They learn how to make videos with a positive social impact in 10 days !
From July 18 to 27, 2022, 31 young Europeans gathered in Pau as part of the "Video for a change" project to learn how to make videos with a positive social impact as part of an Erasmus+ project. Most of them inexperienced, they produced 3 videos for local associations after just one week's training.
Project objectives and requirements :
The aim of the "Video for a change" project was to promote socio-ecological transition and active citizenship through the tools of audiovisual production. In a world where audiovisual communication has become ubiquitous and hyper-accessible, young people in particular need to understand and know its codes in order to be able to look at it critically, but also to be able to use it wisely. In this project, participants came together to share their experiences of media/audiovisual communication, improve their media literacy and produce videos of a social nature. Raising young people's awareness of the language of audiovisual communication has opened up new opportunities for both the area and the young people who live there. By getting involved, the participants became disseminators of the ecological transition and active citizenship, while acquiring talents and skills that are often underestimated, but which open up new doors in the world of work. For them, it was necessary to remedy the damage caused by a lack of digital education, so as to be able to take a new, more critical look at the media.
For this reason, the participation of countries with different experiences was essential in order to highlight good and bad practices. By promoting active citizenship through audiovisual production tools, participants acquired the specific skills of content production while giving visibility to local initiatives.
The benefits of this process were both:
- raising awareness of local socio-environmental issues
- highlighting the work of local initiatives.
They also enabled young people to question the social impact of images, and video in particular, while developing technical skills to enhance their employability, in line with the 7th of the 11 European youth objectives defined in 2018. What's more, understanding the codes of audiovisual communication has enabled them to strengthen their critical thinking through new analytical skills. Skills that they were then able to share and disseminate at a local level in their partner organizations. In "Video for a change", young people arrived as participants and returned to their home countries as citizen actors for change.
How the project unfolded:
The first thing participants had to understand was that you don't need a big team to create audiovisual content. This idea was developed in the phase preceding the start of the mobility program in Pau, through the video presentation. Before the training began, they had to send in a presentation video edited using the free and intuitive Inshot application, which was the first concrete working tool they learned to use. No specific training was given for this: the idea was for them to explore the terrain and, without naming it yet, indulge in the mental exercise of the phases of audiovisual creation: pre-production (thinking about the idea) - production (recording it) - post-production (editing the videos).
From then on, all activities are carried out in mixed groups, with the intercultural learning that this implies. The progression of skills reinforced/acquired from this point onwards was as follows. First, media literacy, in the most literal sense of the word. Then, for correct handling of equipment and good communication between participants, it was necessary to know the vocabulary that would be used during mobility, especially with regard to technical equipment.
The next step was to understand the importance of getting the message across correctly, and how to do so. We started with the photos before the video, and the next step was to move from THE photo to the set of photos, which already create a narrative, i.e. a story. Through various activities, we learned two fundamental skills:
- the different roles of a film crew
- the importance of dividing up tasks on the one hand, and the elements of storytelling on the other.
We continued to work on shot types (objective, subjective, short, medium, detail, general, close-up, superimposed, against shot, shot against shot, zenithal) and the phases of an audiovisual production (pre, pro, post). The importance of pre-production work, the need to storyboard and make a basic shooting plan were explored in depth, providing participants with time management strategies.
In preparation for the day's shooting in Pau, we emphasized the importance of the "six w's" rule, so necessary when planning a shoot, which answers the following questions :how wants this video? Why do we need it? Why do we need it? What is it about? How can we make it? How are we going to make it? When the groups started recording videos for local associations, the skills they had acquired up to then were put into practice, but this time in the field, which meant preparing the equipment properly.
Then came the editing phase, and here we offered an editing workshop for those less expert in the field, explaining how DaVinci Resolve (professional editing software, but particularly intuitive and free to download) works. In addition, teamwork was practiced throughout the mobility program, with a variety of materials, in a language other than the mother tongue, and with the potential intercultural obstacles that this entails.
Project results and impacts :
The specific results of the project are:
- videos created for local associations in Pau during the mobility
- videos made by participants once back in their home countries during the follow-up phase
- a toolkit on good practice in making videos that participants created during the last days of the mobility.This toolkit was, on the one hand, shared with participants and partner associations so that they could disseminate it on their websites and social networks. On the other hand, it was published openly on the SALTO platform to be made available to all European associations.
For the participants, the impact of this project has been to improve their self-confidence in the first instance, but also their employability thanks to the skills they have acquired in the fields of audiovisual production and digital communication. What's more, learning the vocabulary and codes of video production for promotional purposes enabled them to become more aware of the communication tools with which they are confronted on a daily basis, and thus better able to recognize and critically analyze them. In addition, participants had the opportunity to take part in an international and multicultural experience.
During the project, all activities were carried out in international groups, fostering the cohesion and communication skills of the young people. This also contributed to the development of a more European identity, as specific activities were carried out to talk about the traditions of each country, but also to help refute stereotypes of different nations.
The emphasis is on shared values rather than differences, for a greater impact on interculturality that goes beyond mobility. More specifically, participants will benefit from the project in the long term and in a variety of contexts, as they have improved:
- their language skills, by improving their level of English and acquiring skills in other European languages
- their ability to work as part of a team in an intercultural environment
- their independence to travel and work at European and international level
- their self-confidence, as they have been able to do much more than they thought they were capable of
- their audiovisual production skills
- their network of international partners.