Low-tech exhibit projection at a mock trial
April 25, 2006 9:06 PM   Subscribe

I need some low-tech advice on displaying exhibits at my upcoming mock trial.

My current inventory:
- About twenty exhibits, each printed on 8.5x11 paper
- One overhead projector
- Access to a standard-size laser printer
- Law-student-size budget

We're using the courtroom on a Saturday, and don't have access to any court staff or personnel in order to track down various equipment. I am told that the rooms are wood-paneled and don't have a white surface for projection. Aside from this, I won't know what courtroom I'll be in until I show up. They are all different sizes, some cavernous, some tiny.

Given this, what is a low-cost, but professional-looking solution for displaying exhibits? A projector screen + tripod will run me at least $100; the tripod alone runs $40. Transparencies are 75c each at Staples and blow-ups of the paper exhibits run a couple of bucks apiece. I really can't afford to buy a bunch of expensive crap that I'll never use again. So I'm looking for creative solutions that utilize existing space in a room of unknown dimensions with optimal cost.

If you figure this out, I will not only mark yours best answer, I will give you a big hug and tell you that you have saved my day.
posted by Saucy Intruder to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I should add that I'm also looking into equipment rentals (particularly the projector screen), but the google results are full of linkfarms and other useless junk.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:08 PM on April 25, 2006


Saucy Intruder, have you checked with your department or your school's academic resource center to make sure there isn't a projector and tripod you can borrow through your Uni?

Given what we've seen so far, what's the problem with handing out duplicates of each exhibit and handing them out in a neatly organized packet?
posted by onalark at 10:53 PM on April 25, 2006


onalark, the jury gets a packet of exhibits. But it's also very helpful to have a projection so that the jury is paying attention and isn't busy passing around pieces of paper while you're examining witnesses.

The school isn't keen on loaning tech stuff off campus but I am trying to work the back channels.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 11:10 PM on April 25, 2006


Get poster sized blow-ups of the documents from Staples. Two extra large alligator clips. Clip the stack of documents, in order of use, to the top of a large black cardboard art-board from your local art supply store. Set on an inexpensive easel ($5, also at the art store). Display one document, then when you're done, just pull it down or flip over the back of the board to reveal the next.

Make sure you place the easel within easy viewing distance of the jury. That'll also give you good reason to stand at an good distance for close eye-contact with the jurors as you speak, which isn't a bad thing either.

It's obvious, it's cheesy, it's low-tech, but it's cheap, and it works. and unless they spend a lot more $$, nobody else will have much better.
posted by ab3 at 11:33 PM on April 25, 2006


I was going to suggest ab3's solution, so consider this a "second." I'd skip the alligator clips and make sure to use very stiff backing board (not flimsy poster board which will wiggle and bend and embarrass the hell out of you by falling off the easel). If budget is an issue, mount one exhibit on each side of the board (though that makes presenting them in order a wee bit harder).
posted by zanni at 2:14 AM on April 26, 2006


We did Mock Trial in college and basicall did the blow-ups. We got them, I think, on the very stiff foam-core stuff. We had it printed on the foam-core, but you may find that it's cheaper to have them printed on paper and then affix the prints to foam core you've bought separately.

A plus is that the foam-core stuff is pretty durable -- we used ours all season and they didn't look any worse for wear at the end of the year. We in fact saved them for use in "practice" during later years.

Good luck!
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:09 AM on April 26, 2006


I should add that I'm also looking into equipment rentals (particularly the projector screen), but the google results are full of linkfarms and other useless junk. - Saucy Intruder

Try the phonebook.

I'm not meaning to be snarky, it's just that sometimes we forget the obvious. When google results are spammy and you're looking for a local supplier of stuff, try the yellow pages.
posted by raedyn at 7:53 AM on April 26, 2006


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