By Josh Lozinak, Digital Production Intern

Video communication has become increasingly prevalent in our daily lives.  While new to the field of video production, I have been lucky enough to work with talented people throughout my education.  As a new media student focused on audio and video production, and as a former intern at WFYI Indianapolis, I have learned numerous lessons that can help to create engaging videos for nonprofits.  The success of your organization’s video promotion relies on how your video engages the audience.

Here is some general advice that I have found to be helpful while developing projects:

1. Be a Digital Storyteller

The most important thing to remember is that while digital video utilizes new technology, the process to develop a successful story is virtually the same across mediums.

“Digital Storytelling takes the ancient art of oral storytelling and engages the palette of technical tools to weave personal tales using images, graphics, music, and sound mixed together with the author’s own story voice.”- Bernajean Porter, Digitales.

2. Show it. Don’t say it

One point many of my mentors have emphasized is, let the B-roll drive the story.  B-roll is supplemental footage intercut with interview footage.  Instead of creating a video that begins with the interviewee speaking start the video with B-roll that is capturing action.

3. Music to convey emotion and mood

Any video piece can be improved with proper pacing and mood created by music.  It is important to find music that is appropriate for your subject and be careful to duck “lower” the music volume when the interviewee is speaking.

4. Use stakeholders to communicate the message

It is far more effective to document your cause with action shots or images than it is to have someone verbally explain what you can show visually.

5. When delivering online, keep it short (under 3 minutes)

Most people online do not have enough time to spend more than a few minutes watching a video.  By keeping the piece short you will be forced to make concise points and the audience will remain engaged.

6. Stills are useful, but keep it moving

Through creative editing you can keep the piece engaging.  Using still images is fine, but slightly panning or zooming the image is necessary to keep the viewer’s attention.

Below are some examples of videos I like:

Habitat For Humanity: What Will You Build?

MicroLoan: Pennies for Life

And check out this video I created for our client, Immigrant Welcome Center.