A video deposition is legal testimony that is captured on video tape with a camera instead of simply being recorded on paper by a stenographer in a courtroom. Video depositions allow lawyers to play back the resulting footage to a group of jurors or the judge in a case, which can be a more effective way of presenting testimony than simply reading aloud from a written record.
Depositions are a kind of sworn testimony, and lawyers from both sides of a case are generally present when the person is being deposed. Sometimes that person will be called again in a trial, and sometimes the deposition will be the only testimony needed. In either case, the person is required to tell the truth during a deposition and he is also required to answer the questions that the lawyer asks.
Video depositions are considered a more exciting and interesting way to view testimony, which helps jurors and judges pay better attention. Watching video deposition is also a lot more similar to watching actual live testimony in the court room. Judges and jurors have a chance to see the person’s body language and use that to help determine truthfulness and subtlety of meaning.
When filming a video deposition, lawyers can be very particular about the techniques used. Some of them prefer to use a rather wide framing so that jurors can see the person’s whole body to allow for better reading of body language. There is also often a preference for keeping the frame free of distractions in the background, and some lawyers don’t want the filming to interfere with the witnesses mindset, so smaller cameras and non-intrusive lighting equipment are often preferred.
Capturing good sound is also usually a serious consideration when filming a video deposition. The microphone on the camera needs to be positioned close enough so that it can easily pick up anything the person says. Some lawyers also like to use special separate microphones around the room so that they can get clear audio of any other participants.
There are video production companies that make the majority of their money doing video tape depositions. These companies have generally perfected their methods, and they may have a formula for setting up a deposition camera shot on any location very quickly. Companies entering into this field may have to build up contacts with lawyers in a given location, and it could take time to break into the market.