Video is arguably the most engaging way to tell your story and reach your audience. We encourage you to incorporate video into your recruitment and promotional plans.
Producing Good Video–Some Basics
Above all, the most important element is a good story or central topic. Dazzling graphics and tight production values mean nothing if your central story is not interesting or engaging. Remember that video is a visual medium; whenever possible, show, don’t tell.
Videos should have a light, conversational feel. Avoid jargon, words or phrases that sound too institutional, or language that doesn’t resonate with your target audience. Candor builds trust – overly scripted interviews feel like infomercials.
Videos get a huge boost to production value when you prepare for and think through each project ahead of time. Storyboard each shot if you can. Faculty and staff should be dressed appropriately in business casual attire (avoid patterned clothing when at all possible) unless in the field; students should be dressed in clean, casual attire – a “Western” shirt or something with a Western logo, if possible. Ask your subjects, above all, to not wear clothing that advertises other colleges or universities. Lastly, do site visits to places you plan to shoot beforehand to see if the lighting there will work, if there are outlets available, etc.
Cell phones have become more and more sophisticated when it comes to capturing video. A lot of apps are available to edit video right from your phone, or you can download and edit video on your laptop or desktop. A newer DSLR camera also takes good quality video–ATUS has a great selection of DSLR digital cameras available to students and staff to check out.
Whether creating new video or looking to repurpose existing footage, broll is a powerful way to convey the “feeling” and essence of your message. There is plenty of footage on Western’s YouTube channel or on our servers that could be added to your video project. Contact University Marketing if you want to discuss the use of existing footage.
Western aims to provide accessible digital content to all of its students, staff, faculty, and visitors (see Western’s accessibility statement for more info). Accessible video and media provides a better user experience for all viewers.
To ensure Western’s media meets this mission, please review the following guidelines to ensure your media is accessible for all viewers.
If you are creating video that represents or is on behalf of Western, you are required to provide captions for the video content you produce.
Captions are not optional in Western video content, nor are they only the responsibility of the Office of Communications and Marketing, Video Services, Web Communication Technologies, etc. Every creator is responsible for the accessibility of the media they create.
Specifically, all Departments and programs/University employees will:
- purchase only captioned versions of audiovisual media whenever possible.
- ensure that all other media that will be used on the web or in instruction is captioned or have alternative text and or formats.
- purchase only transcribed audio versions of audiovisual media whenever possible.
- update any non-transcribed audio and any non-captioned video that is in current use.
- use only transcribed audio and closed-captioned media that are made available in a timely manner to the class and will only assign such media as course material, whether optional or required.
Guidelines and Requirements
Captions and audio descriptions are required by the University in order to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA and all subsequent versions. The links listed are WCAG criteria related to video, audio, and other media:
- WCAG 2.0/2.1 Success Criteria 1.1.1: Non-Text Content
- WCAG 2.0/2.1 Success Criteria 1.2.1-5: Time-Based Media
If you are creating video that represents or is on behalf of Western, you are responsible for making sure that visual content is also relayed in the video through spoken word. Examples of visual content that need to be relayed through spoken word include, but are not limited to:
- text or graphical info shown in video that is not spoken by a narrator or anyone in the video.
- non-verbal cues such as facial expressions or other gestures.
- speaker names if speaker changes throughout media (example: speaker panel where multiple people might speak throughout video).
If there are visual features in the video that are not perceivable through spoken word as well as sight, you are required to provide or procure audio descriptions for the video content you produce.
Audio descriptions are not optional in Western video content, nor are they only the responsibility of the Office of Communications and Marketing, Video Services, Web Communication Technologies, etc. Every creator is responsible for the accessibility of the media they create.
Specifically, all Departments and programs/University employees will:
- ensure that all other media that will be used on the web or in instruction is audio described or have alternative text and or formats.
- purchase only audio described versions of audiovisual media whenever possible.
- update any non-described video that is in current use.
- use only audio-described media that are made available in a timely manner to the class and will only assign such media as course material, whether optional or required.
Questions about Video Accessibility?
Please contact Carly Gerard in Web Communication Technologies at 360-650-3944 or email@example.com.
Western’s colors are an essential part of its brand identity. The institution’s primary colors should be used whenever possible in all videos produced by and for the university. The secondary palette may be used to support the primary colors as needed, but should not be used instead of a primary color. See the color guide for more information.
Western’s logo must be present for at least five seconds at the start and finish of all campus videos. It must precede any institutional sub-brand in the beginning, and come after any sub-branding at the end. The logo must sit alone on a field of either white, Western blue, or black. This clear, uncluttered format allows the logo to not get lost in background patterns or other competing imagery.
As with print and the web, the logo may not be altered in any way with drop shadows, glows, or other effects. See the logo guide for more information.
An animated version of the logo is available to place at the end of your video.
Title Treatments and Text
Video productions must use one of the approved University fonts, as found on the typography guide.
Requesting Photos and Video
If you need photos or video of, or for the promotion of, your event, you can submit a request to University Marketing. As with press releases, it’s best to reach out as early as possible–scheduling photo and video shoots requires planning and coordination, especially with video.
NOTE: video services are in high demand, and getting video isn’t always an option, but University Marketing will work with you to strategize and identify alternatives if video isn’t an option.