Tot Foster

Tot Foster

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

Location Bristol, UK


  • Its great - it has a real story to it - at first I thought it was instructional, then the fall came as a surprise, then I got worried about the rider, then you told me she was OK. Shows what you can do with one shot only

  • Hi Harry, they dont last forever and as soon as you have problems it makes video shooting really stressful - sorry to hear it

  • @HarryNichol Hi Harry, you can make vtt files - there are companies that create them very cheaply and remotely if you send them transcripts and the video

  • Hi Luana, record the sound and video separately - then for the sound you can go to a quiet place and for the pictures you are not having to concentrate on so many things at the same time

  • Hi Luana - wow, your video is great! You have really kept things moving, explained them well and used colour and text in a very clear and direct way. It must have taken you a very long time using ppt. Try the paper cutouts - you might be surprised how easy it is

  • Hi Luana, I hadnt heard of Pexels before this course - thank you for sharing

  • HI Harry, you certainly have a lot of experience to bring to this. It is a very common thing to not know how to stop someone who is rambling or going off-topic - I still find that tricky

  • Hi Harry, thanks for your great advice. I try to make the relationship between myself and an interviewee one that exists between us two people in that moment rather than focusing on the equipment and the act of recording

  • Hi Harry, thanks for sharing. Some people just find it really hard to get over their shyness - many times people who I have struggled to interview suddenly come alive as soon as the camera is turned off - some people just feel uncomfortable and there is little you can do even when they arent having a bad day

  • Thanks Sally for your suggestions. I used iMovie a lot as it is so simple but does everything you need. I also often edit audio in a video package so that I dont need to transfer files between softwares and also because once Ive used an editing package a lot it becomes second nature

  • Hi Angee, Premiere Pro is good software - have you had some training to use it as it is a little complicated. In week four we look at how you can develop your editing skills - I think 2 minutes is a really good idea - many peoples attention span is very short

  • Hi Kshitij, Next week covers some scripting but one of the best ways to learn scripting is to analyse videos that you think have done it well - many YouTube videos have closed captions which you can use to see how people write the script

  • Hi Angee, there are some tips on scripting in week three which might help

  • Hi Bikash, I'm glad you're finding the course useful. When I worked in broadcast we used to think of our production schedules as 40% planning, 20% shooting and 40% editing - I think sometimes its easy to go too quickly to the fun bit (which for me is shooting and editing) and skip through some of those earlier stages

  • Hi Sylvia, when you get more confident with video you may want to think about building a library of footage about the activities of your organisation. Then when you want a piece of video you can go to your library and quickly find relevant footage. You can put the films made before in the archive too. Again, what you describe is a very common experience. This...

  • Hi Sylvia, your experiences that you describe here are very common I think. Video can be whatever you want it to be - promotional, educational, informational, celebratory - in this week you are asked to think about your audience, purpose and message - this will hopefully help you determine the tone and feel of the kind of video you want to make

  • Hi Chandni, and welcome to the course. Its great to hear you want to stretch your creativity

  • Hi Sunaina, we cover editing in the fourth week of the course which is already open. I hope you enjoy it

  • Hi Aaryan , I hope you enjoy this course

  • Hi Kedar and welcome to the course

  • Hi Sylvia, it sounds like you have a fair bit of experience - welcome to the course. One of the big mountains to climb with video is developing confidence - I hope this course helps you do that

  • Hi Lisa, you've come to the right course to learn basic skills for video on your phone - welcome and I hope you enjoy the course

  • Hi Dharma and I hope you find the course interesting

  • Hi Deb and welcome to the course. I hope you find some new ideas here for working with your students

  • Hi Abishek, Welcome to the course. Although the cases presented during the course are from the charity sector I think you will find much is relevant to video journalism

  • Hi Bandita, Yes some people see it as a reductive process - making lots of something smaller by cutting bits out, but I too prefer the idea of building something up by choosing the best shots and sound to tell the story

  • Hi Gary, it sounds like your version was more entertaining than the intended one

  • Thanks for your compliments on this video - it really is a lot easier that it looks. If you give the animation a go let us know and upload it

  • Hi Dana, youre right a good script really helps especially if you are using drama. Sometimes I find I have a good script but in the process of production I might have to change it and be flexible - to respond to what happens when I film and edit, and what feels right

  • Is that the phrase 'keep it simple?'

