- Supported Severn School’s strategic goal to produce and distribute in-house video
- Strengthened the school’s brand identity with mission-focused visual storytelling
- Increased the perceived value of the school’s diverse liberal arts education by showcasing the breadth of programs available for current students
When I joined the Severn School communications team, my top priority was to create high-quality written and visual stories on a limited budget. The videos had to be genuine, but also convey the school’s high standards for excellence. The school year moves quickly so striving for perfection simply isn’t an option for a one-person video team. It’s all about striking a balance between authentic and best.
Low Budget, High Quality
With one Nikon D7000 DSLR camera and little else, my challenge was to show the life of the school as it evolves over time in a well-produced but relatable format.
In-house video done right can be honest, engaging, high-quality and affordable. It starts with a great story, supported by the right tools. I leveraged resources already available in the school along with a few inexpensive additions to build a video rig:
- Tripods the art department was no longer using
- A budget-friendly lavalier mic
- An inexpensive two-panel LED lighting set up for interviews
And an ultra-portable setup for capturing events at a moment’s notice:
- Flimic Pro Mobile Video (iPhone)
- Zhiyun Smooth-Q gimbal
After two years working with the tools listed above, the school trusted me to make a larger capital investment for filming. I created an inventory of professional tools that would increase production value, cut down on time and remain portable for a one-woman crew. The upgrades included:
- Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR with 50mm, 24-105mm and 70-200mm Canon lenses
- Manfrotto MVMXPRO500US XPRO Aluminum Video Monopod
- 2 Dracast LED500 Pro Daylight LED panels with light stands
- Rode Videomic Pro
Archive and Promotion
In addition to sharing the videos directly on social media (Vimeo, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter), I embedded them into news articles for publishing on the school website (Blackbaud). I could then share the articles again on social and package them together in monthly round-ups for current families and alumni.
Each video focuses on a different program while giving current and prospective families a look at daily student life. They each speak to the school’s values and sense of community — highlighting the ethos of Severn School while showcasing academic and extracurricular programming.