It is important to showcase and promote good practices that have taken place in terms of equality and diversity within an organisation. While project teams plan and implement actions it is important that this information gets shared within the institution. Creating short videos on the actions implemented and publishing them on the university’s website is an effective way of gaining visibility. However, it is not always obvious how to create good quality videos with limited resources (time and money).
How to film an organisational video showcasing E&D activities
To understand what is required for developing an organisational video for showcasing E&D activities. This information and insight was collected through our experience in developing a video to showcase and promote good practices in terms of equality and diversity in an organisational context (Warwick University). A lot of the information below is therefore tailored to this specific context and aim and should be viewed like a case study.
The objective of the video was to share and provide insights into how E&D good practices have been implemented; what benefits they entailed to enable others to adopt them and adjust them to their own context; and simply to communicate activity within the organisation.
- Audiofilm equipment: camera, microphone, filters
- mobile phone technology is such that it is now an option for a reasonable quality product and opens up the type of action to more people.
- A consent form with all the relevant information for participants
- Human resources:
- A person responsible for carrying and using the audio film equipment: camera, microphone etc. and ensuring the light, noise levels are ok for the film
- A person responsible to oversee, coordinate and liaise between the participants and the person with the camera. This person can also be responsible for the content, selection of participants, and interviewing/providing prompts. They may appear in the film or do this from ‘off stage’.
Venue: Choose bright and quiet space(s) to do the filming. Think about whether you want moving shots etc. and whether a variety of backgrounds will create interest. Choosing the time/date of the filming is crucial. Participants need to be available and e.g. background traffic minimal unless specifically wanted. Early in the morning and out of academic term can be better for universities as fewer students are around. However, this may preclude students from being involved.
Members of an organisation can see what progress is being made of which they were not aware. Good practices implemented in one organisation, can be adapted, implemented and embedded in other organisations.
Awareness raising regarding implemented actions on gender equality in the organisation.
A different perspective on actions accomplished following the work to present them coherently to an ‘outsider’.
(To access one of the good practice videos created by Warwick PLOTINA team, please visit: https://www.plotina.eu/2018/12/19/best-practices-from-the-plotina-gender-equality-plan-in-the-university-of-warwick/)
The governance bodies, key actors and decision-makers
Type of action
University of Warwick
Higher education institution
Action level of implementation
Researchers/professors and technical and administrative staff, students
Before taking any decision on the logistics, it is important to reflect and/or address the following questions:
- What is your target audience: internal, external, category of staff or student?
- What are the key messages you want to convey?
- What specific topics do you want to inform them about?
- Is there one or more problems/challenges/issues that you will contribute to solving through the video? And should you address it? What are the benefits (positive outcomes) and features of the solution?
- Do you want to drive any kind of behaviour in the organisation by making public good practices in part of the organisation? If so, how should you present the story to achieve this?
Selecting the participants:
- They should have an interesting story to tell
- At least some of them should have a personal aspect to them
- They should be natural in front of a camera
- They should be willing and able to discuss their personal insights/experiences in an appropriate way for wide dissemination
It is usually a good idea to have a diversity of participants selected according to the answers to the questions above. For the purpose of the specified video above, we selected: a) a senior leadership representative to give us an insight into the mission of the organisation regarding E&D; b) a senior member of staff responsible for E&D with long experience in designing and implementing relevant activities and experience in how they have affected the organisation and individuals; c) a project member (or an narrator) to explain the aim of the film and its importance; d) a staff member involved in a good practice to provide the experience of working on such a practice; and e) two beneficiaries of the practices (an academic and a managerial/administrative staff member) who could speak about the personal benefits of participating in those actions
Developing the content
- Create a list of the participants with their names and check with them the role/title they want to be presented in the film.
- As noted below it is often best for the participants to have developed a complete script with the information that you would like to include in the film. This will allow them to focus and reflect on the key messages and identify any gaps in the narrative. Participants should consult with colleagues working in this area for any insights/views about what might be missing. They should learn their script then just talk the content.
- Even for a single video, bit particularly if the video is going to be part of a series of good practices, some or all the following components will be required.
- The situation: this involves setting the scene, introducing the project/event/practice and its role in the organisation’s E&D activities including their objectives?
- The challenge/problem: lay out the challenge that motivated the action
- The ‘solution’: now it is time to introduce the good practice(s). Provide key points about how these actions came about and what they involved.
- The outcome: what was achieved?
- Facts and figures if available. In the video format, qualitative data can often be more powerful than quantitative data so personal insights/stories from beneficiaries of the practices are useful
- Develop a list of questions that will complement the ‘script’ and be used as prompts for the participants so that they can bring their expertise and/or personal experience to the fore.
- Potential Questions to ask interviewees (in relation to a good practices example)
- Who are you?
- Tell us about [good practice name]
- What are/were the objectives of this project/good practice?
- Why is it considered a good practice?
- How did it start? How was implemented?
- What benefits did [good practice name] entail for you?
- Were there any challenges or disadvantages or unintended consequences?
- In your opinion, what are the benefits for an organisation having [good practice name]?
- What did you particularly like about [good practice name]?
- Would you recommend the development of such [good practice name] in other universities and organisations or other parts of your own organisation? Why?
- After the filming takes place, liaise closely with the person doing the editing and check with participants about the final film to ensure that they are all happy with it.
- Reluctance of participants to talk on the video
- Non availability of preferred participants
- Un-natural presentations to the camera
- Resources- budget for the video filming and editing
- Being explicit about the aims of the video.
- Work with participants in advance to provide the script and to ensure they are happy with it or work with them to develop their own appropriate material.
- Contact participants well in advance to ensure they are available on the dates/times of the filming.
Tips/strategies – Lessons learnt
- Ensure that the press/publicity/marketing office of the organisation is happy with the proposed filming and its content.
- Check if you need permission to film within the organisation.
- Ensure that you contact the video participants well in advance to get a slot in their diaries on a specific day. Send them a reminder closer to the day to confirm their participation and provide the questions/script in advance so that they have time to take it into consideration.
- Filming is usually an expensive activity and it requires setting up equipment so it is important to schedule the contributions of all participants in half or one day to avoid any extra costs and make it as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.
- Enable participants to repeat what they are saying (many times (!)) if they get confused or stressed. Be prepared to repeat each part of their presentation until they are comfortable – to be able to do this, it is important there are clear pauses between parts (including mouth closing and background changes) so editing is not obvious.
- Often the questions/prompts from the coordinator are not included in the final video so ask the participants to make sure their response makes sense without the prompt.
- If participants are very stressed about talking to the camera (or is the first time they are doing it) you can suggest them to do the following:
- Write out a full specific script of what you want to say
- Learn it – and then talk not recite. You can actually record almost sentence by sentence as long as you have a big pause at the end of each sentence/paragraph so that contributors have the time to close their mouth and editing is possible.
- The script has to be something that they can say in a conversational way. They should practice to a mirror to see if it works for them.