Chidi knew that her funders in the USA wanted a video of her youth club. She had a friend working in Nollywood, so knew it wasn’t as simple as sitting down with one of the youth club girls and filming her. Her friend had spent a weekend making a 3-minute-long film!

Where do you start if you want to create a video for a youth club? What steps do you need to take?  

  • Make a plan. At its simplest this means thinking about what message you want the video to have for the viewer, and what action you want them to take to support your youth activity: 
    • How long do you want the film to be (remember – shorter is better!). 
    • Do you want it just to be a girl or youth worker speaking to the camera, or do you want to show the youth project’s wider context – the activities or the neighbourhood, for example – so that people can understand why the girls club is needed and wanted?
    • Who can tell this story? Think about which young women or youth workers could speak clearly, convincingly and confidently in front of the camera. You can only tell someone’s story if they are both happy to tell it, and have the capacity to do so. 
  • Some tools you can use to make a plan are:
    • A storyboard to plan what you want to film in your video. A storyboard is a visual representation of how your video will look shot by shot. It is especially useful for digital storytelling as you can see how your message will be communicated, even before you start filming. Learn more here.
    • A script is a written guide for your video. It’s especially useful for a video with an Original Story because the script shows the dialogue between the characters and the narration. [See example of an annotated script below]
    • A shot list is a document which lists all the shots that need to be captured for a video. It’s useful for conceptualising the video before you start filming and it also helps keep your team organised on the day of shooting. It is also helpful to refer to the shot list when you are editing your video to check which order your shots should be placed in. Learn more here.

Top Tips for Filming Youth Work with a Mobile Phone

It’s amazing that most youth workers (and even girls) now have a powerful filming tool in our pockets! Here are some tips for getting the best shots: 

  1. Make sure the person telling her story faces a light source. This can be a window or lamp if you are filming indoors or sunlight if you are filming outside. Experiment. Learn more here.
  2. Make sure that there is enough space above your subject’s (the girl or youth worker’s) head if you are interviewing her on camera. [See diagram of framing below]
  3. Film B-roll alongside your main video – this means you could show the neighbourhood, your building or something else that relates to the story being told whilst the person is telling it. 
  4. Check that there is no background noise when you are filming so the storyteller can be clearly heard.
  5. Take a pause between your videos before you start speaking. This will make it easier when you are editing the audio later.

Example of an annotated script

Diagram of frontal lighting

Diagram of framing

You might also be interested in 

A guide to delivering Digital youth work | UK Youth (

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