Why collaboration will help you make more compelling video

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Producing video is quickly becoming an essential skill for communications professionals. With the continuing rise of Facebook and video-focused platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, communicators need to be as good at telling stories through video as we are with traditional text and images.

It’s especially effective as a medium if your content lends itself to the DIY format.

While demand for compelling video is constantly increasing in my workplace, most of what I’ve learned has been through trial and error, not formal training. I’ve completed five significant video projects in the last couple of years.

I’d like to think the results have gotten progressively better, but it’s also been a huge learning process. Each time, I’ve been lucky to work with technical crews who were far more experienced than me and helped smooth out the rougher edges during both the shoot and the editing process.

Although time constraints often dictate on the job learning, there’s a lot to be said for doing what you can to foster organization learning. In the interest of sparing colleagues the headaches we had individually suffered learning the ropes, I collaborated with Elizabeth Teodorini in York’s Alumni Office to produce a “How to” on video production to share with our colleagues among York’s communications staff. We used the video we co-wrote and co-produced — “Why and How to Make Your Garden Bee-Friendly” — as a case study.

You can view the presentation on Slideshare:

The original video is available on York Alumni’s youtube channel:

Youtube clip: Why and How to Make Your Garden Bee-Friendly

Although Liz and I figured collaborative video production would be easier than going it alone, neither of us guessed how much fun it would be to collaborate with an experienced technical crew and a peer.

That`s been my greatest lesson from this whole experience — no matter how much you know (or think you know), working with a communications colleague inevitably exposes you to approaches you didn’t think of, content ideas you might have missed, or shortcuts you haven’t stumbled over yet.

Making the schedules work is sometimes a challenge, but producing collaborative video was one of the most rewarding creative processes I’ve enjoyed during my time at York.

If your organizational structure supports this kind of work, do yourself a favour and try it out.