How to Teach a Video Project for Beginners

Becoming familiar with videography is a highly beneficial, transferable skill for a budding artist-entrepreneur to learn. Producing video content can be one way to cultivate and communicate with your audience as a musician, and it can even provide additional sources of revenue through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, advertisements, and creating purchasable content like e-courses or virtual lessons. Not to mention it’s a relevant job skill for employment in any organization with a social media channel (so, most of them).

But don’t worry: you don’t have to be a videographer, or even know what a videographer does, to teach a video project in your arts entrepreneurship curriculum. And chances are you won’t need equipment, either—it can all be done with a smartphone and an editing program like iMovie for Mac/iPad. Read on for videography best practices.

  1. Find your light.

    Especially when using phone cameras, good lighting is critical. Film in a room that has excellent overhead lighting or natural light in order to avoid grainy footage.

  2. Film horizontally.

    Be sure to film using your phone in a horizontal position, of course. Otherwise, your vertical video will fill in big black bars on either end to fit within the 16:9 proportions.

  3. Consider where your microphone is placed.

    If you are recording video with your phone, keep in mind that it is also capturing your audio. So, be sure to have your on-camera subject close enough to the phone that their speaking voice is captured by the built-in microphone.

  4. To make things easier, add a voiceover narration.

    If you are filming a tutorial, sometimes it is easier and produces better quality audio if you film all of the visuals first, then add a voiceover narration of the tutorial instructions. You can record your narration directly in iMovie, or you can record your narration on your phone and add it to the video later.

  5. Use the Rule of Thirds.

    When composing a shot, especially with on-camera talent, the Rule of Thirds can help you to create an attractive picture. The basic concept is to imagine your frame is split both horizontally and vertically into thirds. Those lines that split your frame are great guidelines for where to place your subject.

If you’re struggling with what type of video project to have your students create, try starting with a simple 2-3 minute tutorial video. Having your students teach a basic concept, such as a simple chord progression, not only allows them to practice their videography skills, but it also helps cement that music theory (or whatever the subject matter is) into their brains.

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Photography by Hilary Bovay

technologyMegan KuharComment