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Interactive video lesson plan for: The Bayeux Tapestry - all of it, from start to finish

Activity overview:

A complete guide to the story as depicted on the famous Bayeux Tapestry. There is a lot more to it than just the Battle of Hastings.
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Other than The Adventures of Stoke Mandeville, this is the longest editing job I have ever done. It took eleven very long days of work to put this together from the opportunist footage I snatched when changing trains near the museum where it is on display. The shoot was not without its problems, one of which was the fact that because the tapestry is behind glass, and the museum has many illuminated displays, the reflections in the glass were a bane, and I didn't manage to get rid of them all. Another was that my stills camera refused to work after taking a small number of pictures. It had always worked fine before, and has always worked fine since. It wasn't the battery and it wasn't the SD card. It was a mystery.

For the curious, the edit involved seventeen tracks on the timeline, and has twenty-two animated scenes. Unfortunately, the main animation software I was using could not handle full HD images, and so there is a slight loss of picture quality during most of the animated scenes. You will notice that the close-ups have a better picture quality than the wide shots. This is because they were taken with the camera pushed up against the glass, which improved focussing, and got rid of almost all of the haze and reflections caused by the glass.

It is important to understand that this 'tapestry' is a piece of propaganda, and does not tell an accurate version of events. The story I tell here is the one depicted, not what actually happened.

I have enough material for more videos on the tapestry, but am in no great hurry to spend many more days editing this difficult footage. Trying to match the writing and speaking of narration to panning camerawork that had no notion when shot of what might need to be said about some passing scene, was a nightmare, and many editing compromises had to be made, with some scenes skipped past quickly, and others drawn out.

Clarification on the nudity: I said that the figure under the mysterious Cleric and woman was the the only figure displaying genitals on the tapestry. This was misleading. Several animals clearly are pictured with genitals, and on the tapestry in Bayeux today it looks as though a couple of other human figures have genitals. Some of these may have been added later, and these are not being 'displayed' as the displaying figure is clearly doing, but look more incidental.

I describe the tall figure emerging from the building with a lance and pennant, being brought his horse, as 'William'. It occurred to me after making the video that all the sources I consulted describe this figure as William, but the text does not name him as William, so possibly he is just a Norman knight, representing any and all of the knights setting out for the battle, and that this figure is meant to be 'William' could be a modern tradition that has become accepted fact just by repetition.

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Lindybeige: a channel of archaeology, ancient and medieval warfare, rants, swing dance, travelogues, evolution, and whatever else occurs to me to make.

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