Telling your SFU stories through video

June 27, 2019

Videos are a powerful and compelling way to tell your faculty or department’s story.

On June 25th, some of the Communications and Marketing video team – Jason Margolis, Evan Petka, David Brigden and Gabe Colome – hosted a well-attended workshop to help SFU communicators tell better stories. The goal of the workshop was to get communicators on the same page around video, building a level of comfort around the medium and create an atmosphere of collaboration.

A PowerPoint of the presentation can be downloaded below:

Why video?

Before undertaking a video, the team recommends you ask yourself several questions: Why do you want to make this video? Who is the audience? Where will they find it? Is video the best tool? And how does it fit into a larger campaign or narrative?

Ideally, you should use video when the message is emotionally affective, visual, and active, and can inspire a decision or call-to-action. Video works best when it is more effective to show the story instead of telling it. Video doesn’t work when there is not a defined audience, when the subject is too internal, and when it can’t easily be described or summarized.

The team went into depth on into these questions in a pair of blog posts from last summer:

Tools, tips and tricks

Some tools and tips from the workshop:

Shot framing – Make sure your shots have depth, and use different frame sizes for wide shots, medium shots and close ups

Production location – Use interesting backgrounds that help tell your story, but avoid clichés like bookshelves

Clean audio – Be wary of background noise, especially when filming around traffic, crowds, construction, or busses;

Lighting – Make sure your shots aren’t backlit (window behind the subject, for example) and be careful of mixed lighting (blue outside light mixed with orange inside light)

Background – Make sure there is nothing distracting in the background of your interview – video equipment, etc.

Editing software – Recommended Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve (free to download from Black Magic Design).

Upcoming workshops

Be sure to check out our upcoming workshops.

In July, join Ivana Filipovic for a workshop on how to get the most out of your smartphone’s camera. Participants will learn mid-level smartphone photography techniques to create brand-compliant images.