How to structure your school promotional videography day

In our last blog we shared valuable hints and tips about how to structure your photography day for your school or Trust. To build on this information, we want to share helpful insight into how to approach a videography shoot for your school. 

The way society consumes content is ever changing, and video content has fastly become the most popular way to learn or be entertained, we only need to look to Tik Tok to prove this. It is no different for prospective parents, students and even Ofsted. Video can be used to showcase your school grounds, facilities and school values. 

In this blog we share school video hints, tips and tricks to maximise your videography session and communicate the key messages to your audience. 

Before the video shoot

For standard hints and tips about consent permissions, identifying & preparing the key areas and communicating with all stakeholder, read our blog on How to structure your school promotional photography day. This information is still useful for your video shoot.  

The first thing to consider is the type of video you wish to have created. We provide informative, interview style videos or walk through video tours.

Informative, interview style

This approach uses specific captured footage which is matched with the topic being talked about. This is a great way to really plan what you want to show and talk about. For this type of video you will need to identify the key speakers which, we would advise, includes staff, children, parents and even governors or the vicar in the community. 

Once the key speakers are identified it’s time to start planning what they will talk about or think about what questions you would like us to ask and the key message you want to come out from this answer. Either way, we would recommend having some key points noted down or even scripted. As a rule of thumb we suggest that Head Teachers should have 2 minutes of speaking time, teachers should have a maximum of 1 minute speaking time, parents, governors and community leaders should have 30-45 seconds and pupils should have 10-20 second sound bites. Whichever mix of speakers you choose we will aim to make a 4 minute video from this audio. We will then match the audio to scenes we capture in school. This is also why it’s important to see your key notes or script, as we need to ensure we are filming the correct messages you want to communicate. 

Our data shows that the most completed, watched videos are 4 minutes and under. And even short clips work best for social media. 

A recent Interview style school video.

School tour walk through style

A walk through tour takes a lot of planning as we shoot the footage in one take, meaning we also have to have run through before capturing the footage. This allows us to know the route around the school, plus know what we are capturing to hit the brief. Generally speaking, there would be no voice over during this video, making it a great option for schools with high EAL. As we are showing the whole school, we recommend we capture all classes you teach, therefore you will be asked to carefully stage some lessons. Here is a great example of a school video walk through tour. 

An examples of a recent walk through video.

The brief and schedule

The most important thing for both approaches is to have a completed brief and timetable, no less than 1 week before your shoot. This gives us time to review your plan and amend if necessary, it also enables us to capture the right things happening in your school. If we do not have this in time, it is likely that the shoot needs to be reschedule.

A typical video shoot schedule

School video days can be a manic day and lot’s of activity throughout the day, therefore it is important to have a realistic schedule that allows for setting up, capturing the right footage and reshooting interviews until the speaker is happy. Below are 3 key tips for each video approach.

School walk through tour

  1. If possible, provide a map of school and note which subject will be viewed in each area/ class (you can show more than one subject in an area).
  2. Make sure the lesson is running to time so we capture the main part of the lesson that will be most engaging for the viewer.
  3. We will ask students not to look at the camera when we enter, however we would recommend that students without permissions are removed from the room as they cannot be edited out. 

Informative, interview video

  1. Where possible speakers should script what they want to say in order to help them keep their message concise and on time. This will also help with any mistakes and confidence. 
  2. Identify a couple of nice areas for the interview to be held. These need to be clean and tidy places that you want to showcase but they also need to be quiet to avoid too much background noise. We would advise at least 2 areas so the interview being filmed looks different from the others.
  3. Brief students and staff ahead of the shoot so they are aware of what we are doing, and can act appropriately in front of the camera.

After your shoot

  1. Check that all children in the videos have permission, with photos we can delete an image or two, or even edit the image so the child isn’t identifiable. However with video, this is not possible and could lead to us having to delete some great footage if a student is in the shot when they do not have permission. Although steps are taken on the day to prevent this, anything can be missed. 
  2. Ensure that you are happy with video quality and that the brief has been met. 
  3. Download your videos and make a backup. We host the video on vimeo for 30 days, free of charge. But we can host your video for a year for a small fee. 

You may find that you want a shorter teaser video for social media, we can use the footage captured from your interview style video and recreate a short 1 minute promotional video for £100. 

If you’re looking to increase admission numbers, or just to communicate your key values to your local community, video is the perfect way to deliver this to your audience. At BFI Media, we have different options for your budget. You can find out more about our promotional videography for schools. Or if you are looking for a complete promotional asset creation package, you can find out more about our admissions package here