5 tips from a videographer for your ‘open day’ video

Creating a video for prospective parents this year? Then here’s some help from a videographer
16th November 2020, 3:00pm

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5 tips from a videographer for your ‘open day’ video

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/5-tips-videographer-your-open-day-video
Coronavirus: How To Create Your School Virtual Open Day Video

Alongside masks and bubbles, virtual open day tours are another new challenge for schools this year. So how do you perfectly capture your school's essence without an Oscar-winning budget?

Creating school 'virtual open day' videos

Videographer Adam Quelch has some top tips for schools.

1. Don't neglect the audio

When thinking about a video, it can be tempting to start with the camera, but Adam warns that the audio is much more important. 

"It doesn't matter if you are using a top-end cinema camera or your old iPhone 5S: if the audio isn't right, the whole thing will feel amateurish," he says.

Firstly, check for background noise - is the space echoey? Can you hear a lively lesson or the caretaker's leaf blower outside? Remember that if you can hear it, so can the camera.

Secondly, if your budget allows, head online.

"For about £10 you can buy a cheap lapel mic and plug it into a smartphone to capture the audio. The phone can go in the speaker's pocket (but make sure the wire is tucked in) and you can just synchronise the audio in software later," he says.  

No budget? No problem: just keep your speaker closer to the camera.

2. Get the right people involved

There's no replacement for passion, says Adam.

"Try to pick people who are genuinely enthusiastic about what they are speaking about and who can channel that enthusiasm down the camera," he says.

This isn't just for the speakers: he also advises getting students who are interested in video work on board, too - you'll see the passion in the end product, and what better way to showcase your school than a collaboration between staff and students?

The majority of people being filmed often don't want to be, and this can lead to difficulties when it's time to press record. While a single great speaker can do the job, picking a range of speakers will both share the workload and give you more to play with when it comes to the edit.

3. Don't show every little thing

"People have short attention spans," says Adam, and while you may want to show everything from reception to the playground and every room in between, it really isn't necessary, and can even get a negative reaction from your viewers.

"Keep it short and sweet: it's tempting to cram in as much information as humanly possible, but it's boring! You have a prospectus and a website if they want more details," he says.

4. Don't invest a fortune (but do make time to learn)

The great thing about technology is that most of us are carrying around a 4k camera in our pocket and if you use that right, you can bypass the need for anything fancier. That said, Adam says that gimbals, lights, and tripods are all small investments that can make a big difference to the overall delivery.

But if in doubt, head to YouTube: there are tutorials for everything from editing and using graphics to how to walk with a gimbal to achieve smooth footage.

5. Aim for feeling

"How the viewer feels is everything," says Adam. "The goal of the video is going to be to get people feeling positively about the school, so tell us what sets you apart from every other school in the area: is there anything special about your approach to core subjects? Did your football team win the cup last year? Do you have a thriving tiddlywinks community? This is your opportunity to sell yourselves."

Lauran Hampshire-Dell is a teacher and tutor

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