Here are some helpful ideas and tips based on our experience garnered across a few extremely busy years in this area, whether you’re a school or college doing video production.
Pre-production meetings should be held for a school video production twice as often as they would be for a corporation. Due to the unique difficulties of filming in educational settings, we recommend scheduling extra time for you and the client to discuss any questions or issues that may arise.
Safety is an important consideration. Safety should be your top priority when transporting video equipment inside a school building. Depending on its severity, this factor may affect how you organize each day’s shooting. Any kit relocation should be done either during a break, when the school is empty, or when all pupils are in class.
Before filming, make sure you’ve done a complete risk assessment to make sure you’ve thought of everything that could go wrong. Once you know everyone’s safety is ensured on set, you can concentrate on getting the good stuff that will make your movie a hit. Several methods exist for accomplishing this.
3. Picking the Camera You’ll Use
Compact cameras are ideal for educational video production. Incorporating a large, high-quality studio camera into the shot is not practical. The bulky camera would make it difficult to move around, but more significantly, the reaction of smaller children to a large camera like this would imply that you would obtain very little candid footage because everyone in the room would be continuously camera aware.
A better option is to utilize a camera with a single lens reflex (DSLR) or a compact camera with a large sensor and a minimum body. These two choices provide a more covert camera that can be utilized to record pupils in more organic settings.
4. Control Everything
We’ve been around the block enough times to know that merely showing up there, turning the camera on, and waiting for the magic to happen is unrealistic. Getting kids and adults to smile and move enthusiastically (particularly on a Monday morning!) takes some encouragement, and sometimes even some directing. You should build up scenes in which you can catch genuine emotions in each shot; this will give you more options when it comes time to edit.
5. Put Down That Camera
Another helpful piece of advice, especially when working with smaller pupils, is to keep the camera at or near the level of the students’ eyes whenever possible. This allows you to see them as they truly are while they go about their day. You may go considerably closer to your subject and the activity, increasing your chances of capturing one of those elusive “magic moments.”
6. A little spice goes a long way
We have also learned through experience that there is a certain amount of energy and excitement that can be wrung out of a subject like mathematics or English. We attempt to include as many different types of physical activity as possible, such as physical education, after-school clubs, pupils playing during break and lunch, and other sports, to get more dynamic pictures. By interspersing such images with more conventional academic information, we give each institution its own unique flavour and character.
7. Get across the “Joy of Learning”
A successful promotional video for a school or university will show students engaged in meaningful learning and having a good time. Doing so effectively calls for some planning and a modest setup. While you will still capture genuine experiences, you will do so in a method that maximizes productivity.
The subsequent steps bring about this result; – (here’s the deal: film an engaging classroom scene, capturing the instructor’s explanation and the students’ engaged reactions.)
You can do this by taking a seat in the back of a classroom and watching the teacher for a short period of time. If you know what part of the course tends to get the most enthusiastic response from the class, that’s where the camera should go. Then have the instructor replay those few minutes of the class several times. You can move the camera to capture different shots, and with some guidance and positive reinforcement, you can get the shots you need.
8. Expand Your Horizons
Frequently, interviews with key people provide the backbone of promotional videos, with clips from such interviews woven together. Both students and faculty are essential to the smooth operation of a school, but they aren’t the only people that play a role in the institution’s daily life. Consider interviewing parents, school governors, volunteers, and local community leaders depending on the theme or audience of your video. Including people outside of the school’s student body and faculty in the promotional video’s interview pool can help you get perspectives you wouldn’t get from either group alone.
9. Set Your Schedule
No one needs to tell you that school instructors have a full schedule. It’s best to get the action shots during regular school hours and shoot interviews with teachers after school has ended.
10. Shift the Camera
When compared to a static camera perspective, a dolly shot that glides seamlessly down a hallway toward a pupil seems significantly more impressive. Mobile and easy to set up, dollies and jibs provide the “wow” effect necessary to immediately captivate an audience.
That concludes our time spent filming in educational institutions. Many of these were hard-learned lessons, but we’ve discovered that by following these ten guidelines, we can improve the quality of a school’s promotional video and enhance the likelihood that it will be well-received by its intended audience.