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Engagingthrough social mEdia Part 2

production explained



production explained

is the reason why many people use social media, especially sites like YouTube. Through videos they share opinions, record events and activities and create artistic, informative and entertaining films. this guide is to help you understand video production techniques with a view to producing video content about your youth project and its activities, to put on social media sites, as well as your own website. Video production in itself is an engaging activity that you can do with members, giving them new skills and at the same time promoting your project.
the benefits of a video include:
● Showcasing your project, its people and its activities ● Using it as an online marketing tool ● Getting your members involved in and leading a creative activity ● Giving young people a voice through a medium they might not have considered ● Building and sharing new skills and interests

Producing a video is simple.
● Anyone can pick up a mobile phone, a pocket video camera or a camcorder and start recording. ● The art of good video-making is to produce something where the content delivers your objectives and is meaningful. ● This guide is to help you focus on your aims and to talk you through the whole process.

so you will:
● Gain knowledge of the production process ● Learn about storytelling and scripting of short videos ● Learn about filming and editing techniques ● Know how to upload a finished video online


production explained

the Basics
A video is composed of words and pictures, where the images lead the story, unlike a print or newspaper article where it is the words that are creative and informative. So it is important when you think about making a video with your project members to decide on the story you want to tell and to find a style of filming that matches. Some ideas include creating a video diary of events or one person’s view; a day in the life of a band or a youth project; a documentary-style report on a local place of interest or a concern such as homelessness or drug addiction; an original music video; or maybe a ’what’s on’ report that is presenter-led and can be updated monthly. Once you have decided on your subject matter, think about which style would be most appropriate. For example fast-cut for a music video; or ‘news report’ style, presenter-led for an informative piece; or video diary style where someone talks to camera.

the story or script
Start developing your video idea by summing it up in one sentence. Work out the story you want to tell so that you know what elements you need to film. For example, think about the images you need to video, who you would like to interview and what messages or information you are aiming to get across. Length of a video A video for a social media site can be any length, but as viewers are used to short clips aim at no more than three minutes. A standard TV news report in a bulletin is from 40 seconds to one minute 20 seconds. To avoid making a ‘guesstimate’, prepare your ideas and write them down. Three spoken words equal one second of video. So 10 seconds of speech equates to 30 words. Write a script or ‘shot list’ – you can just create a table in Word (see below), or you can hand draw one, with columns for: Pictures – what you want to film Dialogue – what you want to say Timing – how long it might last


production explained

an example of a script
Image description Skateboarding was invented in 1967 and it’s more popular than ever with lots of national competitions to take part in. “The UK has over 200 skate parks where you can get great practice to develop your tricks and skills, sometimes with a coach to help.” Dialogue Skateboarders in a skate park Time 8 secs

Sound-bite or comment from a UK champion skateboarder

8 secs

There are many video clips on You- YouTube clip Tube that show you how to do it

10 secs

Filming and production
Whatever camera or mobile you use for filming your video, you still need to think about the types of shots you want because they will really make a difference. Some shots to think about include: A strong opening shot: a big close-up of fingers on a guitar; an artistic shot of a skyline; sun glinting on windows Atmospheric pictures: sunsets, stormy clouds, pouring rain, neon lights, city skyline, railway tracks General scene-setting shots: people working, cars on streets, buildings, shopping malls Aerial shots: from a gallery in a club showing people on the dance floor; skateboarders from the top of a half-pipe. Names of places and logos Good/relevant locations for pieces to camera or interviews. For example if you are doing a story about a young fashion designer try to show some clothes or a sewing machine behind them. A closing shot to make the story memorable and that links to the final words: a person walking away; a door closing: a sunset.


production explained

Once you’ve decided on the style for your video, there are standard camera shots you can use to tell your story. You can write these in your script to remind you and whoever is filming. long shot or ls sets the scene, for example a skate park, seeing the whole group of skaters.

Wide shot or Ws is also used for giving context to your video.

mid shot or ms is most commonly used for recording interviews.


production explained

close-up or cu is a good way to emphasise something, like a person’s hands tightly clasped while they are talking, a street sign or the wheels of a skateboard or car going by. Close-ups are often used as cut-ins or cutaways when editing. These are shots that are used if someone is talking, allowing you to edit their dialogue by inserting a cutaway of their hands for example.

Big close-up or Bcu for greater emphasis of detail. This could be used to focus on a person’s eyes or fingers on a keyboard or instrument.

tracking shots enable you to follow a person or action. They can be shot from a moving car, or from a supermarket trolley as it is pushed. Pull-focus from one object in the foreground to another in the background is common for changing emphasis and moving to another subject (this is always used in soaps). Pan from right to left or vice versa. If these are long they can rarely be used in short reports. There has to be a reason for the pan – moving from one subject to another. tilt moving up or down. For example from a person’s eyes to the book they are reading, from a sign outside a building down to the entrance door or vice versa. Zoom in or out. For example zoom out from a close-up of a singer to seeing the whole group on stage. Point of view from over a person’s shoulder to show what they are seeing from their viewpoint.


production explained

Interviewing is an art and consists of asking questions which will get factual replies – not just yes or no. You need to listen carefully to your interviewee and follow what they seem confident talking about, without getting led off course. Vox Pops are very short ‘clips’ or comments that you see on the news given by the ‘person in the street’ about different issues, events etc. They are a quick and easy way of getting opinions and could be good for your video.

interview tips
Write questions which will get the answer you want. Asking “How do you feel about...” or “Tell me...” are good ways to begin. Don’t accept a poor answer, for example if it is unclear, mumbled or there is a sudden noise or interference. Be confident and ask it again, you may not get another chance. Find a quiet location not a busy road junction and if inside make sure all electrical noises are switched off. Check the material you record by using playback on your camera or phone before you leave – just in case!

lighting, framing and sound
The sun illuminates what you are filming, use it as your spotlight, always behind you. Placing someone in front of the sun or a window results in a silhouette. Make sure indoor lighting is not too bright and turn off ceiling lights to make a scene or interview more dramatic.

