Remember in grade school how boring class was? Time passed so slowly, like a snail, but when the teacher announced it was time to watch a movie suddenly the students were awake, perky and even excited to receive the new images. That is exactly what video is like for a jury or even at mediation.
Over the past 25 years forensic video technologies production has evolved into a multi- faceted high impact medium for both plaintiff and defense attorneys to present their facts at mediation or trial. Video drone technology has replaced the helicopter and made capturing many different types of aerial shots possible as well as affordable. A physical 3D model created from a CT scan showing fractures, disc herniations and metal hardware placement are now possible.
Today, Day in the Life documentaries are produced in cinematic quality resolution using Steadicams, 3D animations and video drones to wow the viewer. Surveillance video is everywhere and the ability to enhance this footage with multiple techniques and filters can give you a smoking gun piece of evidence. The greatest challenge however, is choosing the right video exhibit for the right case.
When documenting a motor vehicle collision scene there is nothing more jaw dropping than a stunning aerial drone video demonstrating the facts of a case. Drone video can show the path of the vehicles with great detail in addition to addressing visibility and line of sight issues. At the same time, an HD camera placed inside the vehicle can be used to show the driver’s viewpoint. All video clips are synced to produce an extremely effective two camera forensic exhibit from the air and ground. 3D animations of the roadway approach can easily be created with the video drone footage and can also be used for Day in the Life documentaries to show distances people have to travel for daily tasks and numerous other aspects of a person’s life.
Another emerging technology for dynamic motor vehicle and medical imaging study exhibits is 3D printing. If a car or truck has been scanned by a collision reconstructionist or specialized company, the high-resolution files can be used to created exact 3D physical models of the damage to a vehicle with astonishing detail. The downside is that dark areas not properly lit or areas with very thin pieces are hard to replicate and require touching up. A CT scan can also be reproduced as a 3D model showing all types of fractures, herniations and metal hardware. 3D exhibits created from perfect high- resolution scans are cutting edge and mind blowing. Notice the word “perfect” was used to describe the scans. This is because many scans are not high quality and something like the human spine is small. Although the model is cool, damages show up small, even though they are devastating to a person’s wellbeing.
DAY IN THE LIFE (DIL) VIDEO DOCUMENTARY
There is no better format to tell a person’s story than through this technique… plain and simple. Words don’t exist that can effectively replace the visual of a brain damaged six month old little baby taking five minutes just to try to roll over; a woman who lost both legs, her right arm and all the fingers on her left hand making dinner for her five children; home movies of a daughter so lovely, so innocent and full of life then transition to the cemetery with her parents for a birthday celebration. Relating to a jury of the working person’s peers should be your primary objective and strength whether at mediation or trial. These types of presentations get real results and are now captured in HD and 4K so the detail is truly amazing.
VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS (VSS)
Everything, literally everything, has a video monitor and some type of surveillance system today. The ability to extract the video clips in an identifiable concise manner is another thing. Most VSS’s have a proprietary player that requires you to play the video in their viewer. The options are limited in the viewer so it’s necessary to extract the original video using a screen capture program or their viewer. Once the highest resolution copy possible is obtained, the video can be enhanced using multiple filters and techniques. The ability to track, zoom in, go from night to day and many other options are available. An experienced forensic editor uses graphics to orientate the viewer, making outstanding mediation and trial exhibits. Please remember, this is not CSI: and unfortunately, most of us do not have multimillion-dollar equipment like the government. Also keep in mind that not everything you see on TV about video enhancement is real; however, huge improvements can be made through enhancement techniques with great success. James Jenkins