Video production support

The ever-changing digital world and our target audiences' engagement with video content has increased demand to produce, curate and share top-quality video content.

Why create a video?

Videos are valuable marketing and communications tools which can be used across the University’s online channels, including the website and social media.

Academic departments may want to create a video to promote a course, to showcase graduate profiles or promote an event, etc. Other departments may want to create content to inform students and staff about services, initiatives and policies. Please bear in mind that video production may need to be funded by the department.

What to consider

  • Where will the video be used? Is there really an audience for it?
  • How are you going to promote the video? Have you got a network to help share it or will you need to use University channels?
  • What is your call to action? What do you want your viewers to do after they've watched your video? Book an Open Day? Email someone? Whatever it is, make sure that you give the viewer the tools they need to make that happen. For example, this could be a web address or the Twitter handle for the account promoting an academic's research.
  • Does it feel like Essex? Does the tone and style of your video reflect the University of Essex? Have you considered the tone of voice? It's important that our videos reflect the distinctiveness of the Essex challenger narrative, so think about how you are capturing this in your video. See our video style information.
  • Choose the best approach - University marketing videos can be anything from short cinema commercials to mini documentaries profiling students and staff.
  • Some University marketing videos are targeted towards 17-year old school leavers, while others are geared towards professional alumni. Different audiences will react differently to the same video, so think about who will be watching when writing your brief.
  • Find the right students and staff to participate. Using real students and staff will give your video an authentic feel, instead of giving them scripted lines to recite, come up with good interview questions that will lead your subjects to say what you want in their own words.
  • Which buildings and/or campus locations do you want to show off in your video? When choosing locations, think about when you’ll be shooting, whether there will be people around, and what the sound and light will be like.
  • Filming can be very time-intensive and you may end up recording as much as an hour of footage for each edited minute in the final video, so consider the enormous job ahead for the video editors.

Write a video brief

If you’re thinking of creating a video, you should first complete the video brief form. Preparing a brief helps you think through your plan and is an important first step for any video production. Please send your completed brief to and The team will use your brief to work out which team is best placed to support you in creating your video.

An initial meeting will be organised with the production team, the client requesting the video and relevant marketing staff. A storyboard, script, timeline and cinematography will be discussed to create a completion plan.

Who can create your video

There are various teams at the University which produce video content and by reviewing your brief, the Digital Marketing Officer can pass you onto the right team. These teams are:

Videography Team

The University's videographers work to deliver projects that directly impact student recruitment or contribute to key strategic priorities. Their workload and priorities are managed by CER.

The Media Centre

The Media Centre is perfect for filming events on campus, simple interviews and other studio-based content. This service carries a charge.

Communications Team

The Communications Team concentrates on creating content which connects with the news agenda. The team also supports the development of content which promotes the University's research strengths and highlights business engagement/knowledge transfer.

If you send a video brief to the Digital Marketing Officer that fits this brief, they will direct you to the Communications Office.

User-generated content: an individual's view

Peer-to-peer, user-generated content is highly valued by many of the the University's key audiences and is a core way of ensuring our communications are authentic. CER use user-generated content for a number of campaigns.

If you would like to publish any user-generated content, please contact the Digital Marketing Officer in relation to this. They will be able to give you tips and advise you about your content and channels for publishing.

Externally-produced content

If budget allows (and internal resources is not available), you can work with an external video provider.

The University has a range of preferred external providers who have been used previously and who are familiar with the University's brand guidelines. Information on these providers is available by contacting the Digital Marketing Officer.

Importance of these guidelines

However your video is created, it's important that it follows the guidance on this page and our video style information. By doing this, all the University's video content will be consistent in style, ensuring a seamless experience for our audiences regardless of who produces the videos.

Videos which don't meet our guidelines cannot be uploaded to the University's channels, including the website so please take the time to read them thoroughly. It is much easier to make sure you are doing things in the right way from the start, instead of having to make changes at the end of the process.