Video submission guidelines for SpunOut.ie
Interested in creating videos for SpunOut.ie? This is how you get started.
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just like written articles, videos can focus on different topics and can be a variety of lengths and styles. There are no right or wrong videos and you don’t need to be a professional to put together a video for SpunOut.ie. The below pointers will help you with the basics of putting together your videos.
Who can submit content?
- We accept content from anyone aged 16-25 living in Ireland.
What content is SpunOut looking for?
- We welcome a wide variety of opinions on any topics that interest you and your peers.
- Before you get started, check SpunOut.ie to see whether the topics you plan to write about are already covered. Can you put a different slant on the topic? Do you have a different experience of the topic? If so, we’d love to hear about it from your perspective.
- Check out our article submission guidelines where you will see about other practicalities for submitting content.
Getting started with your video
Before you get started, it is important to put together a plan for your video. You can make a storyboard (which is a sequence of drawings that have dialogue or direction guides on them) or make a list of of the shots that you would like to take. Map out what you want your video to say, and what look and feel you would like for the video. Knowing in advance what you’re looking for will save a lot of time when it comes to the actual filming!
What to consider
There’s a few points to keep in mind while shooting and editing a video in order for it to be able to go up on the SpunOut.ie website:
Landscape: always shoot in landscape format. All computer and display screens are like this, so if a video is shot in portrait there will be a lot of black space on either side of the footage, which can be distracting.
If you accidentally film in portrait instead of landscape, black bars will appear on either side of the video when you upload it to the computer. It’s possible to change these black bars to blurred footage, which is easier on the eye. Each editing software does this differently, so it’s helpful to look up a user guide for the particular software that you’re using.
- For Lightworks, see this post: https://www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=7&id=157984&Itemid=81
- For VSDC Free Video Editor, see this post: http://www.videosoftdev.com/fix-vertical-video
Keep things steady: there’s nothing worse than watching a video and seeing that the images are shaky; use a tripod or put the camera on a solid surface when filming to make sure that the camera doesn’t move.
Ssshhh!: shoot interviews in a quiet place so that no unwanted noise gets onto the audio track. It’s (almost) impossible to remove background noise in post-production.
To B or not to B: everyone always shoots enough A-roll (the interview) but a lot of the time people forget to shoot B-roll. B-roll is the filler shots, eg. if the video being made is about healthy eating, make sure to take lots of shots of people eating food, preparing food, writing shopping lists, etc. Videos that are completely A-roll lose the viewer’s attention quite easily, their eyes need something to keep them interested. A general rule of thumb is 20% A-roll and 80% B-roll; if you’ve filmed a total of five minutes, one minute should be an interview and four minutes should be B-roll.
Shots, shots, shots!: Make sure to get wide, medium and close-up shots.
Did they say yes?: make sure you have permission to shoot at the location you choose. You also need permission from the people who you’re filming; if they’re under 18 you’ll need parental consent. SpunOut.ie have consent form templates you can use. Get the consent form templates from email@example.com before you start shooting. Make sure to send these back with your video as we’ll only be able to post a video which includes interviews if we have the consent forms.
Length: different topics will allow for different length videos, but a general rule of thumb is to keep the final edited video between one minute 30 seconds and 10 minutes. SpunOut staff can advise you on what would be best for your chosen topic.
Editing: a lot of people don’t realise that editing is just as important as doing the filming. Post-production is what makes or breaks a video; during editing you can change the tone of the film, fix issues with audio, add fancy effects, cut out footage that doesn’t work anymore, etc.
- Try keep to 20% A-roll and 80% B-roll if you can
- People like to see new things, so mix up the shots and don't leave one particular shot running for long (usually max is about 10 seconds per shot)
- If you think a certain piece of footage doesn't look great or doesn't suit the tone of the video, then cut it
- Remember that you have no obligation to use all the shots you filmed - it's your video, you can put in or cut out whatever you like!
What about editing software? If you’re an editing pro and have your own software, great! If not, here’s a list of free video editing software available (updated May 2018):
- Lightworks - can be downloaded from here
- DaVinci Resolve - can be downloaded from here
- VSDC Free Video Editor - can be downloaded from here
Subtitles: depending on where you want your video shown, it may require you to put subtitles on it. Subtitles are required for anything published on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) but not required for YouTube. SpunOut.ie would recommend that you create one video file without subtitles and another with subtitles, so that your video can be shared across all platforms.
Voice-overs: if you’d like to add a voice-over into your video it’s important to record it in a quiet room with no interruptions, you don’t want to have background noise or unwanted sounds!
FAQ from contributors
- I’m not that comfortable making videos. Can anyone help? Yes, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with your content
- I’m not sure if the video is ready to be posted on the website. Help! Send your video (even if it in a rough draft) to email@example.com and she can work with you to finish your article
- I’ve never created a video for SpunOut before, can I start now? Yes, we accept content for anyone aged 16-25 in Ireland whether or not you have created content for SpunOut.ie before
- Do you accept content at any time of the year? Yes, you can send through content at any time during the year
- Are there other ways to get involved with SpunOut? Yes, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about other ways you can volunteer
- Does the topic need to be approved by SpunOut first? Nope, you’re free to create a video about whatever topic you want as long as it is in line with our content policy (see the practicalities section here). However, if you'd like to discuss the topic or your storyboard before you get started, email email@example.com to discuss
- Will all articles/videos/podcasts etc. be accepted and posted on SpunOut.ie? We aim to post any content we receive as long as it meets the above criteria and is in line with our editorial policy. We will let you know if there is a reason we cannot post your contribution