From July 18 to 27, 2022, 31 young Europeans gathered in Pau for the "Video for a change" project to learn how to make videos with a positive social impact. With no experience for the most part, they made 3 videos for local associations after only one week of training.
Project Objectives and Needs:
The objective of the "Video for a change" project was to promote the socio-ecological transition and active citizenship through the tools of audiovisual production. In a world where audiovisual communication has become ubiquitous and hyper accessible, young people in particular need to understand and know its codes in order to be able to look at it critically, but also to be able to use it wisely. During this project, participants came together to share their experiences in media/audiovisual communication, to improve their media literacy and to produce social videos.
Raising awareness of the language of audiovisual communication has opened up new opportunities for both the territory and the young people who inhabit it. By getting involved, the participants have become broadcasters of the ecological transition and active citizenship, while acquiring talents and skills that are often underestimated, but which allow to open new doors in the world of work. It was necessary for them to remedy the damage caused by a lack of digital education to be able to take a new, more critical look at the media. For this reason, the participation of countries with different experiences was essential in order to highlight good and bad practices.
By promoting active citizenship through audiovisual production tools, participants acquired specific content production skills while giving visibility to local initiatives. The benefits of this process were twofold, as it raised awareness of local socio-environmental issues while highlighting the work of the initiatives. It also allowed young people to question the social impact of image and in particular of video while developing technical skills to strengthen their employability, in accordance with the 7th of the 11 European youth objectives that were defined in 2018. Moreover, understanding the codes of audiovisual communication has enabled them to strengthen their critical thinking through new analytical skills. Skills that they have again shared and disseminated at a local level in the partner organizations. In "Video for a change" young people arrived as participants and returned to their home countries as citizen actors for change.
Course of the project :
The first thing the participants had to understand was that you don't need a big team to create audiovisual content. team to create audiovisual content. This idea was developed in the phase before the start of the mobility in Pau, through the presentation video. Before the training started, they had to send a presentation video edited with the free and intuitive Inshot application, which was the first concrete working tool they learned to use. No specific training was given for this: the idea was for them to explore the field and, without naming it yet, to indulge in the mental exercise of the phases of audiovisual creation: pre-production (thinking about the idea) - production (recording it) - post-production (editing the videos). This video had to be no longer than one minute and served as our point of contact.
From this point on, all activities are done in mixed groups, with the intercultural learning that this implies. The progression of skills reinforced/acquired from this point was as follows. First, media literacy, in the most literal sense. Second, for proper handling of the material and good communication among the participants, it was necessary to know the vocabulary that would be used during the mobility, especially with regard to the technical material. The next step was to understand the importance of getting the message across correctly and how to do it. We started with the pictures before the video.
The next step was to move from THE photo to the set of photos, which already create a narrative, i.e. a story. Through different activities, two fundamental skills were learned: the different roles of a film crew and the importance of the distribution of tasks on the one hand, and the elements of the narrative on the other. We continued to work on the types of shots (objective, subjective, short, medium, detail, general, close-up, superimposed, against shot, zenithal) and on the phases of an audiovisual production (pre, pro, post).
The importance of pre-production work, the need for storyboarding and a basic shooting plan were explored in depth, providing participants with time management strategies. In preparation for the day's shooting in Pau, we emphasized the importance of the "six w's" rule, which is so necessary when planning a shoot and which answers the following questions: Who wants this video? Why do we need it? Who do we need it for? What is it about? How can we make it? How will we make it?
When the groups started recording videos for local associations, the skills they had learned so far were put into practice, but this time in the field, which meant proper preparation of the equipment. Then came the editing phase, and here we offered an editing workshop for the less expert in the field, explaining how DaVinci Resolve works (professional editing software, but particularly intuitive and free to download). In addition, teamwork was practiced throughout the mobility, with various materials, in a language other than the mother tongue and with the potential intercultural obstacles that this entails.
Project outcomes and impacts:
The specific outcomes of the project are:
videos created for local associations in Pau during the mobility;
the videos made by the participants once back in their country during the follow-up phase;
a toolkit on good practices in video making that the participants created during the last days of the mobility.
This toolkit has been shared with the participants and the partner associations so that they can disseminate it on their websites and social networks. On the other hand, it was published openly on the SALTO platform to be made available to all European associations.
For the participants, the impact of this project was firstly an improvement of their self-confidence, but also an improvement of their employability thanks to the skills they acquired in the fields of audiovisual production and digital communication. In addition, learning the vocabulary and codes of video production for promotional purposes allowed them to be more aware of the communication tools they are confronted with on a daily basis and thus to better recognize and analyze them with a critical mind.
In addition, the participants had the opportunity to take part in an international and multicultural experience. During the project, all activities were carried out in international groups, promoting cohesion and communication skills among the youth. This also contributed to the development of a more European identity, as specific activities were carried out to talk about the traditions of each country, but also to help refute stereotypes of different nations. The focus was on common values rather than differences for a better impact on interculturality, which will go beyond mobility.
Specifically, participants will benefit from the project in the long term and in a variety of contexts, as they have improved:
their language skills, by improving their level of English and acquiring skills in other European languages;
their ability to work in a team in an intercultural environment
their independence to travel and work at the European and international level;
their self-confidence, as they were able to do much more than they thought they could do;
their skills in audiovisual production;
their network of international partners.