• The Open University

Low-Budget Video Production: Visual Communication for Small Charities

Understand how video can expand and enhance your organisation’s communications and develop practical skills for your productions.

16,430 enrolled on this course

Someone sat down, viewed through the camera on a smart phone

Learn how to produce your own low-budget video to convey your charity’s message

Small charities understand that to compete in a tough economic climate they should engage with digital media and video content. But a lack of staff, time, knowledge and resources can get in the way.

This practical video production course is designed to bridge that gap and help small charities develop the skills they need for successful video production.

Understand the strength of video in telling powerful human stories

You’ll gain an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of video as a medium of communication, where and how to use it to powerful effect, and how to tie it in with your charity’s overall message and ethos.

As part of the course, you’ll also have access to a well-researched collection of videos made by small charities, inspirational examples of the type of visual storytelling you could be able to achieve.

Learn the production skills you need to communicate your work and impact

You’ll get to grips with creative thinking and visual storytelling, and work through the editorial decisions that can make your video stand out and deliver its message effectively.

You’ll also master how to make a low-budget production using the technology you have readily available such as smartphones. You’ll develop practical skills to plan and structure a low-budget video production, shoot video in several different visual styles, and tackle a basic edit.

Gain in-depth insight into video production from experts at The Open University

You’ll be guided throughout by Tot Foster, who has just completed research to develop training and support in video production for small charities that takes into account their specific circumstances, together with Senior Lecturer in Design, Dr Theodore Zamenopoulos.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1. Understanding the medium

  • The strengths of video – powerful human stories
  • Potential online and offline uses of video for small charities

Week 2. Planning a production

  • Editorial decision making
  • The production team and resources

Week 3. Practical production skills

  • Realising a range of visual styles using your phone
  • Interviewing

Week 4. Making your video count

  • Editing and distribution
  • Reflections

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the strengths and weaknesses of video as a medium of communication, where and how to use it to powerful effect
  • Investigate how to plan and structure a low budget production with available team skills and resources
  • Develop a range of practical skills in low budget production using readily available technology
  • Apply creative thinking and visual storytelling skills

Who is the course for?

This course is suited to anyone planning to produce videos who works within the small charity sector such as charity staff, volunteers and service users.

It is also useful to those with existing production and video marketing experience who would like to work within the sector, or those from larger charities interested in a fresh approach to using video as a visual storytelling tool.

Who will you learn with?

I work with small charities; producing video content and mentoring staff in video techniques. I also work in community heritage, and university-based research. Find out more at wildmanherring.com

Professor of Citizen-led Design at The Open University and professional architect with expertise on place-making that fosters leadership in design

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

    1969
  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020
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  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Buy this course

$44

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  • Discuss your learning in comments
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  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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