One of the more creative projects we have had the chance to work on this year has been Boston University’s Donors Open Doors campaign. We want to share some tips and lessons we learned from this project that you can use to make your fundraising campaign great for this upcoming year!

Finding Inspiration

When trying to formulate a fundraising campaign, you can encounter many roadblocks that will leave you scratching your head. The first one that we all run into may be the most difficult to overcome at first, and that is what the heck you want your video to be! Should it be a day in the life? Students reading off a prompter while broll plays over them? Do you get the mascot involved?

None of these are bad ideas, but sometimes you may want something that other organizations or universities aren’t thinking of so your video stands out. A great way to get your brainstorming started is to look at content that caught your attention and ask yourself what about that video or commercial that engaged you and held your attention. It may seem odd at first, but there is nothing wrong with taking a little inspiration from some content that already exists and tailoring it to your fundraising campaign.

This is exactly what got the ball rolling for BU’s Donors Open Doors Campaign. Their team initially came to us with a really interesting shot from a commercial that had caught their eye and left it up to the creative minds at 5 Tool to incorporate that shot into a cohesive video storyboard for the final video.

Thinking Outside of the Box

Man pulling camera as girl walks in to gym locker room
Connor Clougherty moves a camera on a dolly back as a member of the Boston University girls soccer team enters the locker room

One of our favorite parts about being content creators is thinking of more creative ways to achieve our goal when creating a video. There may be some shots that we look at and say ok yes we could slap a camera on a tripod, press record, and figure this out later while editing the video….but where is the fun in that!? We encourage everyone we speak to, try to take your shot to the next level and think how can I make this seemingly simple shot just a bit more interesting so it will really capture the audience’s attention.

While filming on site at BU, we got to roll out a new piece of equipment that would give our shots the fluid movement we needed to match that inspiration shot from the commercial. We utilized a dolly rig for our camera’s tripod that allowed us to freely move our camera along a set of tracks that could push in or pull out while filming to get a really great type of movement you can’t achieve with digital in post production.

Incorporating Still Images in Your Video

Collage of city doors
Doors we captured around Boston University’s campus

You may think that a video has to be, well a video. Moving images that were captured on a video camera. This isn’t necessarily true! Adding still images to your video in a creative way can add a different look and feel to your end product.

On site, we captured hundreds of photos of different doors around BU’s campus in order to bookend our video with different types of montages of doors to establish the video’s theme right away.

In the beginning of the video we used a parallax effect to add some movement to the photos and used a fast paced montage at the end to get to the call to action and wrap the video up.

Podcast: BU Donors Open Doors

Phil, Connor and Kyle sat down to recap this whole project from beginning to end: through calls with the client, shooting on location, and the post production editing process. Watch and listen to the boys as they walk through the process of creating this type of project and tell stories from the shoot on site at Boston University! They share helpful tips and tricks to make your donor campaign as good as it can be and why collaboration is key!