University Marketing & Communications

December 3, 2015

Video production for the rest of us

Hannah Gilman

Somewhere along the lines, word nerds turned into writers and graphic designers. And photographers. And social media experts. And video producers. Often times, we operate as one-(wo)man creators, expected to churn out all sorts of content in a variety of media.

The problem? We were English majors, or trained as journalists. This isn’t so much a problem, though, as it is an opportunity for growth. Which is how I decided to approach the ever-daunting idea of producing my very own video — with exactly zero experience.

I did it all, from storyboarding (really, really bad thumbnails, mind you) to shooting (with a camera I’d never touched before!) to editing (on a way outdated, way foreign program) and had a novice, but not totally unimpressive finished piece in less than a week. And you know what? I no longer feel daunted. I feel undaunted! And you should too.

Check out the 12.3.15 Word Nerds meeting slides, where I walked through

  • the importance of having a clear objective for a video
  • how to nail down a narrative
  • all the reasons why storyboarding and pre-production are paramount
  • and how to shoot, record, and edit the whole thing together

Don’t forget to push play on my final finished piece — a 60(ish)-second story of Seth, a Seattle-based graphic designer whose passion for the art was sparked by his dad, a touring musician.

If I can do it, so can you! Happy Hollywood-ing!

Pssst: Don’t forget — the Internet is your best friend! There are tons of tutorials and classes you can take online through resources like, or even YouTube. Campus is a great resource, too — take a look at UW IT’s Learning Technologies courses, or rent equipment from various units.