I do voluntary work in my spare time and last year I went on the fabulous Campaign Bootcamp where I met lots of very cool people who work for charities and good causes.
After a particularly interesting session on Communications, I began to think about how to use my video journalism skills for campaign work. There’s a lot of crossover between the skills you need to get a message across in a campaign and those you used for digital journalism.
But I’ve realised lot of campaigners don’t use digital skills and are often suspicious about the value of things like video and social media; so I was interested to read that I wasn’t alone in my thinking.
Not that there’s a lack of interest, I’ve had plenty of campaigner and activist friends ask for tips about video and film making for example. So,
Here are my top 5 tips for producing a basic campaigning video:
1. What’s the point?
Think about why you are making a video for your organisation and most importantly whats the best way of conveying that on video. Spend time on your message and the action you want to ask of your audience: sign a petition, donate money, share your campaign etc.
2. The answer is in your pocket
Mobile phones are perfect especially for small charities with limited budgets and resources. Many smart phones have HD and even 4K video capability – that’s super broadcast quality, so why aren’t you using it?
3. Practically speaking
Luckily, mobile journalists have done the legwork for you; read my post about budget friendly mobile phone accessories to help with your filming. Remember the fundamentals are TSS: Tripod, Storage and Sound. If you don’t have any lighting equipment, film in a quiet, well lit space. Make sure the light is shining on the subject and not behind the subject or you’ll end up filming a dark shadow.
4. Make it short
Think about where your video will go: maybe your website, but most likely on social media. Social media users have a very limited attention span so the shorter your video the better; I’d say 60-120 seconds of edited video is is ideal.
5. Editing video
You need to edit video because you will make mistakes and there will be glitches and you will want to make it look as professional as you can. Do use titles and music which you can do on your editing app. I use iMovie for editing on my iPhone on the go: at about £5 to download it’s cheap, and being the basic version of industry standard Final Cut Pro it does the job well and is pretty simple to use.
I offer structured training classes for more in-depth video making. If your charity or organisation is interested then drop me a line for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org