Scope and Purpose of the Project(audio in the video must be the girl’s voice)
This project asks you to create a tightly-edited two-minute video consisting of entirely original
footage and featuring about 150-200 words of narrative content. The purpose of your video is
to make a point about your selected topic, and to do it as a geographer.
You are free to choose the subject matter of you project, but it must relate in a clear and
meaningful way to our course. My advice is to think of as many unique ideas as possible to
include so your video can stand out in a crowd. *Helpful hint: I will be viewing well over 150
student videos. I don’t want to watch ‘the same’ video over and over again… please be original!
A Geographical Perspective*
By this point in the term, I hope you have a sense of how geographers look at the world. The
most important element of geographical research is simply to go outside! Geographers make
sense of the world around them literally by exploring it, making observations, asking questions,
and noticing connections, particularly ones with a spatial emphasis. *Try to notice or discover
the unique qualities of the specific locations you visit, and how these locations do (or do not…)
exist in particular relationships with other locations. There are literally infinite subject matter
possibilities available to you if you are creative.
1. Get excited about creative possibilities for the project! Email if you want to check ideas.
2. Visit locations and collect footage…more than once? Bear in mind you might need to
gather more footage later as you develop your ideas, so keep your vision flexible at first.
3. Now that you have footage, what will your video actually be about? Begin the creative
process of editing your footage and composing text that might fit as suitable narration.
4. Take a step back from your work-in-progress and consider if it is working or not. This is
crucial to the process critique and revision. You might need to rearrange some of your
footage, or rewrite and rerecord your narration, or perhaps even just delete everything
and start from scratch again. I expect a high level final product demonstrating effort
and attention to quality control. This really is the most important step in the process.
5. Perform your final edit of your video and export it to a watchable format (.mp4, .avi,
.mpeg, etc.). Check that the video plays properly. Prepare a final transcription of your
narration and submit this with your video for assessment (submission details to come).
Narrative Transcript /5
Video Editing and Audio Production /10
Overall Content and Impact /10
As you go through the project creation process, check back through this list from time-to-time
to ensure you are observing the guidelines. Use this list as a means to help guide your selfcritique each time to reach a new project milestone or complete a new ‘draft’ of your total
work. Before you submit your final video, double check this list to make sure you meet all points.
final video length must be strictly between 1:30 – 2:00 minutes total
→ failure to observe the above time requirement will result in large loss of marks
all video and audio material must be 100% original/created by you
→ do not take video footage from other sources, and do not add music
→ do not include any still or photographed images
the video editing must include a wide variety of footage
→ edit tightly, making use of frequent cuts among different images
→ don’t just paste two one-minute clips together and call that ‘creative editing’
→ instead, strive to create a stimulating and dynamic presentation
the video must include the natural audio captured by the video footage you collect
the video must also include a second audio track of narration that you write and speak
→ the narration must be performed off-camera; do not film yourself speaking
→ learn your video editor so that you can balance the natural with the spoken audio
→ submit a typed transcript of your narrative with your video
→ the transcript is 100-200 words in length and matches the video words exactly
ensure the final video is highly organized with very, very careful attention to detail
→ make sure your video edits are clean
→ make sure the audio is clear and balanced at all times
→ edit to create a logical sense of beginning, middle, and end to the video
promise that the final project delivers a result that reflects the best of your abilities!
→ do you sincerely like your video from start to finish?!
→ is it something other people would find engaging to watch from start to finish?
→ have you made a point in your video and put your unique creative energy into it?
GEOGRAPHY VIDEO PROJECT
If you do not have experience with or access to a video editor, consider the following options*:
OpenShot – free video editing software; a brief tutorial will be posted on our course page
Filmora 9 – apparently available for $10 for one month if you choose the student plan
iMovie – I’ve not tried this program, so I’m not sure how much you can control audio…
Other possibilities – Viva Video, Movavi, Kinemaster, Video Show, others?
*Note that final videos that are unpleasantly obscured by watermarking may have points deducted.
CHOOSING THE SOFTWARE
Of course tutorials may be found online for all of these options. If you have never tried video
editing before, test out more than one program if possible. Give yourself time to experiment.
Figure out a program you want to try, and quickly determine, before anything else, a) whether
or not you can successfully import footage from your phone into the program, and, b) if you can
then export a project mixdown into a separate video file (.avi, .mp4,. mpeg, etc.) playable on a
common video player. Can you move footage in and out of the program without file problems is
the question here. Email me if you have technical questions at any time with software.
ESSENTIAL EDITING FUNCTIONS
The essential editing functions you will want to be able to perform will include: importing video
clips, splitting and moving clips along the timeline, and being able to import, split, move, and
balance (control the volume of) two separate audio tracks. Most programs should allow you to
‘delink’ the video image content from the audio content, thereby giving you more audio control.
Suggestions for Narrating and Transcribing
Each video must include an ongoing narration. You will add your voice speaking off-camera to
add content to the video. Before recording your narration, compose the text on paper.
