Our smartphone filmmaking course was already a firm fixture in the diary when lockdown arrived. Over the last few years we have run the course for more than 200 communications and fundraising staff from a range of organisations including British Red Cross, Marie Curie, Anthony Nolan and NHS Blood & Transplant.
But when the pandemic arrived smartphone filmmaking skills were suddenly in high demand and charities started changing their thinking on which staff to train. The need to tell powerful stories was still there but with production teams and in-house comms staff in lockdown it was the frontline staff and volunteers who became the window on the work.
We have adapted our one day course to be delivered over two morning sessions. On day one we cover the essentials of framing, lighting and sound and how to shoot great pieces to camera and B-roll. These skills are then put into practice with trainees gathering their own footage ahead of the second session which focuses on editing. The step-by-step practical editing sessions means everyone finishes the course having made their first short film. Trainees also receives a digital copy of our handbook, which is loaded with information, hints and top tips and they receive a remote follow up mentoring session.
Since adapting our course in April we have trained almost 300 people from a whole range of organisations including Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Dogs for Good, CW+, Centrepoint and Crisis, Sense and FareShare. Many of the delegates have come from frontline teams who are now channelling stories in new ways. Dogs for Good secured coverage on BBC News with coverage shot by a dog trainers while a tutor who works for a Crisis Skylight Centre is passing his skills on to members so they can tell their own stories.
Our public course runs once a month and can be booked here and we run in house courses for groups of six and above. A downloadable webinar will also be ready to buy soon.
Here’s a film made by one of our course alumni.