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Promotional videos for Birkbeck departments

Media Services produce promotional videos for Birkbeck departments and courses

These videos aim to promote the department, the academic areas which are described and highlighted, and may contain academic profiles of members of teaching staff, video clips of teaching staff and students talking about their teaching and studies, and the experiences of both to give the prospective student a flavour of what it would be like to study in that department at Birkbeck. 

The Birkbeck unique mode of evening study, enabling students to concurrently work full- or part-time, is usually referred to, so a short reference to the unique mode of Birkbeck study would be good to include, and a brief profile of the subject area highlighted, and ‘human interest’ footage of academics, student(s) or both enthusing about their classes and experiences, and perhaps a section about the discipline required to become  a successful Birkbeck graduate

The aim of a promotional video clip is to capture the attention of a potential student. To that end a short clip is a useful tool, to pique the student's interest in the course, or department.

The clip should be short, no more than two and a half minutes long. If they want longer, or more in-depth material about the courses available in that particular subject, they can look at other, longer, clips, or other information on the same page as the video. The point is to grab their attention.

The style of the clip can be geared to the target audience. For example, the sort of student who is attracted to post-graduate studies would not react to a video aimed at entry-level students. People who have never studied in HE, or even those who didn't finish school would be perhaps more interested in how answers to questions such as 'Could I study in HE?', and could be steered to the Higher Education Introductory Studies foundation courses available. Such a video for HEIS was completed by Media Services in 2015, and emphasises the possibility of fitting studies around full-time or part-time work, or childcare, with entry-level Foundation -type courses. This is a link to the video HEIS video

Alternatively, a video to attract students, who have already studied, perhaps, or are interested in post-graduate courses would be more interested in subject-orientated videos, as this example as one of a range of Politics video made by Media Services illustrates, with the topical subject of Parliament and the EU, by Dr Dermot Hodgeson, SSSHP, Politics department Parliament and the EU 

The techniques for making an appropriately attractive video can vary according to the subject matter, for example, a video promoting a science department might be best illustrated by an academic talking, for example, in a lab setting. One unspoken message being taken by the student viewer without thinking about it is that the institution has laboratories.

A similar video for a Geology course might prove prohibitively expensive if the academic was up an active South American volcano, but our use of  ‘Green Screen’ or ‘Chroma-Key’ techniques which can produce an interview with an academic or student which replicates the effect without the smoke, danger, or cost, by replacing the background with a moving video clip appropriate to the subject matter.

We aim to make video material which can fit comfortably on similar videos on the Birkbeck social media channels, such as YouTube, Facebook, SoundCloud.

Cloud Hosting resource

We also use Panopto, in addition to its use as a teaching recording medium, as a cloud-hosting resource for the college. All of our events and promotional videos are hosted in this way, and can be either embedded or linked to on your own web-pages, without the need to send large unwieldy video files that most office PCs can't handle. We host it, and you can insert it in any webpage of your choice.

In short, we will arrange interviews with staff, students, and anyone else relevant to your department or course activities, shoot the principle video, shoot any material in such appropriate locations as we agree with you to use as a backdrop, arrange any music or sound effects we think may enhance the video, edit everything together, show it to you to see what you think, make any alterations as necessary, and host it for you.

It is sometimes necessary to charge costs for shoots, particularly when we need to go off-site to shoot video. We keep these costs to an absolute minimum, and the sort of charges that you might expect are detailed on this link-  Costs for promotional recordings

Phone 020 7631 6133 to ask for details of our services, or to book a recording,

or email-    m.shabbak@bbk.ac.uk