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Training videos

Martin Johnson - Thursday, April 17, 2014

Over the past few months I've been working with a church based organisation to produce training material for volunteer teachers who teach what we call 'Special Religious Education' (SRE) in our state school system. For those reading this outside Australia, this will sound highly unusual, but under our system of government, churches are allowed to deliver SRE to primary and secondary school students in our public school system.

The organisation who commissioned me to produce the training videos wanted the teachers who deliver this material to be properly trained. 

There were four, thirty minute DVDs produced which were based on an already existing printed training manual divided into four modules.

The training is normally delivered face-to-face in a one-day seminar with role plays, practical examples of 'how to teach' etc.

This material had to be adapted for delivery via DVD and so it wasn't just a case of filming at the live training at one of their seminars.

Making it work in a new medium

Adapting content designed for face-to-face delivery into a video format often requires a radical rethink. In this case the writers of the course created specific scenes for video that would help them communicate material normally delivered in a classroom type setting. These included:

  • An SRE TV News service complete with two newsreaders and 'live crosses'.
  • A judge character who 'laid down the law'
  • Two slightly zany teachers who emphasised key points over a regular cup-of-coffee in the playground.

There was also lots of overlay material of SRE classes plus interviews with students, teachers and their parents about the value of the SRE course.

We shot for three days, with half a day in the studio for the pretend SRE News segments, a day inside a classroom where we shot skits and other related footage and a day shooting hostings and recording voice overs.

The SRE TV Newscasts were shot against a chromakey background and I bought a loop of newsroom background video which worked well.

Client comments

Nothing makes a freelance video producer happier than to have a client tell them what a great job they did. You can read those comments here.  I'm not sure how much of a difference they'll make for future projects, but its nice to have people say they like your work.

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