Location Shoots: Venturing Out of the Studio for Your Next Online Video
Where you film can be as important as what you film! In addition to the CITT’s state-of-the-art video studios, we also produce Location Videos for topics that extend beyond the scope of the traditional lecture format. And much like the movie industry mantra, the CITT Video Studios have their own motto: content dictates format. We strive to never compromise the content of a lecture. Rather, the course content drives the direction of the videos—and many instructors find that a Location Video can take tried-and-true aspects of in-person classes and help translate them into an online environment.
A Location Video constitutes a collaboration between the instructor, the instructional designer (I.D.), and the videographer to take the project from its inception all the way to the final edited video. A videographer is much like a photographer—except the pictures move. The videographer will take the reins and shepherd the project from pre-planning, to filming, to the final post-production editing.
Although the production process may seem daunting, it boils down to three steps:
STEP 1: Pre-Planning. Once the I.D. and instructor determine the need for a Location Video, the videographer will meet with them to outline the process and provide creative input on the direction of the video.
The team will first plan out a trip to the location to map out a rough filming outline, deciding which areas or important landmarks will be highlighted in the video. After this step is completed, the I.D. and instructor will handle acquiring any necessary filming permissions and ultimately schedule the shoot date in conjunction with the videographer’s schedule.
STEP 2: Filming. The instructor and videographer will meet at the location at the specified date and time, at which point they’ll begin recording segments. Expect to capture multiple “takes” of each segment if the Instructor is acting as an on-camera host. Filming multiple takes ensures options and coverage in the editing process in case something is missed or fumbled during the first take.
STEP 3: Post-Production Editing. Take a breather—after filming is finished, the rest of the extensive work falls in the hands of the videographer to sift through the raw footage and create the first draft of the video. The videographer draws upon the course material, guidance from the Instructor and I.D., and prior knowledge of past video projects to construct a Location Video in line with the educational vision covered in the initial meeting.
Once the first draft is out the door, the trio will have an opportunity to assess the direction and content of the video project. The instructor and/or I.D. may recommend changes to the video which the videographer will implement. This part of the process may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, but the time limit is generally ONE (1) MONTH after the filming date.
Let’s take a look at a few possibilities for a Location Video.
The Virtual Field Trip
In late 2015, The CITT produced an Animal Sciences course with Dr. Jason Scheffler. One of the modules centered on the milk production process—all the way from a cow’s udder to the milk jug at your local Publix. In a traditional course, students enrolled would take a field trip to the UF Dairy Facility located north of campus in the town Hague. In collaboration with the Instructor and CITT’s expert Instructional Design team we produced a full-length half-hour video tour of the Dairy Facility modeled after a Discovery Channel type series. Dr. Scheffler acted as the on-camera host for the shoot, demonstrating each step of the milking process from start to finish.
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As we covered earlier, the most time-consuming aspect of a Location Video isn’t filming—it’s editing. To give you an idea, here is a list of a few sample Location Videos divided between hours spent filming and hours spent editing. Also included for reference is the time length of the final video.
As you can see, even a relatively brief shoot can result in several hours-worth of post-production time.
A Virtual Field Trip is one possible Location Video format, but other options and ideas are encouraged. The only requirement is creativity!
In the virtual classroom, instructors will often facilitate discussions on a message board forum, which is an excellent approximation of an in-person dialog. For certain types of discussions, Instructors have found that a Location Video component brings more life and energy to an online class.
Last Summer, the CITT produced a course about Deviance. You might be asking yourself, what is deviance? Such is the question posed in this Location Video:
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For this project, the instructor, Dr. Marian Borg, the I.D., and the videographer wandered the campus during the midday lunch period, wrangling anyone who’d agree to be on camera for a few minutes. Dr. Borg asked interviewees a variety of questions on the subject of deviance in society. After the shoot, the videographer took the raw footage and began assembling an edit to compare and contrast the variety of answers for each question.
The video received an Online Education Excellence Award.
Location, Location, Location!
Location Videos can bring in exciting, innovative elements to your online course. Visit our Video Services page for more information: http://citt.ufl.edu/citt-services/video-services/other-services/