Tips for Videotaping in Schools
Video production can lead you to all sorts of places. You never know where you’ll end up when videotaping on location. If you find yourself shooting a video at schools, you may find these 5 tips very handy:
1. Define what your role is.
Ask yourself what type of video will be shot. Will you be recording a game, play, concert, public announcement, principal’s message or something else educational? Knowing this will help you to categorize the project in order to know your involvement in the shooting and editing of the video.
2. Come Prepared.
This is a no brainer, but it must be said. Figure out the scope of the video production to determine what materials and equipment you’ll need to bring along. If you will be filming children other than your own, you will need to have legal matters covered. Permission releases must be signed in advance. Also, while you’re filming, label the tapes beforehand or media files as you go along. I find it to be most beneficial to label them by date and in the order they were recorded. So the second media file that was recorded in April would be 0204.
3. Meet with the proper authorities.
If you plan to videotape at schools, before you begin shooting on campus, it is a good idea to go to the head of the class and clear it with your professor or even the principal or dean of the school. Now is the time to establish how you will gain access to school activities that you will be recording. You can also attend PTA and APT meetings to make yourself known.
4. Answer the 5 W’s.
Being a videographer, it is important for you to always know the who, what, when, where and why for the production you will be involved in. Who will you be filming at the school and what type of video will it be? The video could be a compilation of sports highlights or a science demonstration. When and where will the video shots be taking place? Knowing when will allow you to know whether to edit the video in chronological order or by event. Sometimes asking where isn’t so simple. Some videos may take place off school campus, such as within a museum or other location associated with a field trip.
5. Take legal precautions.
As mentioned before, it is important that you protect yourself from potential law suits. Dealing with children can be tricky and anything could happen. To play it safe, make sure that all forms and releases are signed prior to shooting and never be alone with any one child. Stay in groups and keep faculty or parents nearby.