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Old February 20th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #1
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Shooting A Promotional Video, For Intership Program at my School

I have been assigned the task of putting together a promotional video for the internship program for my high school. (this counts for credit so it should be GOOD wink.gif ) However, I am not exactly sure as to how I should go about preparing for shooting such a video to ensure it comes out decently? I typically deal with more narrative or music video type work where you have a script or song to go by, but here there isn't very much with this. It doesn't seem very logical to script it, seeing as I would get live footage of students working on the job and possibly some interviews. Any ideas of how I could go about preparing to prevent this from turning into a disorganized mess of clips?

PS: The final video is planned to be 2-4 mins.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 05:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Salil Sundresh
It doesn't seem very logical to script it, seeing as I would get live footage of students working on the job and possibly some interviews. Any ideas of how I could go about preparing to prevent this from turning into a disorganized mess of clips?
Documentary is narrative based even when it's only four minutes long.

What do you mean you haven't got anything to go on? You've got the hopes, dreams, fears and experiences of young people who have been interns, are currently or will be in the future. You have beginning, middle and end.

You need to research your subject and find some good contributors.

You should go and work out how best to unfold the stories. Once you're satisfied with your idea you should rip it up and think of a better one. There are many ways to tell this type of story and guarantee that your first idea can be improved with more thought.

You should definitely do a shooing script. This should outline your story. It should contain the locations, the basic shots you need, the contributors and bullet points about the content. You don't need to script out their dialog word for word, but it's usually good to have an idea of what you want them to say.

Then you should work on your questions and your strategy for getting the responses you need to tell your story.

Great films are born from hard work.

Good luck.

Liam.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #3
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Excellent advice, anyone else?
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:48 AM   #4
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Don't even pick up the camera until you have a clear idea of what you want. Brainstorm ideas, treatments etc, devise a script, then a storyboard and shotlist. then its like painting by numbers.

Hitchcock did such detailed storyboards he said when that was complete his vision had been realized, and the actual production was boring (guess that's why he had fun inserting himself into the films).

Every good structure is built upon a strong foundation, and that foundation is your script. You can go off script when shooting, to get that wonderful shot that seems to just happen, but without the script you will be drowing in a sea of images, and have a very frustrating (at least for me) edit.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #5
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More than a script or storyboards, you need a premise.

For instance, when my son made a Footbag documentary in high school, I asked him what the dramatic question was. He had no answer. He only wanted to show Footbag because it was cool.

Eventually, he came up with the question, "is footbag a sport". His premise was, "Yes, it's a sport." and he then filmed things, formed his interview questions and did his edits based on that premise.

Sometimes the premise comes after the filming, but should still be established before the editing. For instance, you might start filming a band, or a political campaign not knowing if it will succeed or fail. By the time you edit, you know the story, which might be about resilience, redemption or how easily relationships can go sour.

So... is your premise that the internship program is cool? That it is fun? That it leads to lasting friendships? That it leads to achievements?

One thing that can help is to consider the needs of your audience (grades, friends, college entry, personal growth, lower stress...), and then consider the features of the program and the benefits that those features offer to your viewers.

For the intro, present something funny (that doesn't poke fun at others - maybe poke fun at yourself), then present the body (overview, features, benefits), and close by clearly telling people how to contact people involved in the program.

It's just like a good, short entertaining speech or presentation. It just happens to be told by the video, rather than by an entertainer.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #6
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You know, there may be other factors to consider, too in addition to those mentioned by others who have responded to this thread.

On the 'Production' side, you might want to show 3 or 4 main 'sub topics' within the two - four minutes available to you.

In presenting the internship program, is it important to show a 'balance' of people's experience from various viewpoints, e.g. maybe the majority of the work will depict those in the program, but with some interviews with the programme's administrators. Or maybe it is important to show the experience of both genders, even if the majority of people are of one gender.

Just some thoughts,
Geert
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #7
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Write out an outline from start to finish about what you want to say, after you've decided on your viewpoint. Then flush it out in to a full treatment that reads like you're watching the documentary. During this process you'll decide who you are going to interview and what you're going to ask them. Then take the idea and the treatment to your instructor and pitch them the idea. once you've got there buy-in - you're off to the races.

I do a lot of short promotional videos for non-profit programs and I have found this structure to work out quite fine. Now, I usually do the introduction to the program and the basic statistics with voice over narration. If you go that route, write your narration immediately after you've written your treatment. Then, in the video, after the narration, show your interview clips. This usually takes care of your first two acts, so now it's time to wrap it up. I usually try to get the head person in charge to give me a "vision for the future" or "why is it important" summery to wrap it up with. But if that won't work, or doesn't fit your vision, go back to voice-over narration and wrap up your story that way.

Make sure you shoot lots of B-roll, more than you'll ever think you'll need. And build time into your schedule to go back out and shoot some more B-roll, should you end up with a section where you need to cover up a transition.

Anyway, that my 2 cents... take it or leave it...

Kevin
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:57 PM   #8
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And don't forget the establishing shots. Shoot the sign, the building, walking into the front door, etc.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 08:22 AM   #9
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and please, please, please, use a tripod! ;-)
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Old March 13th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #10
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and please, please, please, use a tripod! ;-)
Cranes, dollies and steadycams are okay too. ;)
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