When filming an announcement, the most important thing to remember is the piece needs to be simple and to the point. Public service announcement (PSA) videos are a medium used by organizations that wish to inform the public about a societal issue. Announcement video productions are considered successful if they inspire the viewing public to take action.
Before making statements on film about a topic, make sure you're well informed. Any claims need to be backed up by evidence. During the research phase, keep in mind your target audience and what type of information will inspire and/or incite them. Write out a script for the announcement video production based on your research. Storyboarding is a helpful way to plan out shots and how the video will unfold.
The message is the star of a PSA video. Keep effects simple and relevant to the message. Props can be used to help convey what you want the audience to know, but avoid turning to props for shock value only. Extreme scare tactics may turn off the audience and prompt them to tune out.
Over-produced PSAs often don’t have the same impact as more straightforward announcement video productions. Many of the most popular PSA campaigns are filmed with handheld digital cameras. Extreme close-ups are also frequently used to convey the heaviness of the topic.
Before filming, eliminate background noise. A boom and professional mic is preferred over the built-in mic on your camera. If you do choose to use the camera’s mic, the subjects in the announcement video production should stand close to the camera and speak in a slightly louder voice. Experiment with lighting and consider a key light placed next to the camera if lighting is inadequate.
Keep in mind PSAs must abide by certain regulations before airing. For instance, if the PSA is being produced for a government agency, close captioning must be provided. Television stations are also likely to ask for proof of the organization’s tax-exempt status. Alternative distribution methods, like YouTube will have less stringent guidelines.
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