How to Make Impactful Explainer Videos

Overview

There is an ongoing surge in popularity on YouTube and other video platforms that don’t just report the news but explain it. 

In this e-Master Class, you will learn how to make impactful explainer videos without compromising public media values. You will look at the best processes for coming up with great ideas, how to write powerful scripts that keep people watching and low-cost but creative techniques to bring your videos to life. 

All these principles will be demonstrated with practical exercises and exploring case studies of award-winning video journalism from the likes of BBC Ideas, Vox, and independent YouTubers. 

Who it's for:

  • Journalists, editors
  • News producers
  • TV, radio and digital producers

Topics Covered:

  • How to find good visual ideas and stories
  • How to script visually
  • How to add personality, humor and suspense to your video to keep people watching.

Skills learnt:

Audience needs: Understand what type of video explainer formats, visuals and topic treatment work well for digital audiences
Digital newsgathering: How to source relevant ideas and topics for explainers
Editorial: Guidelines for scripting and producing explainers
Social media: Understand how to use social media platforms to distribute your video content efficiently
Storytelling: Learn what works best in digital storytelling.

Guest Speaker

Jurjen IJsseldijk from NOS. Jurjen is a senior editor at NOSop, who have been very successful making explainers for a young audience on YouTube. Their channel has over 420k subscribers covering topics news topics like the coronavirus to practical questions like how to rent your first place. 

Practice:

There will be a strong focus on putting the principles of the course into action with short, fun exercises. This not only helps embed learning, but gives you practical ideas and techniques to take away with you from the course.

Programme outline:

Day 1:

  • Welcome and overview of 3 days
  • Break outs and feedback in plenary: what makes a successful explainer?  
  • Part 1: How to come up ideas that are visual, engaging and that will connect with the online audience 
  • Part 2: The art of killer YouTube titles

Day 2:

  • Break outs and feedback: your key learnings from day 1
  • Part 1: Visual writing 
  • Part 2: Crafting the intro that keeps people watching
  • Part 3: Guest speaker TBC

Day 3: 

  • Break outs and feedback: your key learnings from day 2
  • Part 1: How to create must-click thumbnails
  • Part 2: We look at how to add humour, voice, personality, and suspense to make your explainers entertaining as well as informative.
  • Part 3: Visuals. Looking for cost-effective and creative ways to make your video explainers both entertaining and distinctive. 
  • Action points and summary 
  • Assessment

Meet your faculty

Brendan Miller

Freelance film-maker

Brendan Miller is a filmmaker specialising in explainers and films about politics. He has produced films for The New York Times, the BBC and the Financial Times.

He is the author of the Video Ideas email list, designed to give video journalists and nonfiction filmmakers regular ideas and inspiration from different corners of the internet. brendanmiller.co.uk