The technology behind the production of today's professional school videos has developed just as quickly as the rest of the internet; broadcast-quality pictures, sound, graphics and special effects are the norm while new production techniques like low-level aerial shots captured by remote-controlled drone offer a bird's eye view of the school campus.
The challenge today is summed up in one word; content. It's important to make sure that any school video adds real value to the overall marketing strategy. It's too easy to simply replicate the material that already appears in the prospectus. Video should do something different – it has a unique ability to make an impact and capture the emotion of a scene, conveying how people think and feel about their situation.
If a picture paints a thousand words, imagine how much more you can say with 25 frames a second!
However, this power can also create issues. When a school approaches me for the first time, I can sometimes detect an anxiety about what the process of creating a successful promotional video might involve – understandable, if you’ve never done anything like this before!
I always suggest to resolve these issues that before any production meeting, school marketers spend time working through seven fundamental questions that will link the video to the school marketing strategy.
1. What do you want to achieve from your video project? Is the aim to just convey information, or develop your brand, or do you want to prompt parental enquiries?
2. Who is your video aimed at and where will they be watching? Videos can be tailored to target one or multiple target groups.
3. What are your key messages? Try to keep this as sharp and effective as possible. “War and Peace” may work in print… video is a bit different!
4. What key shots and locations would you like to show? – and do you know where those scenes could be captured?
5. Is there a visual theme? Does the production need to tie in with specific brand guidelines or existing web and print communications?
6. Do you need consent to film specific people (e.g. children), activities or locations? Remember that you will need to allocate staff to supervise students at all times.
7. Are potential filming locations accessible? Can the video team actually reach all the areas you’d like to film (remember that they have a lot of kit!).
J-motion produced its first school promotional video back in 2005. Find out more about today's packages for schools here or scroll down to see some of their recent work.