Each video should:

  1. Be visually Interesting and  captivating.
  2. Have clean understandable audio.
  3. Be long enough to let the story be told, but not longer. (Generally speaking, storytelling web videos should be no longer than 2-3 minutes.)
  4. Be free of any copyrighted material unless legal permission is granted and documented.
  5. Follow the visual identity found at https://gammas.org/brand
  6. Open and close with the appropriate GZA Logo, which can be found at https://gammas.org/brand

Online video is popular. It’s persuasive. It’s globally available in multiple platforms. It can convey the Gamma experience — the people and the place — in a way that few other communications vehicles can.

Video production — planning, filming, editing — can be surprisingly time-consuming, even when the video is short. Before embarking on a video project, determine whether video is the most efficient and effective way to send a message or solve a problem. Will photography work just as well? Can written information get the message across faster? Do you have the time, the help, the equipment and the software you need to film, edit and produce a video?

If video is the best medium for your purposes, review these tips to create the best project you can.

Reasons to use video

What you need

Logo Use

GZA’s logo must be present for at least five seconds at the start and finish of all videos, and must appear first and last as bookend images, preceding any institutional sub-brand in the beginning and after any sub-branding at the end. The logo must sit alone on a field of either black, white or silver; this clear, uncluttered format allows the logo to not get lost in background patterns or other competing imagery.

As with print and the web, the logo may not be altered in any way with drop shadows, glows, or other effects. For more on these issues, see the GZA Brand Style Guide: https://gammas.org/brand

Title Treatments and Text

Either of the organization’s two fonts should be used in its video productions.

Social Media

Film/Write short, but smart

Some social media platforms have a video limit; others don’t. But for the most part, we keep our social media videos short.

Twitter: Keep videos posted to 1 to 2 minutes long. Twitter captions: 125 characters or less (this leaves room for a manual retweet and comments)

Facebook: Facebook does not have a time limit, but aim for one to two minutes.

Instagram: Instagram has a 1 minute limit to their videos. Make sure to get all details about your content within the allotted time.

Checking-In: “Check-in” at the venue of your event to help drive traffic to your event, and increase your post’s “reach.” This is also a good way to connect with those that attended your event.

Captions: Write short, simplify your ideas or reduce the amount of information you’re sharing—but not by altering the spelling or punctuation of the words themselves. It’s fine to use the shorter version of some words, like “info” for “information.” But do not use numbers and letters in place of words, like “4” instead of “for” or “u” instead of “you.”

Hashtags

We employ hashtags rarely and deliberately. We may use them to promote an event or connect with users at a conference. Do not use current event or trending hashtags to promote Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity, Inc. There are different rules/ guides for how many to use for each type of social media platform. For example, for Facebook limit to 3, for Twitter limit to no more than 3, etc.

What Makes a Good Video? Some Basics

Story

Above all, the most important element is a good story or central topic. Dazzling graphics and tight production values mean nothing if your central story is not interesting or engaging. Remember that video is a visual medium; whenever possible, show, don’t tell.

Tone

Videos should have a light, conversational feel. Avoid jargon, words or phrases that sound too institutional, or language that doesn’t resonate with your target audience. Candor builds trust – overly scripted interviews feel like infomercials.

Location

Tiny, cramped offices with cinderblock walls or backlit windows are never good places to shoot videos. There are many appealing locations both indoors and outside of campuses that provide much more visually interesting places to shoot an interview.

Preparation

Videos get a huge boost to production value when you prepare for and think through each project ahead of time. Storyboard each shot if you can. Subjects should be dressed appropriately in business casual attire (avoid patterned clothing when at all possible) unless in the field; students should be dressed in clean, casual attire – a “Gamma Letters” shirt or something with a GZA logo, if possible. Ask your subjects, above all, to not wear clothing that advertises other organizations. Lastly, do site visits to places you plan to shoot beforehand to see if the lighting there will work, if there are outlets available, etc.

Composition

High Quality B-roll

B-roll, or supplemental or alternate footage intercut with the main shot in an interview or documentary, is crucial, because it allows you to do more than simply show a talking head. Using b-roll to illustrate a point being made by the interviewee is a basic yet powerful method; don’t overlook it.

Outdoor interview guidelines

Indoor interview guidelines

Editing and sharing

Audio

Reasons to use audio

Sound recording

Music

Permissions

Ideas Needed? Don’t Know Where to Start?

Directors of Public Relations and Marketing are here to help you get a solid start to your video project – consultations when you are still in the pre-production stage are encouraged! We can help you get a grasp on what you’ll need to think about before you even grab your camera, where you can get equipment, and the logistics and time involved in even the most basic video.  If you have questions about any of the above, or need to discuss the use of the GZA brand in your video project, contact us at marketing@gammas.org or public-relations@gammas.org

Right to Use:

Make sure Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity, Inc. holds all rights to the video, including talent, music and pictures. Some material being used in an educational setting may not be copyright free in a marketing setting. Contact the directors of Public Relations and Marketing if you need a model release form or have questions. There are various sources to copyright free music you may find online, or you can seek legal documented permission from an individual artist. Please send a copy of all signed documentation to directors of Public Relations and Marketing digital archivist at marketing@gammas.org and public-relations@gammas.org, and keep the originals for your records.

Further Resources:

Most campuses offer students access to comprehensive educational materials on video production and digital video editing. Lynda.com is a great resource for learning how to operate editing programs and basic cinematography.

Crowd Release Event Registration Confirmation

Please add the following language to all event order confirmations:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fxkSsyctie5VEMDjJb5q_qBmcnRwtdrYFowlGcvHH78

Review & Approval

All video and audio productions must be submitted for review and  approval before publishing.