When lockdown was announced in March this year, we were on the cusp of embarking on a series of our smartphone filmmaking course in six locations across the UK.
With all those plans thwarted and with restrictions in place we took the course online in April. Since then we’ve trained over 300 people from multiple organisations, all with the same need- to explore new ways of keeping in touch with their audience.
We asked Katie Map from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust-who attended the course- to share her experience with us.
1. Tell us about Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and what your role is there.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is the only charity entirely dedicated to protecting, restoring and enhancing wildlife and wild places in Yorkshire. Our vision is to see wildlife and nature thrive, and for people all over Yorkshire to understand, embrace and look after our natural world.
My role is the Digital Communications Officer. I manage our website, social media channels, emails to our supporters and work on other exciting digital projects!
2. How has COVID-19 affected your ability to communicate with your supporters and the public?
Like most organisations, our work has been seriously affected by COVID-19, especially the face-to-face engagement we usually have with members of the public at our reserves, visitor centres and events. We’ve had to rethink and redesign our visitor experiences to ensure they are safe for the public and for our staff, as well as explore new ways of engaging people virtually.
A highlight was running the Great Yorkshire Creature Count this year in June, which asked people to count the wildlife in their gardens and out their windows for 24 hours! It was a huge success and many people discovered just how diverse their little patch can be.
3. How did you find training online over Zoom?
We found the training was delivered really well online. We had lots of breaks and opportunities to ask questions, so you never experienced the ‘Zoom fatigue’ that we all know so well these days! While there are always benefits to training in person, having the training online meant that our colleagues across Yorkshire could all attend without having to travel, which was nice!
4. The smartphone filmmaking course is split over two mornings with a day in-between for filming, did this work well for you?
It was a really good way to split the course, as you had the opportunity to put what you had just learned into action. Training often sparks lots of ideas and thoughts, but sometimes by the time you get round to actually implementing them, you find you have more questions to ask. Being able to take away the first few hours of content and apply them in practice meant that it really sunk in. And there was an opportunity to ask further questions the following day, based on how it had gone!
5. Had you had any filming experience before the course?
I’d done a bit of basic filming for social media and announcements, but I hadn’t really had any formal training. It was all just learning as I went along (and often via my mistakes!)
6. What did you find most useful about the course?
I found that I was able to take away some really practical skills and advice from the course, rather than concepts or ideas that are hard to put into reality. Recommendations of which app to use, practice filming and feedback and other incredibly useful tips mean that I now feel much more confident creating quick and professional looking videos on my smartphone!
7. What feedback did your film receive?
Above average engagement for the page, and a really nice way to communicate about the work we’re doing!
8. What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing the course?
I’d definitely recommend the course! It’s incredibly practical, packed with useful tips and advice and with huge amounts of feedback to get you on your way. You’ll feel more confident and capable of producing great videos with limited resources!
Our thanks to Katie for contributing to our blog this week, you can watch one of the Trust’s films here, made by Katie Baker and Mark Roberts. Find out more about Yorkshire Wildlife Trust here.
The smartphone filmmaking course will be back in 2021 with dates now open for booking January- March. For more information visit our booking page.
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