Creating video to market or otherwise publicize your home community can be an invaluable opportunity to showcase the unique features and stories that make your area so special. Your status as an area “insider” can allow you access to stories and locations that might not be available to filmmakers from outside the community, and your affinity for the area should radiate through in your final product. However, this insider status can cut both ways, and there are some challenges you may face when trying to strike the balance between maintaining your reputation among your fellow locals and exercising the artistic license needed to make your video stand out. Read on for some quick tips that can help you maximize the quality of your community video production.
When filming an area with which you're intimately familiar, it can sometimes be easy to gloss over businesses and geographical features that have just become part of the background over the years. You may want to enlist the help of someone who isn't from the area (or who has some of the same characteristics as your target audience) to ensure you're doing all you can to highlight your community's most positive attributes.
Community video productions can sometimes generate a "local access TV" feel – whether through poor scripting, cheap equipment, or a series of static shots that don’t add much excitement. By utilizing filming techniques that go a bit beyond point-and-zoom, purchasing or renting higher-quality equipment, and ensuring your speakers and actors are familiar with any scripted dialogue, you’ll be able to give your community-based video a much more professional treatment.
For newcomers, it can be easy to focus on one or two landmark features of a new location; but as a community resident, you may find yourself feeling more scattered in your desire to show off just about everything that holds meaning to you. Whether you’re shooting a tourism ad or a documentary, it’s important to outline your focus(es) well before filming so that you don’t leave your audience feeling as though they’ve just been bombarded with random information or images without much cohesion.
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