I recently created a video about a place that’s important to me. As many of you know, my family is in transition this summer and we are spending the month of August in Indianapolis with my parents. They moved here when I was in college; the last time I spent more than a week in Indy was in early 2006.
It’s been a while, to say the least.
Yet there is a certain pull for me, even though I never really called it “home” myself. Most importantly, it’s the place my children will forever know as their grandparents’ home. We are making special memories here before moving on to the next stage of our family adventure.
But it’s been a bit of a shock from a lifestyle perspective. The food landscape is incredibly different from what I was used to in California, with most people here eating more meat and less produce. There aren’t many public playgrounds. And the city is laid out so that a car is required to go pretty much anywhere. Case in point: there is an elementary school in my parents’ neighborhood, with not a single sidewalk leading to it. It was built with the expectation that children — even those living nearby — would arrive in vehicles.
As you can see, this video is on the sharing website Vimeo. What I love about Vimeo is that, with the right equipment, it’s easy to create and share a polished project quickly. Here’s how I made this video:
- Recorded footage and took photos using the native camera on an iPad Mini.
- Edited the footage in iMovie, also on the iPad.
- Exported the video directly to Vimeo via the Vimeo app.
- Added music through the Vimeo website (this can’t be done on the app; you must go into the full website). They have a great array of music you can listen to and add to the video. Some of it is free, through Creative Commons, while you can purchase other tracks. You’ll see that the song I chose is credited below the title of my video. Vimeo did this automatically!
- Embedded the video in this post by copying the embed code from the share options and pasting it into the body of this text.
I can see this technology being useful for many nonprofits, especially in a fundraising capacity. Many development departments shy away from video because it’s hard to do it well. The new technology and social sharing sites that are available now mean that you don’t have to be a professional to put together something that looks great. Heather Mansfield gives a few excellent suggestions for ways to use video in her book Social Media for Social Good: “thank you” videos, event recaps, client and staff testimonials, and powerful images of your work interspersed with statistics showing your impact.
CauseVox has shared several great examples on their blog. Another excellent example is from De Marillac Academy in San Francisco, as you can see below.
These examples were professionally produced, but you shouldn’t feel intimidated, They show a lot of good techniques that amateurs can adopt:
- combining video and still photography
- laying audio over b-roll
- adding titles and other text
- using music to enhance the story
With a little practice and a lot of inspiration, nonprofits can and should start telling their stories through video. Happy filming!