe you either adapt or you get left out of the game.
To the point. At the end of 2017, a video game was released from a very popular franchise called “Assassin’s Creed Origins” by Ubisoft. In it, we were able to experience many adventures in the ancient Egypt, alongside such interesting characters as Cleopatra, Ptolemy or Caesar. Not only is it interesting because of its plot, but also because while you play the environment is so well done that it immerses you in an authentic experience of travelling to that era.
You can sail down the ancient Nile, enter ancient pyramids or visit the ancient library of Alexandria. The game is fantastic and was very successful. A few months after its release they launched an expansion called “Discovery Tour” were you could choose a character and walk through all the scenarios mentioned above, but without violence or enemies. In addition, there were a series of menus and tours where you could get information in the same way as a tourist guide.
I don’t know, but I found this new way of visiting ancient Egypt fascinating. Today technology allows us to go further and to learn in new ways. I have several ideas like creating video games with virtual tours. Or mobile applications that when you read a QR code of an art work in a museum you will be shown a video with a brief history of that particular work and of the artist. Or interactive videos where the viewer would be able to be involved in the creation of a work of art. Just to mention few.
Today there are many audiovisual products that apply the concept “transmedia”, where a story is not only told with a video, but also uses different platforms. Perhaps the time has come to start using the term “transmedia” in the world of museums.
Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist
David Blanch is a professional freelance videographer and video editor from Barcelona, Spain, who has been working in this industry since 1999. Right now he is in the process of founding his own audiovisual production company that will be called Indiana Studio.