Video Project Collaboration During a Pandemic – Is It Possible?

December 28, 2020

Angelito F. Balboa, Multimedia Technology Teacher at Tsinghua International School 清华附中国际部 in Beijing shares his experience connecting students through a video project collaboration.  

Video Project Collaboration

I was sitting at my desk one morning when I learned that face to face classes would be canceled and that my students would not be allowed to go out of their houses because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that my students in technology classes would not be able to physically do their video projects together. Collaboration was one of most important core values that I imparted on my students and this meant that it would be challenging to achieve this because of the situation.

Then I realized that green screen technology has already been introduced in my technology classes, and my students understood the magic that it can achieve when editing videos. Students knew that a green screen can alter the background of scenes and how characters and objects can be dramatically changed. Then, I came-up with the idea that we could use the same technology even if students were separated from one another by filming individually using a green screen.

Here are the important factors that we considered when planning to film our scenes:

  1. Practice. Practice. Students carefully planned the dialogues for each scene. They needed to rehearse the lines before they actually filmed individually. Some were uncomfortable at first, but they all became used to it eventually.
  2. Lighting matters. The importance of proper lighting was emphasized and how this would affect the quality of their final project, so they were told to film in a well-lit room. They were advised to film in the mid-afternoon when the sun is still bright.
  3. Pause after lines. The actors had to pause for at least 3 seconds after he/she delivered a line so that it would be easier to trim the clips later on.
  4. Phone set-up. The students were reminded to put their phones on Airplane mode so that they would not be interrupted when someone made a call. Students were reminded to keep their phones in landscape mode as well.
  5. Don’t wear green. The students were told not to wear green unless they want a part of their body to be “removed” in the final movie.

After all the scenes were shot, the clips were edited using Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X.

After this experience, I came to understand the power that green screen technology can have for my students. I also realized that people could produce videos with others no matter how geographically separated. At the beginning of the project they could only collaborate by planning the video project or by editing it but now, with green screen, everything can be achieved, including filming people who are not physically together. I am planning to bring this concept to another level by conducting an intercultural video project collaboration where my students will produce video projects with connect with students from other countries to open-up discussion about global issues such as hunger, climate change and my favorite, world peace. Are you up for this idea? Then it’s probably time to reach out and start a video project collaboration.

“ After this experience, I came to understand the power that green screen technology can have for my students…” Angelito F. Balboa, Multimedia Technology Teacher, Tsinghua International School | 清华附中国际部