Promotional Content Production – effective school video production June 23, 2015
Different businesses and organisations’ needs vary, and they have different ways of working. Each promotional content production must be tailored to the individual client, so the pre-production documents must reflect this. This is especially true of shooting in schools and universities. If you’re considering producing a promotional content production for a school or college, we can offer helpful advice and greattips on how to go about it, drawn from our own considerable experience.
Do lots of planning
Our approach to promotional content production in a school is to schedule twice as many meetings about pre-production as you would for a regular corporate video, for instance. By their nature, schools are challenging environments to shoot in and planning extra time to cover any considerations or concerns between you and the client will be extremely helpful.
Safety is a very important and obvious factor you need to consider. Video equipment is heavy and awkward and if you’re taking it around a school for the day you must ensure that it poses no risk to anyone. This is where you might have to adjust your shooting schedule – it’s best to move equipment when students are in their classes or are out for break time.
Make sure to complete a thorough risk assessment before shooting your promotional content production to make sure everyone involved is aware of any potential hazards that your presence may create. Once this is done and all potential risks have been assessed, you can then move on to capturing the engaging content that will make the film succeed.
Keeping safety in mind, we recommend using more compact cameras as a small, lightweight option for promotional content production. The reason for this is not only is it more portable, but it’s more discreet too. Young children are naturally inquisitive and seeing a huge studio camera come into their class can get them overexcited, providing you with a scene you won’t want to shoot. Small-form cameras like the Canon 5D or a RED camera with minimal build work well for a more discreet shooting experience.
The joy of learning
School shoots are all about capturing those magic moments that show how much kids enjoy coming to school. If you’re having difficulty capturing it organically, you can work around it with some slight staging of events happening at the school. This can actually have great-looking results – you’re still capturing real emotional moments, you’re just structuring it (with some direction and encouragement) in a way that allows you to capture it as efficiently as possible. For example, you might experience part of a lesson that the children are really engaging with. Then you simply ask the teacher to re-run that part of the lesson for as long as you need to capture the shots you want.
Shoot at their eye level
A great way to capture some brilliant shots is to shoot at the student’s eye level, and this works especially well with younger students. This lets the viewer into their world and lets you capture the engagement they have with their environment. You’re also more likely to shoot a ‘magic moment’ that perfectly illustrates the joy of learning they have.
Promotional content production expectations
You need to have a very flexible approach to these kinds of projects if you plan on including interview material or sound bites from students. Young children are unpredictable so while you should have an idea of what you want to hear from them, make sure a backup idea is in place should the interviews not go to plan.
It’s a good idea to pick crew members for the shoot who are familiar with working with children. Children will need to feel comfortable with the crew to give you the best results especially when they’re doing interviews so it’s vital for everyone on the crew to have a good rapport with them.
Teachers are obviously very busy during the school day, so if you’re planning on shooting interviews with them you’ll have to factor this in when planning your promotional content production. It’s best to shoot interviews after school so that school hours can be spent capturing great shots with the students.
School children will really let off steam once they’re outside at break time. This is a great opportunity to capture the dynamic element of a school and will make a great addition to the film.
Stay low key
Lastly, your goal when producing promotional content production should be to create high quality content from a tailored brief without any disturbance within the school. As mentioned before, children can be unpredictable and without careful management the shoot could fall apart quickly. Stay low key and you’ll get the most out of your promotional content production.
Here’s an example of some recent work we’ve done in schools.1