Experiment to find the correct length to fit the length of your video edits. Here is a possible
1. Edit the video footage and observe the exact length of narration segments you’ll need.
2. Plan the basic narration content you want to use in each section.
3. Compose a draft of the text for narration.
4. Test recording yourself speaking the narration, noting time constraints.
5. Import the narration track into your editor; make notes on how to readjust timing.
6. Repeat any and all steps until you have a perfect and powerful match of sound and image
7. Save your final transcription of the actual narration spoken in the final version of your
finished video to have ready for submission when the project is due.
AUDIO PRODUCTION TIPS
a primary goal is to record a high-resolution file of yourself speaking your narration
I recommend downloading the free app Voice Record Pro and recording in .wav format
be aware of microphone placement, noise conditions, and volume; make test audio
recordings and listen back and make position and setting adjustments to ensure the
highest possible audio quality
when recording your final narration, prepare the correct microphone settings and
placement, and speak clearly and with emotion appropriate to the tone of your video
do not speak too quickly or too
slowly; aim to create a speaking
style that is easy to understand
use audio editing options in your
video editor to ensure a good
balance between the ambient
environmental sounds found in
your footage and the narration
track you add
do not completely silence the
ambient environmental sounds
from your footage; otherwise, the
video will be very flat and dull
from a sound perspective
Voice Record Pro – one among many free audio recording apps
instead consider how you can utilize interesting environmental sounds creatively and
strategically during the editing process to add stimulation to your final video
at the same time, always control the final volume balance of your natural audio track to
avoid noise that conflicts with the audibility of your narration
make sure audio transitions are smooth; avoiding undesirable clipping by fading audio
a good free stand-alone audio editing option is the program called Audacity
VIDEO PRODUCTION TIPS
test out your phone settings to achieve high-resolution footage; review the image
quality of your footage and do technical testing also to ensure you can transfer this
footage to your computer and edit and export it as well
collect a wide variety
of footage from
multiple locations; try
to have more footage
than you will possibly
avoid ‘shaky camera
syndrome’; this means
avoid walking or moving
the camera around too
much while filming; it
might feel good, but
often looks bad! Editing in OpenShot. Free or budget video editors are easily found today.
instead, exploit the vivid sensory power of video and compose your shots; you’re an
capturing footage of people and of moving objects in the landscape will add much
interest by contributing a dynamic sense of motion
think about how you can create visual contrasts among your variety of images (daylight
footage vs. nighttime footage; busy environments vs. still environments; quiet footage vs.
noisy footage, etc.); this is where creative editing can make a big difference
do not take video footage of text, or video footage of other video footage, or
use photographs, or use clips from the Internet, or do the same theme or use
the same footage as your buddy!
when editing, pay careful attention to the start and end of each video clip to ensure
none of your important footage is accidentally cut out and that no unnecessary timewasting seconds of footage are included, either
group your collected video clips into common categories to help you organize your ideas
before editing; having a provisional road map to start out with might save you time later
FURTHER POINTS OF CONSIDERATION
A CRITICAL TONE
This is an exercise in communication. Since we are here for academic purposes, it is very
important to note that you are expected to produce content that reflects a critical
YOU ARE NOT A TRAVEL GUIDE, YOU ARE NOT AN ADVERTISER
Do not submit a ‘happy’ video like you’d make of your holiday. Do not unnecessarily ‘celebrate’,
but rather, investigate the world critically and questioningly like a journalist would. You are
here to explain, not congratulate.
YOU ARE CREATING A VIDEO ESSAY
In other words, act like a scientist. Whatever subject matter you choose, look at it from
multiple perspectives, identify multiple possibilities for interpretation, and emphasize points
of contradiction and conflict. Investigate impartially, like a researcher would; do not simply
create an ‘advertisement’ for a place. Instead, try to create some sort of argument or
aesthetic to lend meaning and impact to your work.
THE EFFORT IN CRAFT
The effort you put in to this project will greatly impact your grade on it. Try to have a vivid,
visceral, crafted quality to the final product. Videos that have a clear focus of purpose, which
include a wide variety of imagery, which are carefully designed in both sound and visuals, and
which are original in content and creatively edited will be more worthwhile for the viewer.
A PROCESS-BASED PROJECT
As already mentioned, to achieve the level of quality expected of you, you need to approach
this project as a process. Just like a professional writer, you need to continually draft,
critique, edit, and revise your work until something valuable is realized.
DENSITY OF CONTENT
You may be thinking that 1:30 – 2:00 minutes total is too short, and while it can be, part of the
challenge here is to pack your short video with as much meaning and impact as you can. This
project therefore demands much of you in terms of doing more with less.
This means, for example, being articulate and concise; being able to sum up big ideas with fewer
words; distinguishing between what content is essential and what is extraneous; manipulating
aesthetics to aid communication; and a host of other critical skills. In today’s information age,
the ability to curate content and communicate complex ideas quickly is more important than