Essential skills in making compelling digital video?

So how do you teach the skills needed to make first class and compelling short form digital video?

This video encapsulates some much about short form digital video. It’s powerful, compelling and has reached a massive global audience. 

It’s always daunting to come up with a simple answer to such a broad question. But this is just what I was asked to do recently, at a conference, run the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC).

In terms of the broadcast industry this is a really important body. It guides and accredits the UK Journalism courses in higher education. Essentially creating the framework for what’s taught to students who want to get into broadcast industry.

This is far from an easy task in a radically changing world.

It is hard to overstate how important digital video and in particular short form digital video is to the future of journalism.

As we have seen over the past couple of years – new ‘digitally native’ publishers are reaching massive audiences on social platforms – using short form digital video.

In May 2017 nearly 3 billion videos produced by UNILAD, 2.5 billion by LADbible and just over 2 billion by Viral Thread were viewed on Facebook alone. And that is just one social platform. Consider Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat and the figures blow your mind.

No wonder the industry is so keen to understand how to tap into this audience.

So here are the few points I came up with – in no particular order.

  • Adaptability – in world that is changing so quickly you need to be flexible. You can’t be prescriptive about the core skills, rather look at the emerging trends and make sure you are across them all. The more agile you are as an organisation the faster you can react to change.
  • Mobile and Live – Mobile Journalism and live social broadcasting have become an essential part of the aspiring journalist’s toolkit. You need to be able to film, edit and present to succeed today.
  • Understand the platform/audience – Now more than ever, the content you produce and the way you tell the story, needs to work on the platform you’re publishing it on. TV reports don’t work online, what flies on Facebook doesn’t always work on Youtube and what appeals to a Snapchat audience won’t wash on the Medium. It is essential you know how to reversion video to suit the platform, device and means of delivery. This is not only in terms of the storytelling, but also the use of audio, music, text and whether the video format is widescreen, square, vertical – or even round.
  • Quality content is king again – What is clear is that – the successful publishers are investing in online digital video. From the BBC, Sky and the major international broadcasters to the traditional press and the big media houses to the digital first publishers. They are concentrating on quality, professional content and great storytelling. Digital video is not a poor relation. It is a major part of the future of any media strategy.

2020 Media international provide a range of digital video strategy and training services. For more information why not contact me for a chat on either or +44 783 484 5573.