Solution #913: Virtual History

Historic Anderson House

Featuring: Anderson House - Home of the Society of the Cincinnati

Client: The Society of the Cincinnati and American Revolution Institute

The Idea:

Enterance to the Ballrooom

With COVID-19 closing down museums, among other places, The Society of the Cincinnati wanted to have a way to tell of their unique story being in Washington, DC, and show their historic headquarters -- the architecture, their museum, and their research library -- to potential future visitors. This would be used on their website or with one-on-one lecturers/presentations.

The Challenge:

Really, there were two big challenges for this production. One was a four-week deadline for the debut of this program at the Washington Winter Show, as part of their virtual antiques show event to provide historic content of interest.

The formal 2nd Floor Dining Room

The second was in how to capture the rich beauty of this historical home as many of the rooms were full of dark mahogany, floor-to-ceiling paneling and bookcases which can be hard to photograph, let alone capture on video.

The Solution:

The VIDSOL team consulted on their video script and recommended a shooting schedule and production plan to help be as efficient as possible. This allowed museum staff to prepare certain artifacts to feature and ready exhibit spaces. It also prepared them for how our team would be capturing everything and manage expectations.

The Great Stair Hall with the magnificent painting <i>The Triumph of the Dogaressa</i>

Due to the COVID mandates, we limited our production to a two-person crew who spent two days filming the entire house, essentially one floor per day. Specialty lighting equipment was brought in, as several of the rooms have deep, rich mahogany woodwork which normally absorbs a lot of television light. Additionally, by using the 4K Raw format, we were able to also adjust exposure and color temperature to get the best possible image, as well as, be able to further adjust it to perfection in post-production.

Close-ups of the Diamond Eagle and the Anderson's formal china

Many items that had been hidden away in display cases were just now getting seen for the first time by our viewers. And our 4K imagery was able to really zoom in on the fine details and the exquisite beauty of their special artifacts, like the Diamond Eagle the official badge of the Office of the President General.

With the addition of a professional narrator and music to complete the video tour, we were able to make the initial debut. Program has been a popular attraction on the Society of the Cincinnati's website drawing more than 36K viewers and counting.

The Garden Courtyard at Historic Anderson House