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The Open University

Low-Budget Video Production: Visual Communication for Small Charities

The Open University via FutureLearn


Learn how to produce your own low-budget video to convey your charity’s message

Small charities understand that to compete in a tough economic climate they should engage with digital media and video content. But a lack of staff, time, knowledge and resources can get in the way.

This practical video production course is designed to bridge that gap and help small charities develop the skills they need for successful video production.

Understand the strength of video in telling powerful human stories

You’ll gain an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of video as a medium of communication, where and how to use it to powerful effect, and how to tie it in with your charity’s overall message and ethos.

As part of the course, you’ll also have access to a well-researched collection of videos made by small charities, inspirational examples of the type of visual storytelling you could be able to achieve.

Learn the production skills you need to communicate your work and impact

You’ll get to grips with creative thinking and visual storytelling, and work through the editorial decisions that can make your video stand out and deliver its message effectively.

You’ll also master how to make a low-budget production using the technology you have readily available such as smartphones. You’ll develop practical skills to plan and structure a low-budget video production, shoot video in several different visual styles, and tackle a basic edit.

Gain in-depth insight into video production from experts at The Open University

You’ll be guided throughout by Tot Foster, who has just completed research to develop training and support in video production for small charities that takes into account their specific circumstances, together with Senior Lecturer in Design, Dr Theodore Zamenopoulos.

This course is suited to anyone planning to produce videos who works within the small charity sector such as charity staff, volunteers and service users.

It is also useful to those with existing production and video marketing experience who would like to work within the sector, or those from larger charities interested in a fresh approach to using video as a visual storytelling tool.


  • Anyone can video
    • Setting the scene
    • The strengths and limitations of video as a medium
    • Identifying purpose, message and audience
  • Planning a successful production
    • Making production decisions
    • Identifying your resources
    • Developing a creative vision
    • Reaching a shared vision for your video
  • Filming techniques
    • Putting your plan into action
    • Interviews
    • Other useful shooting techniques – selfies and live action
    • Content gathering techniques you can use at home
  • Making your video count
    • Editing basics
    • Unlocking the creative puzzle of editing
    • Reaching your audience
    • Making the most of your new skills

Taught by

Theodore Zamenopoulos


4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 40 ratings

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