VIDEO STARS: Six videos to give inspiration and ideas for your video content


ONE: South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s post flood video

Torrential rain saw flooding across South Yorkshire with 2,500 calls to the control room across five days. Fire crew were pushed to the limit with 300 people rescued from flooded properties.

Several weeks after the incident was scaled down South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue used footage shot by crews along with photographs to put together a 1’55” video that captured the response.

You can see it here:

The purpose of the video was to inform people what the service did in a time of crisis. The feedback was positive with more than 160 engagements.

Why is this good? Rather than sitting on their laurels South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue had a positive story to tell and did so using existing footage and images. The video also works without sound with text to tell the story. It’s something approaching gold standard film making. 

TWO: Havant Borough Council’s leaf blower slow motion video

On Twitter, there is an #ourday initiative where councils are encouraged to post day-to-day tasks. It’s an opportunity during the course of 24-hours to show the unglamorous jobs that rarely get the spotlight.

Why is this good? It takes a task that is uncelebrated but quite visual and captures it with video. There’s a range of slow motion apps that are available on android or ios. This is an imaginative way to capture visual content.

THREE: Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue’s explanation of what an on call firefighter does and what a turn-out time is

An on-call firefighter is someone from the community who is trained and is on call for maybe 60 hours a week. Once they get an alarm through a pager they must drop everything and head to the fire station.

Nottinghamshire fire and rescue used this video to explain a little about what this involved. Firstly, there was a piece to camera with an on-call fire fighter. Then the film knits together CCTV footage from the on-call firefighter’s home and then the station to show the response.

Why is this good? Aside from a short introduction voiced by the firefighter the clip uses CCTV footage that probably would have been shot anyway. There was no expensive film crews used and the editing was straight forward. It’s a dynamic film that shows some action and when posted to a station Facebook page was accompanied with a chance to ask questions. This is really good community engagement.

FOUR: Stoke on Trent City Council’s exhibition behind the scenes tour video

While other examples in this post need a bit of prep and editing this one is great because it doesn’t.

The Frontline Arts festival was a disability arts festival with a strong pitch towards discovery and kids.

One piece – The Spine – that went on display people were encouraged to walk through so a video shot showing what you see when you walk through is visual and engaging. Posted to Instagram it aims at younger people who are likely to be using the platform.

Why is this good? Something visual and easy to edit. The content is eyecatching and flags up an event which is promoted in the accompanying text.

FIVE: Basingstoke and Dean Council’s video of Keith who works in cemeteries

Sometimes less glamorous subjects need to be communicated.

So, Keith who started off as a grave digger and now runs the council’s cemeteries features in this video where he explains how in the past babies were buried in unmarked graves. Now, they have created a memorial which can act as a focal point for reflection and remembrance.

Why is this post good? It’s a basic piece of story telling shot and edited on a smartphone with subtitles and cutaways. It could be more polished but Keith tells the basic story and the supporting footage supports what he has to say. 

SIX: World Economic Forum’s video on why cycling is good for the environment

Take inspiration where you can find it.

This video from the World Economic Forum seeks to explain the economic benefits of cycling. It uses what looks like lots of stock footage of cycling to support the story which is being told by the text on the screen.


Why is this good? There’s something tremendous about seeing a potentially dry topic come alive. The footage here holds your interest while the words supply the argument. Interestingly, the text is in very plain English.  

Full disclosure: I’ve carried out work for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, Basingstoke and Dean Council and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue.


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