So, You Want To Make An Explainer Video?

Explainer videos are great at illustrating complicated policy issues, sometimes. Over the past two years we have learned several tips for making videos that delight and inform our audiences. It starts with deciding if a video is right for you. Let this handy guide show you the way:

Check out a few examples of successfully videos below and read tips from your StateImpact colleagues.

StateImpact Ohio’s, “A Video Guide to Ohio’s New Way of Evaluating Teachers

Tips from Molly Bloom:

  • The whole process of polishing a script made it a lot better. Realize you’re writing for a different medium and make good use of that.
  • The length was a bit too long, people started to get distracted around the two-minute mark.
  • Showing it to lots of people and seeing what people didn’t understand was really helpful.

StateImpact Florida’s, “A Parent’s Guide To How The New Common Core Tests Are Different From FCAT

Tips from John O’Connor:

  • We directed the video toward a specific group, so we knew who we were talking to and we worked hard to address it to that audience.
  • Don’t try to make videos out of things that don’t work as video.
  • Have someone involved in the project who has done this before to advise the project.

StateImpact Oklahoma’s, “How Disposal Wells Might Cause Earthquakes”

Tips from Joe Wertz:

  • Simple stuff works the best.
  • It takes a lot of writing to making something complicated easy to understand.
  • Think ahead of time about what exactly the compelling thing is that you can explain and can’t show and what you can show but can’t explain.

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