  • Hi Emmanuel, here is a video made by a child with the support of a filmmaker that you might be interested in

  • Hi Pranali, these are two of the key audiences for organisational videos - sometimes people think they need to produce something for 'the public' but it is so important to really break that down and understand who are your priority audience

  • Tot Foster replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Hi Divya, Yes, research shows that many people prefer to learn visually

  • HI Anshu, absolutely! I think visual media can really help with sparking imagination

  • Hi Ross, welcome to the course - I hope you find some ideas here

  • Hi Janet, if you are making a video about visual artists you have a brilliant visual resource in their work of course which you could use in the video, and a great idea to open up their work to a wider audience

  • Hi Angee, that sounds amazing. Good for you!

  • Hi everyone, the options are still very evenly spread. It just goes to show there are so many different ways to make a video and that different people have different preferences when it comes to storytelling.

  • Hi Anjali, I think its a great idea to keep putting yourself in the position of the audience even as you move into being a producer of content. You have such a good understanding of how video affects us as audience members

  • Hi Nina, I love your word 'imagination'. I think you're so right. What often works for me is to seek out other peoples work and focus in on videos I think work well and then borrow ideas from them - theres more about that next week.

  • Hi Nathalie, for sure editing is the most difficult part of the process. I think its important to start small and take filmmaking step by step - because filming is perhaps easier sometimes you can be over ambitious when it comes to giving yourself an editing task by making the filming complicated

  • Hi Aasif, yes I think you're right about video skills becoming more and more important. I hope you enjoy the course

  • Hi Ravi and welcome to the course

  • Hi Neha Yadav I hope you find the course interesting

  • Hi Ajay and welcome to the course

  • Hi Nina, you're in the right place for video production on limited resources. So many organisations are in your position where they need to find ways of making their own content creatively because hiring people in is not an option with their limited resources. I hope you enjoy the course

  • Hi Anna Maria, editing is the focus of week four - I hope you enjoy the course

  • Hi Nathalie, Welcome to the course - you are so far away from where I am based in the UK its great that we can all share our experiences. In my research on charity communications I found that many charities very much want to make videos as they know they might be necessary to compete/communicate/facilitate work with beneficiaries/increase reach but many people...

  • Hi Vikas, I hope you enjoy the course and develop your channel further

  • Hi Meenakshi and welcome to the course

  • Hi Jai Chan, that's a great start. I hope you can learn some new techniques in this course

  • Hi Anjali and welcome

  • Hi Rupam, hopefully this course will offer you some creative ideas. I hope you enjoy it

  • Hi Vikas, Welcome to the course and we hope you learn new skills

  • Hi and welcome to the course

  • Tot Foster replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Hi Divya, We hope you enjoy the course - there are several simple techniques for using simple materials in week 3

  • Hi everyone, we are grateful for any feedback on the course so let us know your thoughts! I hope you enjoyed it and learned something new

  • Hi everyone, Heidi has taken the trouble to share some very good advice which adds to the course content. YouTube has a scheme for nonprofits if you register for a nonprofit channel - if you are a large organisation you can even use some facilities run by YouTube. They provide lots of advice on how to make your channel searchable - one of the things they...

  • HI Heidi, you're so right. Premiere is at the more complicated end of the editing software spectrum but it can do so much and I know plenty of people who love it - but throwing deadlines into the mix is a recipe for stress when youve got it all to learn

  • Dear Luana, thanks for the suggestion, I'll look it up

  • Great, you may want to adapt it for your own specific needs

  • Hi Becky, I think simplicity always works well because if you restrict your stylistic options your video will actually become more stylistically distinctive - a classic example of less is more perhaps

  • Hi Sandhya, yes confidence is a big issue for many people. I think that's one reason why its important to develop your skills step by step and not be too ambitious to begin with - start small and take it slowly - I'm sure you'll get there