Recently I was asked “What makes  a ‘good’ video project?”

The question was referring to the basketball video on

What makes the basketball video good is that the content was well planned in advanced with a complete storyboard with all of the shots. Not all of the effects were planned in advanced because some of the “creativity” of speeding up the shots emerged as the student was  working on the project.

In making videos the details of the storyboard and the focus on the content is absolutely vital to the success of the video (criterion D) which will make or break an ITGS  film. In many videos students are attempting to take long sequences of film that are badly filmed. They are also not watching lighting and what is in the background. The student who made this film made the same mistake and the entire film had to be filmed twice!

One “advanced” IT technique is uusally over-looked is using the proper equipment to record quality video. This means using an external microphone / tripod / lighting. The evidence is clear in the videos. Not all of these may be required, but they do make the difference in the quality of the video clips.
Considering what equipment is necessary and how to use them effectively is more effort in taking quality footage than just point and shoot. This usually ends up with disappointing results.

All of these tools together would count as one advanced technique in recording the video. Also the students do not need to use expensive equipment, they can improvise on how they stabilize the camera or deal with lighting. They need to explain their approach in criteria E and take a photo of their setup.

If a student is going to create a film for his client, he must do research into what makes a good film for the type that they are intending to create. In this case the student decided to use the approach used by Nike (sport sequences) and researched tips how to make a good promotional film. It is also advisable if the student can meet with the film teacher or someone who is knowledgeable about filming.

I just ran across a full length feature film (Olive)  that has been shot with a cellphone! The film director clearly states at the end that what makes the film work is the focus on the content. I really believe this! You may wish to share the “making of” Olive with your workshop group, but focus on the last minute. The beginning is interesting on how it was done. It points out that in making movies and working with equipment that sometimes it takes a bit of ingenuity to make the filming work. ITGS students obviously would not get into this, but the “making of” is useful for the topics of cellphone and video in the syllabus.

A small 5 minute clip from the movie is on
You might wish to show about 2-3 minutes of it because you are tight on time.
The “making of” is also on this site, but there is a good intro on the LA Times and the ‘making of’ can be shown from the site as well.

So what makes the video good – the thorough research, detailed planning and the filming of the content.

Now for the second question. Where are the advanced skills?
I added an  explanation beneath the movie on ITGSopedia. In criterion E, the student would need to explain with screenshots all of the advanced skills. In the making of videos, there could be also photos involved showing the use of the particular equipment used to successfully capture the content.

There are also additional techniques involved in the making of the film which may not be considered “advanced”, but may help explain how the film was made.

The writing of the documentation along with diagrams and screenshots is ultra important in criteria D and E. The students should use the model set out in Examplar 1 (Keith Findlater Photography) to model the write-ups for each criteria and adapt them to the kind of project that they are creating.

Ideally the process that is being followed is:

  1. student researches necessary information or investigates for a criteria
  2. student writes up the criteria (criteria C, students only write the first columns and the last in the planning and fill in the rest as they develop the product)
  3. student submits the criteria as a first draft
  4. teacher provides feedback on the first draft
  5. student refines the draft and saves this copy on the school server
  6. student goes back to step 1 for the next criteria

So when the project is done, the documentation is done.

Important tips:

  • the students in their plan need to be capturing screenshots and placing them in criterion E as they develop the product. The screenshots in E are from the “making of’ and not the final product.
  • the student needs to use appropriate equipment (ie external microphone, tripod, lighting or other equipment to ensure a qualitycapture of the video.
  • the client needs to be involved in all of the criteria from A through F. This would be also apparent in the schedule in criterion C.

Bottom line: producing a video may seem easy on the surface. Producing a successful short video is very difficult.