Utilizing Picture-in-Picture in a Deposition

There are times in a deposition setting that a large number of exhibits need to be viewed by the deponent. Videographers are asked, at times, to zoom in on the exhibit to capture what is being discussed by the deponent. This is standard practice in the industry.

CompuScripts, Inc. has a cutting edge solution on how to handle deposition exhibits in a legal video proceeding, whether you are engaging in complex litigation related to pharmaceutical, product liability litigation or other exhibit intensive discovery. We can capture either analog (i.e. paper) or digital exhibits using high definition Picture-in-Picture technology. We attach a document camera, iPad, or computer to our portable video system, and we capture the exhibit and a smaller image of the deponent in a corner of the screen (thus the picture-in-picture label).

Why is this important to an exhibit-intensive deposition?

Digital exhibits captured from an iPad or computer are always perfectly lit and never tinted blue or green (unless that’s the way you’ve presented them). They’re always captured on video exactly as you see them on the screen. There’s never a hand or a head in the way, hiding a portion of the exhibit. The exhibits can be manipulated easily, and presentation software like Trial Director for iPad or iAnnotate can be used just like you would in trial. Live exhibits, like a spreadsheet, can be presented and discussed easily. As an example, when diving into the formulas underlying a spreadsheet cell’s contents, the formulas will show up like they would on your computer monitor. Additionally, free or inexpensive drawing tools, like Belkin’s Stage Pro or Paint.net, can be used to draw shapes, arrows, etc., on a digital exhibit. These can be saved and emailed to the reporter and parties as soon as the device is connected to the Web.

Analog (paper) exhibits can be captured on the document camera. Any interaction a deponent has with the exhibit (drawing an arrow, for example) is also captured. Although this methodology requires less preparation for presentation, the end result sometimes has issues with light glare or shadows. There are anti-glare sheets (that we bring to the deposition) that can be used to reduce the reflection.

We capture all of this in high definition video. This provides enough resolution to clearly view and read documents on modern display screens. We produce these videos as either a standard definition wide screen DVD or as a standard or high definition wide screen MPEG-4. Either way, you end up with a video that tells your story in a way that is unique and visually engaging. We also maintain a copy of the deponent’s video without the exhibits in case a piece of testimony without the exhibit is acceptable to the court but testimony with the displayed exhibit is thrown out.

We don’t suggest you do Picture-in-Picture for every video deposition, but when you’ve got exhibits that you want to capture on video in the deposition, it’s a surefire way to keep the judge or jury engaged in the proceedings and retain your story’s critical information for later deliberations.