Tips for shooting video clips


This fact sheet provides tips for shooting video clips, intended for use by principal investigators, collaborators and others in the Horticulture Innovation Lab's network. It was created with input from John Mounier of UC Davis, as well as Brenda Dawson and Hallie Casey of the Horticulture Innovation Lab. Excerpt:

Video clips

We would like to work with you to make videos about your work and to build a video clip library, so that we can take advantage of future multimedia opportunities to promote your work. What we need from you:

1. Shoot B-Roll clips: Shots of your team, your partners, and (when/if possible) you working together.

  • Show us where you are – the city/town/village, the farmer’s field, etc.
  • Show us what people are doing – including shots of YOU working with your colleagues/partners too, if possible.
  • Show us details of plants, vegetables, insects, tools, food, hands, etc. Get up close!

Shoot as much as you can! But keep clips to about 1-2 minutes max (please no 30-minute clips!). Decide what you want to show us, show it to us from several angles, holding the camera still for at least 5-10 seconds at each angle before moving the camera to re-frame your shot, hold again for 5-10 seconds, etc., and then end the clip.

2. Shoot yourself talking: You talking, selfie-style. Aim for 30-60 seconds of a video diary, basically. Tell us some stories about how your work is going. Here are some questions to think about:

  • Tell us your name, discipline, where you are, and about the project you’re working on
  • Tell us a story from today. What happened? What surprised you? What did you learn?
  • What made you decide to do this type of work? What is your motivation?
  • Tell us about the progress you’ve made so far.
  • Tell us about some of the challenges you’ve come across.
  • How has doing this work changed you, personally?

If possible, shoot this while you are in-country so that you are on-scene and your thoughts are fresh and in the moment. Imagine you are explaining the story to a teenager or a grandparent. You want to keep it short and avoid using technical jargon or acronyms. Try to explain not just the solution, but also the problem. Why does this matter?

Shooting video clips tips sheet


Fact sheet