1. Smartphone filmmaking the trainee’s story

    • By Ben Langdon
    smartphone filmmaking course. A person films a London bus using a mobile phone

    One of our recent smartphone filmmaking courses was a bespoke course for the British Red Cross. We were impressed at the quality of the films produced, and so, we asked Susan Calcluth, Senior Internal Engagement Officer, and Becky Chapple, Internal Engagement Officer,  if they would share their film with us.

    Susan and Becky came on the course to make a film for internal use. It was shared across a Facebook community, in staff and volunteer newsletters and at an internal conference. Here Susan tells us how she found the one-day course.

    What did you find most useful about the course?

    “I found the whole course from start to finish really helpful, but the most useful part for me was the editing and planning and using B-roll and extra footage to make the films more engaging.

    The course was very enabling, and I now feel equipped with the skills to create a video from start to finish.”

    What feedback did the film receive?

    “People really liked the film and they appreciated their story being highlighted and shared amongst the wider staff and volunteers. 

    Our operations staff have plans to use it for some promotional work.”

    Anything you particularly liked about this course? 

    “The Mile 91 team were incredibly approachable and helpful which made it easy to ask questions along the way.

    The course was well structured with an emphasis on practical learning rather than presentations. The screening at the end was a real highlight and a great way to end the day.”

    What would you say to someone thinking about attending a course?

    “There aren’t many courses where at the end of it you feel really equipped to put your new skills to use but with this course I did. It has been one of the most useful training courses I have attended in recent years and it’s great to be able to produce something as a result of it.”

    Feedback from the experts.

    Susan and Becky’s film ticked a lot of boxes for us as they displayed a good understanding of some of the key techniques we’d covered and practiced. For example;

    • The footage is well shot with good composition and a steady camera. This is really important in making sure the film looks professional.

    • They have used a lapel microphone to capture professional quality audio and this makes it easy to hear what the individuals are saying.

    • The film has been well edited and uses a mix of interview, captions, b-roll and photographs to tell the story. This helps keeps the viewer engaged and tells the story in under two minutes.

    • They have used name titles. This is a great way to show who is speaking and helps give a professional edge. By using a name title, there’s no need to have the person introduce themselves on camera. Very useful for those very short social media films where you’re trying to squeeze a lot in.

    Want to have a go yourself? Then sign up to our one day smartphone filmmaking course. You could join an open course online or arrange a bespoke one for your team or orgainsation.

    Many thanks to Susan and Becky for sharing their film and thoughts with us.

    British Red Cross- Glasgow Response;

    1. Five things you may not know about the British Red Cross – Blog – Mile 91

      […] on a set of films, photos and stories featuring their volunteers. We’re also running a number of smartphone filmmaking training courses to enable the volunteers to share their own stories more […]

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