Video-making for Social Researchers


Three day, Foundation level. London. Price for SRA members: £607.50

*Price for 3 days (includes lunches and refreshments), £810; SRA members receive a 25% discount, paying £607.50*

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This 3-day course provides an accessible introduction to digital filmmaking, designed specifically for social researchers who are interested in using video within their research projects and want a fast way to acquire the skills necessary to do this.

The course will give participants a solid foundation of practical knowledge: a working understanding of digital cameras, sound recording, interview techniques, filming on location and industry language. The course is hands-on from the start of day one, with practical exercises and collective ‘view-and-crit’ of what is shot by participants.

The third day of the course will be dedicated to video editing, with a special emphasis on analytical processing of unorganized video material. We cover both how to use the editing software - from importing, marking, logging and editing, to adding soundtracks and effects - and workflow techniques.

The course is designed to engage attendees through a balanced hands-on and theoretical approach. Participants will be working in small groups, interviewing each other and learning from their mistakes. Basic understanding of technology, techniques and strategies (from filming to editing) will be combined with a theoretical framework based on 30+ years’ experience on participatory video (PV) projects and documentary film practice.

All necessary equipment will be provided.

Duration:  3 days (2 day video production + 1 day video editing)

Level:  Foundation level

Maximum number of attendees:  14

Learning outcomes

At the end of our training course participants will have a sound foundation in the filmmaking process from start to end, and will be able to use video as part of their research. Specifically, participants will be able to:

  • ● Produce video to document, analyse and organise research data
  • ● Produce short to long video projects to share research outcomes
  • ● Discern among available options the best technology for their needs
  • ● Use virtually all types of digital cameras and have aesthetic control over the film process (manual settings vs automatic settings; implications of filming in “auto”)
  • ● Framing: industry conventions and types of shots
  • ● Use microphones to get radio-quality recording of interviews
  • ● Conduct and shoot a video interview
  • ● Shoot on location and shoot action
  • ● Film to edit
  • ● Use editing workflows that allow organization of footage and integration with available archive material
  • ● Involve research participants and co-workers in editorial decisions
  • ● Understand legal issues, permissions and copyrights
  • ● Light: principles and tips on the use of available natural light or artificial light (3-point lighting)


Day 1

  • ● Choosing the right technology: cameras, microphones etc.
  • ● Camera Settings
  • ● Sound recording
  • ● Video interview techniques (framing, mics, best practices)
  • ● Video interview exercise

Day 2

  • ● Shooting to edit
  • ● Shooting action and live events
  • ● Grip tools: tripods, monopods etc.
  • ● Framing and camera movements,
  • ● Lighting: natural and artificial light (3-point lighting)
  • ● Exercise: location shoot and action

Day 3

  • ● Editing software: options
  • ● Introduction to Adobe Premiere Pro
  • ● Edit workflows and collective editorial approach
  • ● Privacy and copyright issues

Who will benefit 

The course is addressed to social researchers at any stage of their career who want to include video in their projects.  The course is suitable for complete beginners and people with basic video skills.

Course tutors

The course is led by Mark Saunders, an award-winning independent filmmaker, media activist and writer. His expertise in the field spans over three decades.

Mark's films have been broadcast internationally and exhibited at galleries, including Tate Britain, the National Film Theatre, the Institute of Contemporary Art. He founded the groundbreaking community access media co-operative Despite TV in 1982 and Spectacle Productions in 1990.

Mark has also been teaching for over 20 years, and has been a visiting lecturer at a number of institutions, including University College London, Cambridge University, Royal College of Art, London College of Communications, Bournemouth University, Florence University.

He is currently Associate Lecturer in film at Birkbeck College.

Michele de Laurentiis is an anthropologist and filmmaker. He carried out long term ethnographic research in Italy (prisons, migration, health care) and Bolivia (rituals, indigenous politics, mining conflicts). His PhD research was focused on ritual fights, political engagement and conflict among Aymara and Quechua speakers in Potosí department (Bolivia). He is currently a doctoral researcher on Participatory Filmmaking at Roehampton University and he is developing participatory documentary projects about extractive conflicts and indigenous groups in Latin America.

mrs cpd logo This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme

Price for SRA members: £607.50. Use the discount code emailed to you.

VAT is not charged for SRA courses.

If you are unsure of your code, or haven't received one, please contact us.

Want to book 2+ people at the same time? We need to adjust the system to allow this, so email admin[at]the-sra[dot]

Registration on the day is from 9.00 - 9.30 am.


Cancellation policy: Full refund if cancelled 21 days or more from the course date.  No refund if cancelled 20 days or fewer from the course date.

Registrations for this course will not be accepted after 9 July 2019 at 12 noon.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.