Creating a Recap Video

If you ever want to get your foot in the door to work an event, a great place to start volunteering is the recap video.  Its a great opportunity to show your shooting skills, editing, and display your eye for what you decided to select. The first time I worked on a recap video was when I was studying television and media at Hillsong College.  I hung around the editors and volunteered to help shoot during Hillsong’s Colour Conference. I didn’t know much so I kept asking the editor what type of shots he wanted. The next conference, they gave me the job to produce Encounter Youth Conference. The first draft that I worked on with an editor was horrible (it was flat and random.) so I reworked it all weekend to prepare it for Sunday. The producer appreciated my countless hours editing, liked the second edit and paid me for it! It was such a great learning experience, I still have the card he wrote me with his thankfulness for not giving up.

Since then, I’ve worked on countless recaps. Many where stressful and usually with seconds to spare. The task is to create a video in a day or two days, depending on how long the conference is, of what took place. You gotta plan to be at the right place at the right time, capture moments, and allow people who view it, to feel like they were there.

In the past, I’ve opened a new project and started the day off. I would film pointing my camera at anything. I would upload the video and wait for it to be approved. Countless changes were needed, misspelled, wrong song, add numbers and so on.

For the first time last year I knew there was a better way to go about it, I needed to remove the stress and last minute changes. I developed what is called a creative brief. I ask all my questions to whoever is producing the conference, (who ever is in charge) weeks before the event, I asked them:

What mood do you want this year recap video to have? Fun or deep?

Do you want a script with a voice over, explain what took place?

Do you have a song you’ll like to use? Who about this song — List some you think might work.

Would you like to focus on numbers?

And any other questions that applies to your event and project.

Second part, is I create all the graphics before hand. I place everything as if I have the footage. Then I list what shoots I need, write my shot list and then the day of the conference hand it to whoever is helping me shoot. This allows the project to need only footage before completing.

If I need speaking clips of speakers, I assign that task to someone who is in the control room, hearing the speaker. They make a note and export during breaks. They copy over the footage and let our editor know when they are ready.

I always try to make recap videos a little different each year, but the work flow is something that can be repeated. This year I had a volunteer edit, and two volunteers shoot. I created graphics in Premiere (so they can be edited faster if anything is added or changed) and made a shot list. I was even able to sit in some of the services and enjoy the women’s conference myself. When I saw moments happened, I texted my shooters. We got the recap video done with lots of time to spare. We tested the video in our switcher and had it ready to play.

Always think of ways to eliminate stress in production, the job is stressful to begin with, so limiting that stress will be beneficial to the production and team.


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