Last fall was the first year George Mason University participated in the EIM-OC Mascot Challenge. I learned some valuable lessons on how to create this type of video, as well as what to improve upon in the future. My advice can be summed in two words: plan ahead. Here are a few tips to help your EIM-OC team plan ahead for your video submission.
- Reserve mascot and president/provost time in advance. I discovered that there are protocols to be followed at my university when reserving time with our mascot and finding an individual/team to provide quality filming. This was even more challenging during a COVID-19 semester when much of the staff was not working on campus. Reserving time with the president or provost also needs to be planned well in advance to get the time on their calendar.
- Create a story board. We had scenes planned and ready to be shot during our reserved time with the mascot. Preparing scenes ahead made filming days go much smoother.
- Identify additional participants. Decide who will be in your video and if these individuals need to sign photo releases. This includes “celebrities” and students. I worked with some of my Kinesiology classes and got an agreement to film their class. However, we needed to make a better plan for which students would be filmed and having them sign consent forms. In the future we need more participation from students, on a larger scale, which also takes more time to plan.
- Back up any and all videos as soon as you film a scene! Or use multiple cameras, especially if not using professional equipment or videographers. Sadly, the camera we used to film had a corrupted SD card. A four-hour day of shooting was lost and had to be redone.
- Plan how to promote your video. Once your video is ready and submitted, there is another task that requires forethought. How will you share and promote your video with your campus and beyond? This helps greatly in competing for the Fan Favorite award. Reach out to your university’s marketing team to create a social media plan. I only had access to only a few social media accounts to bring awareness to our video. To reach a larger community and get the votes needed, you will likely need the support of other departments on campus. You can always post it to your classes’ course pages for them to view and like as an assignment or extra credit!
So, what are you waiting for? Start planning now. Good luck!