Framing for an interview
Decide if you want a person to be in a mid shot or a close-up. Think about which way you want the person to look at you when talking. When you frame your camera shot, you want them on the left or right edge of the frame so it looks more natural to the viewer. Do you want them to talk straight to camera as in a video diary? You have to direct interviewees and explain to them that they need to look at you or another focal point, not at the camera, otherwise their eye-line can flicker from you to the lens and look strange for the viewer.

Framing for general shots
Static shots are best. Keep recording for at least 10 seconds, longer if you like. A tripod is best to keep your shots steady, but you can use both hands to support


production explained

your phone or camera. Other options are: putting it on a ladder or chair, or leaning it against a wall or pillar for support. Change the size of your shot so you have a good mix of cutaways for editing. Make sure you film close-ups and mid shots along with your wide shots. Do not move the camera around, keep it still and use your zoom button to change the shot. If you film someone walking towards you, make sure they walk past you and exit the shot. To be safe, ask them to walk towards you two or three times, so you can take different sized shots, for example of their feet walking towards you, or of a head and shoulders shot, as this will make your editing much easier and give you more choice. Take separate shots of whatever your interviewees are talking about or are pointing out, again for editing purposes.

recording sound
Make sure that you are in a quiet area if you are trying to interview or get a comment from someone. If using a mobile as a camera, hold it close to them to get the best sound level. Avoid music and other background noises when filming. Ask if people can turn things off or move away to a quieter location. A camcorder that has a separate microphone, will result in the best sound; a built-in one will record all background noise which you will not be able to edit out. If you have a camcorder that can take external headphones, use them so that you can hear exactly what you are recording. Be alert to noise levels.

Filming considerations
Remember that videos on YouTube and other ‘open’ social media sites and profiles can be seen by everyone. So do not include anything that will embarrass you or your club members or harm the reputation or name of the project. Not every public space has unrestricted access for filming. You must get permissions to film on railway stations (they charge you), bus stations, shopping malls and complexes. Security officers have to know who you are and what you want to film. If filming in a market, for example, be polite and always ask if the stallholder minds before you start filming his stall. Filming on private property including some parks is not allowed without permission. Interviewing young children and young people might need their parents’ consent, even if you know them. If in doubt ask them for written permission. Health and safety When out filming these are basic potential safety issues to consider: People tripping over cables or equipment lying on the ground


production explained

Children and others getting hurt in some way Drawing a crowd that causes an obstruction on a pavement or in a shopping mall Theft of equipment left unattended Keep in touch with the youth project or someone else who knows what you are doing and where you are, in case of an accident during filming. Also exchange mobile numbers with anyone else who is part of the filming.

Anyone who has a computer or laptop already has an editing program, usually Moviemaker that comes with Microsoft Office. So look at your program list and see if you can find it. Movie Maker is a simple and easy-to-use edit program with clear instructions. You can teach yourself how to use it and be creative with all sorts of effects. If you have an Apple Mac then you may have the iMovie program and there are others you can download such as Adobe Premiere, or buy, such as Apple’s Final Cut or Avid which are more complex to use. Remember that what you are aiming to achieve from your video is something that people want to watch and to share with their friends and family. When you are editing, it is important to think about these points: Ensure the basic storyline is clear Have the best sound possible Add non-copyright or original music Keep it moving and interesting Use only your best shots

Editing tips
The best way to learn and improve your own editing style is to watch TV and online material and see how people cut films and the effects they use. Watch documentaries, pop promos, online videos and advertisements to see a wide variety of different editing techniques. ITV and the BBC have opened their news libraries to the public so you can use the footage and download it. Be careful not to use copyrighted music, it can be a costly mistake if you are sued; music companies scan the internet for illegal usage. Remember that if your material is going online, the size of the screen will be much smaller (unless people opt to use the full screen), and the definition or quality of the shots will be lower. So choose shots that are well lit, clear and maybe closer rather than long-distance, to help the appearance of your film.


production explained

recording commentary
Add a commentary if it helps to make sense of the story you are trying to tell. This can be done before editing to use as a track to cut the images too, or else added afterwards to link the story elements. The commentary can be recorded straight onto your computer – Movie Maker explains how – or you can record into your phone or camcorder for possibly a better quality, and then downloaded into the edit program. Try them all out and see what works for you.

Having edited your video it is now ready to upload and share. Uploading to social media sites is very simple and the principles are the same across most of the platforms. Below is an example of uploading to YouTube: Create a YouTube account if you don’t already have one Look for the UPLOAD sign on top right of the page Select a video to upload from My Docs or your desktop or DVD drive and it is done That’s it! You can then copy the URL that is up on the right and share the video on other sites like Twitter, Facebook etc. Once the video is uploaded encourage your members to comment on it and share it with their friends.


Recording video needs preparation, consideration and organisation. Once you have mapped out a plan of action, filming should be enjoyable, creative and rewarding. Compare it to cooking a meal for some friends. Do you just hope the meal will come together in some way, or do you plan it, read some recipes, go out and buy the ingredients and then come back to cook? Filming is something you can develop a feel for. Everyone has their own style of filming, just as they do in writing or speaking and you will develop your ‘eye’ and visual signature or style. Just picking up a camera, switching it on and ‘having a go’, is fine, but why not produce a video which is really watchable

the more planning that goes into it, the better the quality and the better the response.