AMC Workshop Reportback #1: Videoblogging with Reel Grrls

This past week I was incredibly lucky to be able to attend the Allied Media Conference for the first time. This unique conference brings together a collection of mediamakers–from musicians and djs to computer programmers to filmmakers to radio broadcasters–who are thinking strategically about using media as a tool for building movements for social change.

Below is the first of a series of brief reportbacks on the sessions I attended there.

Video Blogging Workshop

The youth participants and staff from Reel Grrls–a Seattle based organization that empowers young women from diverse communities to realize their power, talent and influence through media production–led a workshop on videoblogging. The workshop focused on both technical aspects of videoblogging as well as strategizing on how to use a video blog as part of a social justice campaign.

They showed us several examples of video blogs for reference:

illdoctrine.com
(On how to call people out on racism)

reelgrrls
(On Comcast pulling funding for their summer program)


feministfrequency.com
(On the Bechdel test for films’ portrayal of female characters)

After a discussion on what we observed about each of the video blog we the paired off into groups and shot a quick videoblog of our own using flip cameras or the iMacs in the computer lab (those will be available at a later date).

There were several great tips that came out of the workshop that are the basics for starting your own video blog:

  • use humor if possible to draw in your audience, even if you’re talking about a serious issue since people are more likely to engage
  • use quick cuts and rapid editing pace to hold your audience’s interest
  • often people use music & text along with images in their blog
  • develop consistent aesthetic for your piece so you develop an audience who knows what to expect from you
  • you can script if you want–if you decide to free form it can be much more of editing challenge afterwards and slow down your process
  • keep your videos 1-2 min long if possible
  • your video should have a clear beginning, middle & end story arc
  • use a confident gaze into camera OR look at each other if two people together –you need a clear focal point, otherwise it looks confusing
  • pay attention to sound quality and lighting
  • jamendo.com for free music, flickr for images, archive.org for video and music

What are some of your favorite video blogs?

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