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Produce great video for schools – How to schedule your shoot day

By May 5, 2016March 23rd, 2020Education Sector

Video for Schools – What we shoot and how we structure it

Every brief we get from a school wanting a promotional video made is slightly different – the messages they want to communicate will vary, and they may have their own ideas about the style and tone of the video. That being said, the goal of every school is the same: to provide a quality, varied education for pupils that feel happy and safe.

Therefore, the key messages will often be a variation on these:

“Pupils excel academically”

“There are plenty of extra-curricular activities on offer”

“Pupils are happy here and have a great relationship with staff”

As this is usually the kind of brief that we get, we’ve learned what the best shots to facilitate these messages are, and how and where to shoot them. As a result, we’ve developed an efficient way of structuring the shoot requirements around the school day to maximise our time and make the best film possible. Below is a rough guide to how we would plan our day around the timetable when producing video for schools.

Before School 07:00 – 09:00

You can use this time to get in and set up your equipment before the school becomes too busy. It’s always helpful to have an empty room we can use as our base for the day, as not all your equipment may be needed for the whole shoot.

If the video is going to be interview-led, consider scheduling your interviews for this time so you don’t have to ask teachers and students to interrupt their lessons. Any interviews that can’t be completed in this time can be pushed back to after school.

Morning Lessons

The key to school promotional video production is to only stay in one location for a few minutes in order to get the shots you need before moving on, so we recommend that you dip in and out of as many different classes as possible. A good rule of thumb we’ve come to adopt is to assume that you’ll only have 3-4 seconds of great footage from one class/location. This way you can tot up the total for a 2 minute film and you’ll will know if you have enough to cut a great promotional video.

Morning Break

You may want to shoot some of the students on their break time outside if it’s a nice day. Smiling students outside in the sun is the perfect way to show that the pupils are happy, and may be an opportunity to show off the exterior of the building if it’s particularly pretty.

More Morning Lessons

You may want to shoot an even mix of academic and practical lessons, as you can only get so much excitement from a maths lesson. P.E, drama and dance lessons convey a sense of dynamism and vibrancy that shows off the school’s diverse subject range.


It could be a good idea to go to the canteen during lunch times to get some footage of students eating – this gives you the option to show the pupils in a casual setting and shows off the community atmosphere as well as the meals the school provides.

Afternoon Lessons

At this point you can review the footage to determine if there’s anything you’re missing – whether that’s something in particular from the brief or just a type of lesson or activity you haven’t visited yet.

After School 15:00 – 17:00

Most people assume that the school day just ends at half past three every day, but when many schools have a promotional video made, they want to emphasise the number of after school clubs they have available. This will also allow you to capture a greater variety of activities than the normal school curriculum allows for.

Don’t forget that this is a great time to finish off any interviews you have to complete as well. Due to it being the end of the school day you may have fewer time restrictions.

Of course, this is only a rough guide for shooting video for schools and is almost always subject to change on the day, as shooting on a school day is always somewhat unpredictable!

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fortyfoursixteen films

fortyfoursixteen films has over 15 years experience producing high quality video content for leading brands and organisations throughout the UK. Headed up by lead producer Neil Waddington we aim to create innovative, inspiring and engaging video for a wide variety of digital delivery platforms.