How to Make an Award-Winning Video: Style How-To’s and Free Software

Now that you’ve organized your research and ideas, it’s time to make some movie magic. We’ve gathered some useful resources and ideas for creating your video projects.

The websites, software, and smartphone apps included on this page are free and easy to use. There are tutorials and guides linked to this page to help you use these tools effectively and make your video the best it can be!

5 Innovative Filmmaking Styles

Here are some common filmmaking styles you could use to make your video. Even though the content of your video is more important than the production, it might be fun and challenging to use one of these styles to deliver your message.

1. Cut-out animation

This style uses paper cut-outs placed or moving on a white board or background to help deliver your message. You’ll need to draw or print out the images before you start filming, but the actual video is easy to make once you have your cut-outs and narration to go along with it. You can really to get creative with the arrangement and motion of your cut-outs for your film.

Go to the Common Craft website created by the people who pioneered this style of animation for ideas and examples: Common Craft

Keep in mind that there is a cost associated with using the services from the official Common Craft site. The videos and tutorials however are completely free.

For this style, it’s important to have a good set-up for filming. Check out this short tutorial: How to create a common craft style video

2. Stop-motion animation

Also known as stop-frame animation, this technique involves capturing scenes one photograph at a time and gradually moving objects between each shot. When the sequence of still frames is played back rapidly, it creates the illusion of movement. It’s the same way a flipbook works, only instead of drawings on paper changing slightly from page to page, you’re moving objects captured by your camera a little bit from each photograph to the next. You can use almost anything to make a stop-motion film, including people, paper, clay, toys, and whatever is lying around!

This helpful page explains how to shoot a stop-motion film with instructions and videos to go along with it: How to Produce a Stop Motion Video

Here are some more examples of stop-motion animation to give you some ideas: Game OverPost-itsMusic videoToilet paper

3. RSA-style animation

In RSA animation, whiteboard drawings are combined with narration to better explain concepts and ideas. It’s not animation like in cartoons or flip books, the “motion” comes from the audience watching the actual process of drawing happening right before their eyes. One unique way to make an RSA video is to draw your images first and then record yourself erasing it in the opposite order you would like the images to appear. Then run the footage backward and record your narrations.

And here is a student example: The Louisiana Purchase

4. Music Video

Write a song/rap to convey your ideas and messages musically. It might involve a bit more planning and editing but songs can be especially persuasive, engaging your audience in a fun and interesting way that really sticks with them.

If you need background music for your song, check out these links from the Creative Commons: Legal Music For Videos

Here are some great educational music videos:

5. Newscast

Present your ideas and solutions like a true broadcast journalist. Write your script like its breaking news, and deliver the report to a would-be T.V. audience. Be sure to cover the five W’s of the story (who, what, when, where, and why), and dress the part. You could even bring in friends or project partners to be interviewed as witnesses or experts.

Take a look at this student news casting: Mock CNN Student Newscast

3 Easy-to-Use Video Editing Programs

These programs will help you put your video clips, pictures, and narration together to produce a complete work of art.

1. Adobe Spark Video

This is a free online and mobile video editing software that lets you combine video clips and photos with narration and music to create polished and engaging videos. Spark Video is available on the web using any browser, and as an app for the Apple iPhone or iPad. All you need is an email address to start an account, and then you’ll be ready to make sparks fly.

Check out this page for example videos and details on how to use the program: Spark Video

2. Wondershare Filmora

This video editing software is free to download, and guides you through the movie making process step-by-step. It works on Windows and Mac computers, and makes it very easy to share and save your video.

Look through this page and site for advice, tutorials, and links to download the program: Filmora

Here is a simple yet stunning example video using the program: California Video

3. iMovie

iMovie is a simple and easy video production program available on Mac computers, and as an app on iPhones and iPads. It has an intuitive interface and user-friendly menus that let you find what you want and need to produce your video.

These pages give you written instructions: from Apple and from WikiHow

This video tutorial is another way to learn about this program: Full Tutorial for Beginners