Week 8: Planning video stories



Last week we discussed Assessment #2.

Here’s a reminder …

Part 2: Video story

Make 1 x 2 – 5 min video

The stories must include:

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

Submit: 5 Files

  • 1 x video file (MP4)
  • 1 x Word doc – Evaluation of your process and finished product (200 words)
  • 1 x Word doc – Script
  • 1 x Word doc – Production sheet (In the Google Drive)
  • 1 x Word doc – Research and Notes
Writing your video story

In order to write a video story there 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 one 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 overdue.

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

Reference list





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.