There are three things to ask yourself when choosing a topic:
- Is my idea new and interesting?
- Does my idea answer any one of Planet Forward’s questions?
- Is my idea simple enough to convey in a short video? If you answered “yes’ to all of the above, then you are on your way.
TECHNIQUES OF THE TRADE:
You don’t need to be a professional cinematographer to create pieces that garner a large following online. These tricks will help you tell your story with video.
Simplest form of video: Straight to Camera. Just stand in front of your camera and explain your idea. Few tips:
- Make sure you’re in a quiet place and there is no distracting noise.
- Check your background: don’t have a tree coming out of your head!
- Don’t stand in front of a window or a plain white wall (you’ll be all shadow).
Want to take it a step further? Do a Show and Tell. While explaining your innovation, show us. We want to see what it is, how it works and what impact it will make. Few tips:
- Use a tripod to avoid shaky shots. If you don’t have a tripod, rest your camera on a chair or table.
- Get a variety of shots. We want to see the whole innovation and the details.
- Be mindful of the audio. We want to hear your explanation. (So if you’re showing us a new engine that running in the background, a Show and Tell may not be the best video choice for you.)
Kick it up another notch and become a video journalist. Here’s how:
- It may seem obvious, but good visuals cannot be overlooked. Visuals keep viewers interested and explain the story.
- When shooting, be sure to get a variety of interesting shots (tight, medium, wide, and super wide).
- When shooting an interview, take note of the location. You want viewers to focus on your interview subject’s words, so notice objects in your shot that may cause distractions.
- Again, avoid shooting people in front of bright windows, against cluttered walls, and outside when the sun is overhead. This keeps the interview subject’s face bright and the viewers’ attention on what he or she is saying.
- Get cut away footage: you’ll probably need to edit your interview and cutaways, like an interviewee’s foot as he presses on the gas pedal, provide nice footage to cut to.
- Natural audio gives your piece credibility. If you are creating a video on hybrid cars, we should hear how loud (or soft as your case may be) the engine is.
- Each video should have a purpose whether it is to inform, inspire, or persuade. Know what you want your video to do and stick with it. If you are offering a solution, be sure to set up the problem. If you are informing viewers about a new type of technology, make sure it is easily understandable. And if you make your case with a skeptical and questioning eye, viewers are more likely to believe you.
- Graphics, like numbers and text, make it easier for you to stress points in your video and for viewers to understand your message. And if you are trying to prove a point, show us some calculations and figures…they are hard to disagree with.
- Look at the big picture. Although any small step is great, we want to know how your idea will affect the overall issue of climate change. Show us your path to the future.
Got Questions? Contact us at support AT planetforward.org and we’ll answer all your questions.