Video Tips for Success


Videos will be judged by the following six criteria:

  • Overall Impact (educational, inspiring, persuasive)
  • Creativity
  • Memorable Content and Delivery
  • Clear Message about how AmeriCorps gets things done
  • Alignment with Mission and Goals of AmeriCorps
  • Public rating during the submission period


As you conceive your piece, think about the following:

  • How does AmeriCorps help America tackle some of its biggest challenges and meet educational, environmental, public safety and other human needs?
  • How can you show the difference AmeriCorps makes in your community?
  • What impacts or results has AmeriCorps members' service had on the community?
  • What impact does the AmeriCorps experience have on members?
  • How does AmeriCorps have a transforming impact on one person's life?
  • Why should someone join AmeriCorps?
  • If you had to illustrate AmeriCorps' impact in one word or idea, what would it be?

Shooting and Editing

  • Watch and learn. Observe how the pros shoot a scene. It's often simple – strong lighting, clear audio, and simple cuts between scenes.
  • When shooting outside, note that there will be noises that may not go with what you are filming (car noises, people talking, etc.) Finding a quiet place to film outdoors makes a difference.
  • When recording audio outdoors, make sure your mic has a windscreen on it. Nothing hurts more than watching your video after you’ve shot it, and the wind overpowers all of your dialogue.
  • Save money at the Hardware Store. You can do a lot with affordable shop lights, PVC pipe, a bubble level, double-sided tape and wood clamps for about half the price of what they would cost you from a video specialist.
  • Shade Your Lens. Sunlight shining directly on to the front of your lens will deteriorate your image. You can use your hand to block out the sun in a pinch.
  • Spend time on editing once you've got your rough. Try different sequences, and don't be afraid to experiment.
  • Here's a website resource that could add invaluable insight into the film industry:
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