making video to kill the radio star

Making videos doesn't have to be an epic production as one communications officer discovered on one of our courses.

by Rob McCleary

My memories of making videos at University mainly involved me falling asleep in editing rooms whilst my colleagues did all the work. I always had more of an aptitude (and face) for radio so when I decided to get into video making for my council’s social media page I hopped on a train and headed to the comms2point0 video course only armed with my trusty iphone 4 and a sandwich.

The day long course started off with introductions from Steve from the Film Café whose CV includes working on Dr Who and Torchwood. Our first icebreaker task was, in pairs, to go out onto the distractingly pretty corridors of the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and film each other talking about what we wanted to get out of the day.

The discussions in the workshop on the importance of video in this day and age more than made my trip up to Manchester worth it. What I didn’t estimate was the sheer size and importance of YouTube in the new world order and the amount of people accessing it. We also discussed a range of things including target audiences, planning, good practice and the importance of understanding the demographic you’re trying to connect with.

After lunch we got our hands dirty again, this time in groups of threes. With our newly founded knowledge of things like; the importance of context, AE Locks and how to shoot a cake well, we headed out to make films (about cakes, of course). The little tricks we were taught in the afternoon came in handy and I left the workshop with a new found enthusiasm for video making.

I hurried back to our offices in Gedling Borough Council and started to look for any excuse to make a film. We had just announced the launch of our free swimming initiative and we were planning a little stunt outside a shopping centre in Arnold town. With my DSLR in hand, I headed down and started shooting. This was my first attempt at making a video and, although it’s rough around the edges, the workshop skills I gained can be seen in the footage. I filmed and edited the film in a few hours using our camera and Adobe Premiere.

We’ve just made our first vine page and we’ve already got plans to make a 5 minute video for the next staff conference, so it’s onwards and upwards and if I can do it, anyone can.

Rob McCleary is Media & Publications Officer at Gedling Borough Council




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