8 video projects to gain experience and get exposure

© Kyle Loftus

While content creators can start out making home tutorials with a green screen background for YouTube, there are many different types video projects where you can develop your skills and gain exposure with a new audience. For content creators or videographers looking to stand out, these alternative projects can open doors to new industries. By learning multiple skills, meeting new people, and even developing tailored video projects – these can turn into a showcase for college applications, a job or even become the foundations of a new business.

Below are just a few alternative video projects to consider:

Creating safety promo videos

You could say that danger is all around us in some shape or form. It’s in our homes, the workplace, and at school. But any good motorcycle accident lawyer will tell you that no place is more dangerous than the roads. Therefore, you could help make promotional safety videos about how to use roads safely. Or you could create instructional tutorials on the correct safety procedures when riding a motorbike. By doing this, you could help decrease the number of lives that are tragically lost on our roads each year. It’s a different type of storytelling, and it requires the videographer to not only look at the message of the video, but also how each shot can convey a message within the context of safety, or a service being provided. These skills alone are useful when developing commercials or advertising for local businesses.

Videos for local tourist attractions

Making a video of a local attraction such as a fair in your town can add value to your portfolio and be used as a pitch for tourist boards and businesses within leisure. If you’re going on a trip, you can involve your friends and family to record videos of their day and add voiceovers to expand the scope of your production. A personalized video tour is another great way to show visitors what an attraction has to offer. You can also involve residents and people working locally, interviewing them and developing a narrative to support the message of your video. This in turn helps you develop a structure while you learn how to gather interview material, get permissions for shooting locally, and what type of release forms you need when involving additional people in your production.

Local news channel videos

Working at a news station is a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the world. Helping reporters create video content that can be used to support coverage on local and world events can be a tremendous learning experience. This involves more complex editing skills and an understanding of local issues. If you are just starting out, you may be able to volunteer as a local journalist and gather videos for broadcast media to grow your portfolio and gain experience. You may also want to explore submitting your videos to channels on breaking news events in your area.

Charity videos and PSAs

Shooting videos for a good cause that you care about and are passionate for can be beneficial in helping you structure important messages that need to be carefully considered. Through editing and narration, among other techniques, you can develop a story that supports the mission of the organization and helps persuade others to support it. For those interested in videography and film directing, these types of videos can be the beginning of a career.

Self-promotional videos for job applications

It can be hard to find a job, and with a competitive job market, it’s important to stand out. A resume is the first thing an employer will see, so why not make it interesting with a video resume? A video resume helps you deliver a more personalized message and demonstrates the skills you’ve learned and the work experience you’ve got. Segments can include:

  • Background qualifications
  • An introduction about yourself
  • Archive footage of previous video projects including editing montages.
  • Additional testimonials from other people
  • Input from previous employers or teachers

Given that people work all over the world, a video resume is a great addition to a paper resume, especially when applying for jobs that are international (but can be done remotely). If you have to travel, you may not be able to have an in-person interview. Or you might be looked at by a company in a different country where a video can prove useful.

Holiday-themed videos or shorts

The Holidays are coming up quickly. But no matter what the time of year it is, there’s always something that can be celebrated. You could have some fun making kid-friendly videos on Santa coming to town or you could make a Valentine’s Day video demonstrating how couples can celebrate with a romantic dinner, or special day out. For something more in-depth, you could make short educational videos about the history and events of less well-known holidays that are important to people of different faiths and cultures. In each context, holiday-themed videos can be developed as commercials, short films or for documentary projects, depending on what inspires you and what type of portfolio you want to build.

Portfolio videos or showcases

Previous work can be demonstrated through portfolio style videos and also reveal a unique set of skills that can be valuable to a specific industry. A well constructed video demo reel can be used as a calling card to secure a job or get freelance work. Your best work and technical skills on display can also help you convince a local business to hire you for a promotional video they want done on their service. It can also strengthen a college application, depending on where you are in your career. Getting a portfolio video right takes time, and you’ll need a mixture of footage if you’re trying to demonstrate a diverse range of production experiences.

Social media videos and ads

Last but not least, social media content is in high demand from agencies and businesses that want to convey messages quickly to different audiences. If you’ve already got a channel, you’re familiar with this, but you can also niche down and test your video skills to build other social media profiles. These skills are especially useful for businesses that are looking for creators to help them set up their own channels to sell a specific product. Getting good at channel setup, creating product videos and understanding messaging for different audiences is very valuable. These skills can be applied across many industries from retail to manufacturing, education and much more. Consider developing your own style, and look to improve how you get your message out there to get audiences to take actions such as buying a product, signing up to a membership and more.

In summary

Each different type of video project has its own merit and will always provide a learning opportunity for those seeking to improve skills. It’s not just the process of shooting videos or editing them, but the communication skills that are gained from working with other people. Gathering video footage from different sources, creating voice overs, getting shooting permissions are also part of the film production process. Understanding the differences in industries, and how storytelling is done in different settings is also key to specialization further down the line if you are looking to work more within a specific industry.

Lastly, video projects can also help you to build a better understanding of what type films or content you want to create in the future, and what you’re passionate about.

Good luck with your next project!

film industry network members