Academic Video Production

Graduating your academic videos

  • Dragonfly service
Academic Video Production

Graduating your academic videos

Making an Academic Video that Works

Making an Academic video is a challenge of it’s own with a unique set of problems, and opportunities. As an academic institution you need to showcase the best of your facilities, the reputation of your faculty, show the student experience and somehow capture a sense of the ethos of your organisation without coming across as corporate or too sales driven. It can seem like an impossible challenge to cram all of the things you need into your video but Dragonfly can help you tell all of your stories, and suggest ways to keep the content engaging and your message clear! We’ve had a lot of experience in the academic sector and some of our happiest clients have been universities like Imperial College and Royal Holloway, so why not find out what we can do for you?

Talking heads videos

Talking heads have been used for a long time to promote academic institutions, and with good reason – they’re often the best way to showcase a leading member of faculty, capture the dean discussing the proud history of the university or have a course leader explain directly to the audience what to expect from their degree. They can be simple, and effective – if they’re done well.

More often than not though talking heads videos are badly shot in boring locations and the participants haven’t been properly prepared to face the camera, leading to some very underwhelming footage. Dragonfly knows how to make a talking heads video look great by getting the best shots in good light, with an interesting backdrop. We’ve also got a broadcasting and interviewing history so we’re experts at getting the most out of anyone on camera and creating talking heads videos that wont have you nodding off! For more information about what we can do, have a look at our talking heads page.

Stephanie Irwin – Head of Marketing Communications for Royal Holloway.

“Dragonfly are such a fantastic group of people to work with. As well as being hugely creative and professional, producing work of excellent quality, we quickly felt we could trust them to achieve what we wanted. They genuinely connected with our what our institution is about and their enthusiasm for what we do comes through in spades in the beautiful films they produced for us; by the end of the process they felt like extended members of our own team! We’ll definitely be working with them again and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services. ”

A different kind of academic video

Sometimes showing someone talking to the camera just isn’t enough – times are changing and a lot of audiences want to see something that’s more visual and engaging, more cinematic. It can be hard to see as a traditional institution but well edited and high quality video can be used to give your organisation a modern, attractive and sophisticated look. If you’re offering any sort of technology driven prospectus or conducting research then you need to align your marketing with the cutting edge approach you take with your work!

Dragonfly can help you out there – we’re a forward thinking production company with a creative flair for promotional videos, which means we can add that commercial grade shine to your academic video and create an asset that you’ll be able to use again and again, across all of your channels.


Imperial College Business School

This series of animated videos is intended to give prospective students a flavour of the different programs of study on offer at Imperial College Business School.

We have worked with Dragonfly on several large video projects, including videos to demonstrate the pioneering research undertaken at Imperial College. Dragonfly have always worked extremely hard to get the projects completed within our tight deadlines, and we have always been very impressed with their creativity.”


The video production process


Our Approach

Plan. Plan. Plan. We’re firm believers that the pre-production process is the most critical stage in achieving video content that not only looks great but also delivers the message you need to communicate. A dedicated producer is assigned to each client to ensure consistency, and we work tirelessly to ensure we have a firm grasp of your aims, brand, and target audience(s) before we set the cameras or illustrators in motion. The Dragonfly creative team has a consultative approach from pre-production through to the production and editing stages. We have a responsive attitude to your needs, offering advice in regards to the stylistic concerns, strength of narrative, how to get the message across effectively and best connect with the audience. A strong focus is placed on the script and pre-production planning at the start of the creative process. Storytelling is where it starts and it’s the core of our approach in producing comprehensible, memorable and easy to digest work that can inform as well as entertain. No stone is left unturned during the ‘discovery phase’.


Your USP

We would review these with you and potentially look at checking them with the target audience (this could be achieved through a formal workshop/focus group or more informal straw poll within the existing student base).


The preference for ‘journey’ style video

During past focus groups we have held with prospective higher education students, we have found an overwhelming preference for “journey/experience” style videos. Either through the eyes of a student/students or in a series of scenarios with a voiceover. We would seek to bring the department to life in an intimate way, drawing on St George’s unique strengths and selling points and capturing the ethos of what it’s like not just to study but to live and breathe the University.


Peeling The Onion

By talking to you and your students we would look to capitalise on anecdotal and personal experiences to inform the video series. Time can be built into our production process for this purpose – with trained journalists as part of our team we know exactly how to get ‘under the skin’ of an institution and ensure a personal, compelling final cut.


Competition: being a cut above the rest

There are plenty of dull videos on Youtube from higher education establishments looking to attract students. ‘Talking heads’-style video (in which a course leader or student talks to camera) can be used in part but we need to ensure that viewers’ attention never lapses. Upbeat soundtracks, slick visual effects and punchy kinetic typography (on screen wording) are a key part of our filmmaking arsenal.


Where does it get me?

Ultimately, it’s not just about the course and experience but where it will take each prospective student subsequently. We need to ensure there is a thread of future ambition running throughout the films – alumni case studies, first-hand thoughts of current students could be used to provide a narrative on job prospects and postgraduate success.

A different kind of academic video

We produced these videos with students studying at Royal Holloway University

What our clients say