Week 8 (01/04): planning video stories



Last week we discussed Assessment #2.

Here’s a reminder….

Part 2: Video story

Make a 2 – 5 min video

Once completed you will need to submit this assessment for marking.


Medium Video + written scripts and evaluation
Length 2-5 minutes
File type .mp4
How to submit Save in the “Assessment submissions” folder in the Student Drive. Upload to Youtube or Vimeo, embed in a post on your WordPress site. *  Due to the present situation of online learning, please make sure you also submit it to me for marking via email:

Create one or more video stories on a topic of your choice.

Due to difficulties with videoing during the present Health Guidelines of Social Distancing, we have made the following adjustments to your assessment:

  • 1 x 2-5 minute video is sufficient.  
  • An interview for the video is no longer required.


The stories should be between 2 and 5 minutes long, and must include:

  • an interview
  • a piece to camera
  • voice over
  • close up/s
  • location shot


  • Finished video file (MP4)
  • Evaluation of your process and finished product (200 words)
  • Scripts
  • Production sheets (These can be accessed on the Student Drive)
  • Paper edit notes (can be messy!)
  • Research and other notes


Recap on Last Week:
In class we did a 10 minute writing exercise.

This is a great exercise if you’re ever stuck for a story. So here’s a reminder….

This is not about being the best, the smartest or having the best story.
It’s about letting your mind go wherever it wants to go.
You will NOT be judged on this, so breathe easy.

  1. Okay, find an object, any object.
    It can be a mug, clothing, laptop, phone, pet, book, jewellery, a painting on a wall, a piece of fruit etc.
  2. Open a Word doc.
    Name it after your object e.g. my mug
  3. Now you have 10 minutes – and 10 minutes only – to write about your object.
  4. Don’t overthink it.
    Don’t try to be clever.
    Just let your mind wander and see what happens.

That’s it!

Everyone who did this exercise wrote the beginnings of a very good story suitable for a video that can be made from their own home.

As it’s not presently possible to go out and about for videoing, everyone has to think outside the square for visual interest.

In order to write a story that you can video in your home here are some things to keep in mind when scripting…

  • Location Shot
    This is a wide shot – often used as an establishing shot, so we know where the story is set. e.g. Room, balcony, yard, looking out a window at a street etc.
  • Close Ups
    A tight shot of the subject, so that all the attention is on that and not distracted by other things. E.g. If it’s a story about your favourite mug then… A hand holding the mug and/or someone sipping from the mug – You don’t need their full head in shot.
  • Images, Graphics etc
    Depending on your story and your present surroundings, you may need to include still images. These can be your own photos or royalty-free photos off the net. Maybe Screenshots.
  • Text on Screen
    You may wish to have text on screen to help tell the story or if you can’t get video or a still image. Text can go on a plain or patterned background or on top of an image or moving footage.
  • Voice Over
    Can be recorded either on your computer or your phone. Try out both to see which sounds best.
  • Piece To Camera
    This means speaking to camera. And this means you! This can be an introduction to the video or at the end as a final summation. But an on camera piece can be anywhere throughout the video… and it can be more than 1 piece to camera.

Next week I’ll give more information on how to shoot / design these elements.

Before you continue writing your Video Story, let’s learn some filming terms….

What is Storyboarding?

A storyboard is a graphic organiser that consists of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualising a film, animation, motion graphics, or interactive media sequence.

Storyboarding can be done in different ways.

  • The simplest way is to use bullet points in your script to say what will be seen on screen.
  • You can divide the page in half and have Video on one side and Audio on the other.
    storyboard 1 - columns
  • You can use a series of empty frames that represent the video screen and draw inside them. There are plenty of Storyboard Frames you can down download from the net. Some examples are…
    storyboard 2 - blank framesstoryboard 3 - blank frames and description
  • Drawing can be as simple as stick figures.

storyboard 4 - stick figures
Or if you’re an artist – go for it!

storyboard 5 - illustrated
There is also amazing 3D software that allows you to design a storyboard with lighting and camera angles, to import characters, objects and design sets.
Click here, go to View Video and then Play Video.

What is a B – Roll?
A B-roll is shots that are often referred to as cut aways or establishing shots.
Scenes often cut away to show related scenery or action.

Establishing shots are often used before a scene so that the viewer knows where the action is taking place. e.g. Before a classroom scene there is an establishing wide shot of the exterior of the school building.

These secondary images are often presented without sound, or with very low level sound, as the sound from the primary footage is expected to continue while the other images are shown. They may be shot by smaller second unit crews.

There are many different types of B-roll, including: insert shots, FX shots, establishing shots, stock footage, and pickup shots.

Interview: B-roll footage is often shot after the main interview is shot, to provide supporting scenes for what was said by the interview subject.

Docudrama: B-roll may refer to dramatic re-enactment scenes staged by the director and performed by actors, to be used as cutaway shots.

B-roll footage may be drawn from a stock footage library.
If you’re ready to start videoing….

  • Make sure you video each shot for longer than you think you need.
    It’s easy to cut footage in the edit, than it is to find it’s too short for transitions you may wish to include, forcing you to have to re-shoot.
  • After filming in each location (room/yard/balcony) record 30 secs of background audio.
    If a dog barks and that’s not what you want in your video, record for longer without the barking. This is known as Atmos.
  • Next week, I’ll go into more detail about videoing/editing.


So, now onto writing/scripting your video story.

Check Week 7 for more details about these…

  • What story do you want to tell?
  • Concept and research
  • What is the angle?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Why do you want to tell this story?
  • Is this story visual?

Reminder: Assessment Part 1 – Audio – is due now.

Please email it to me at carol.adams7 (at) tafensw.edu.au
If you haven’t yet finished your Podcast or Audio Feature, please refer to Week 6 lesson for detailed instructions.

If you haven’t started your Video Story, please refer to Week 7 lesson for detailed instructions.


Reference list





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