Webinar recording: Video drama in learning – what is it good for?

Drama scenarios are a relatively common feature in learning and development, but poorly executed role-plays with amateur actors has given drama in learning a bad name. When done well, drama video can be one of the most effective ways to emotionally engage learners and impact their future behaviour. On 4th June 2020 we hosted a … Read more

Socially distant filming: how it works in a studio

Studio filming with vision mixer

Studio filming is a consistent necessity for us as a video production company. Studios are great because of the level of control they afford over light and sound – meaning that it’s easier to ensure an efficient shoot and a quality result. There are loads of ways a studio can be used for filming. For … Read more

Socially distant filming: how it works on a construction site

Construction worker

This article outlines some guidance as to how construction sites have changed working practices in order to operate with social distance, and how we can film in that environment with those considerations in mind.

How involving a video company early will add value to your production

We take pride in designing video solutions that are cost-effective and make the most of any budget, high or low end. In this article I outline some of the more common risk points in a video production and show the flip side – how involving a production company at an early stage can add value.

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The Value of Video in Learning

“It’s not the medium, it’s what you do with it.”

That’s what L&D experts have been saying in social media lately, and I 100% agree.  A haiku can be just as immersive as VR, depending upon the audience, and how good the poem is.

But all media have intrinsic strengths and we’ve been researching the evidence for the strengths of the various forms of video when deployed in a learning context.

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How to release your inner video maker

As a seasoned video professional, you might find it surprising to hear me say you can make great learning video with almost zero technical ability.  I see lots of blogs giving tips to video newbies in which the emphasis is on the technical.  I’m concerned that this can act as a barrier to entry for a lot of people, not only because they find technology daunting, but because technique becomes the principle measure of success.  My empowering message to you is – if the voice track is comprehensible and that the viewer can tell what you’re pointing the camera at, you have a technical success.  Master the basics and allow your intrinsic strengths as a learning expert to come across.

Don’t forget, some of the world’s most popular videos are made by people with very little technical ability.  Disneycollector makes videos of unboxing Disney toys.  In this clip, with one fixed camera position, she unboxes six Play Doh Sparkle Princess.  It’s had over 500 million views. The latest Game of Thrones US premiere only got 16 million viewers!

Of course, many of Disneycollector’s viewers are children, so what about car fixing vlogger Chris Fix?  His video about cleaning your headlights with toothpaste has the most basic of production values and has had 13.5 million views!

Now, I wouldn’t say either of these people is charismatic or endowed with any unusual talents.  What they share is an enthusiasm for their subject.  They don’t shout about it, but they engage wholeheartedly, which means they enjoy what they are doing and that comes through.  Enthusiasm shines bright with or without whizzy production techniques.

On the audience side – these vloggers have plenty of learner incentive.  People want to know about this stuff and the production values simply don’t matter to them.

There are plenty of examples of vloggers whose output has become more polished, but usually this is because they’ve become successful and paid other people to make the videos for them.  And this happens in learning as well – if you’re successful with your video content you’ll get noticed and attract more budget.  Then you can get other people to do the technical stuff.  And relax!

Now, of course, you probably don’t want to be a vlogger.  Perhaps you want to film some interviews with experts and cut them together into a presentation.  The same principles apply.  What do these people say that you are excited about?  Take that and deliver it to others and don’t worry about the finer points of technique.  Use jump cuts, don’t worry about continuity or wipes or slick graphics, leave the technical wizardry to people who do that stuff for a living and focus on the part where you have an edge over them – your subject.  You know what needs to be communicated.  And you know your audience.

In fact, I’d argue that filming techniques aren’t really what distinguish a professional video maker either.  You can film a great script on a smart phone and watch it on a black and white tele and as long as you can hear the dialogue and see what’s going on it’ll carry.  You can film a bad script with all the cameras and lights available to a Hollywood producer and it’ll still be unengaging.  I’m not saying there isn’t a place for higher production values – there is, and I love working with them, but the greater challenge and the smarter play is to work around their absence.


Want some help to release your inner video maker? We offer a consultancy and training service – supporting businesses to create great video content in-house. Interested? Get in touch.

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