What I’ve Learned From Making Videos In College

Before I went to Drake, I’d only filmed and edited one video project, yet I decided to make my next four years about learning how to film and edit in an efficient and professional way. Throughout my time at Drake, I’ve had the opportunity to learn this in many ways – in a handful of journalism classes, each having their own focus and teaching style (ranging from promotional work to news to short films), as well as different organizations I’ve worked in. Each way has taught me different things about the technical side of creating a video and the storytelling aspect that comes with it, and a lot of the lessons I’ve learned come with stories that stand out in my Drake experience.

Have A Plan

One of the biggest things I’ve learned that has made my life easier for every filming shoot I’ve done recently is to have a clear plan of what I want to film and focus on. This semester I’ve mainly worked on short films and promotional videos for Drake Bands, and we used a shot list for all of these projects. With that plan already set, I was able to know exactly what to film at what times so that we could get that project done as quickly as we could. In the case of marching band, I was already familiar with how a typical football game day went and certain traditions that we had, so I was able to anticipate those things to film without being caught off-guard. While It’s also good to stay flexible in case you can’t get every shot that you envisioned beforehand, getting a start on what you want to see will make things a lot easier in the long run.

Be Prepared

I’ve gotten a bit better with this over the years, especially in the projects I’ve filmed for my classes. Being prepared outside of having a plan of what you want to film can be as simple as making sure that you have all the equipment you need to make your filming go smoothly.

Last fall, I took a video for journalists class and filmed when Drake students and faculty made Painted Street black, which was one of my favorite pieces that I’ve filmed as a student. However, not only did I forget my SD card at my apartment and have to run back to pick it up 15 minutes before Marty Martin’s speech started, I also ran out of space in my SD card and had to run to the nearest computer lab to move the video I’d already gotten so that I could film interview there. Being prepared can also mean protecting your camera in different environments, like the time that I put a plastic bag around my own camera and walked in the middle of the paint fight during last year’s Street Painting to film a package for a DBS livestream.

These are just a couple of the things I’ve learned from making different videos at Drake that have helped make what I film even better.