"Self-Guided Class: Video Production for Scientists" table of contents

  1. Self-Guided Class: Video Production for Scientists
  2. Part 1: What You'll Need
  3. Part 2: Thinking for Video
  4. Part 3: Thinking About Your Own Videos
  5. Part 4: Getting Started with Shooting and Editing Your Own Video
  6. Part 5: Planning the Story For Your Video
  7. Part 6: the Basics of Writing and Reading a Script
  8. Part 7: Developing Your Own Script
  9. Part 8: the Language of Film
  10. Part 9: Planning Your Shoot
  11. Part 10: Lighting, Composition, and Framing
  12. Part 11: Rough Assembly- the First Step in Editing
  13. Part 12: Editing - the Basics
  14. Part 13. Using Sound to Help Convey the Emotions Listed in Your Script
  15. Part 14. Using Other People’s Stuff in Your Video
  16. Part 15: Exercise - Your Own Rough Cut
  17. Part 16: The Final Cut
  18. Part 17: Successfully Uploading Your Video onto YouTube
  19. Part 18: I've made my video - now what?

Hello person! Right here on this page, we’ll be working together through some of the mysteries of science communication. We think (hope) you’ll get a lot out of reading this – but (there’s always a but) may we suggest that you consider taking one of our (cheap) online communication classes, where we plunge yet further into the inky depths of science communication. The big bonus with them is that our classes are very collaborative, which is a huge assist when you’re making your way through this kind of thing. Sign up for our exciting, delighting email list to keep in the loop! Anyway, on with the show.


So, researcher person – you’re interested in learning how to put videos together. Well, have you come to the right place. In these handy-dandy guide, we’ll be walking through how to make short science videos (5 minutes or less) that people will actually want to watch. This guide assumes that you are a total beginner with every part of of video production. Step by step, we’ll be building your video expertise, much like Tony Stark building his Iron Man suit.

This guide assumes that you have read our Audience First module. So, do take a look if you haven’t already. With Audience First, you’ll get a handle on your communication goals as well as on how to reach them. It’s important to think through these kind of things first, as it will really inform how you make videos.

By the time that you work your way through the end of this guide, you’ll have completed your first video short, ready for stage and screen. Our exercises to get you there will take you a little time to complete, with the exact length of time varying a lot from person to person. However, let’s try to give you some idea. As one scenario, if you wanted to complete this video course in one month, doing all of the exercises, it would probably require somewhere between 5-10 hours per week (as a guesstimate). Of course, you are invited to work through whatever part of this material is useful to you at whatever speed you want.

One last thing before we get started. These humble yet powerful instructions were adapted from a course on video production for scientists, co-taught by SciFund Challenge and Elliot Lowndes. Elliot is a debonair wildlife cameraman and you should check out his fabulous other stuff here.

As you boldly make your way through your first video, we’d love to see what you’re coming up with (and to answer any questions that you might have). You can find your humble guide writers here (Jai: jai@scifund.org, Twitter: @jranganathan; Elliot: elliot@mrlowndes.com, Twitter: @Elliot_Lowndes).

"Self-Guided Class: Video Production for Scientists" table of contents

  1. Self-Guided Class: Video Production for Scientists
  2. Part 1: What You'll Need
  3. Part 2: Thinking for Video
  4. Part 3: Thinking About Your Own Videos
  5. Part 4: Getting Started with Shooting and Editing Your Own Video
  6. Part 5: Planning the Story For Your Video
  7. Part 6: the Basics of Writing and Reading a Script
  8. Part 7: Developing Your Own Script
  9. Part 8: the Language of Film
  10. Part 9: Planning Your Shoot
  11. Part 10: Lighting, Composition, and Framing
  12. Part 11: Rough Assembly- the First Step in Editing
  13. Part 12: Editing - the Basics
  14. Part 13. Using Sound to Help Convey the Emotions Listed in Your Script
  15. Part 14. Using Other People’s Stuff in Your Video
  16. Part 15: Exercise - Your Own Rough Cut
  17. Part 16: The Final Cut
  18. Part 17: Successfully Uploading Your Video onto YouTube
  19. Part 18: I've made my video - now what?