Katina M. Hester  |  5/1/2009 5:36:00 PM

National 4-H Council, National 4-H Headquarters and University of Arizona 4-H Youth Development invite all 4-H professionals, staff and volunteers to produce their own digital video for frontline educators and volunteers to better implement SET programs. The purpose of this contest is to build a vault of films to show great 4-H facilitation in practice. Learn more at

With the popularity of YouTube, cell phones with video capabilities and fast Internet, people are making their own videos to share with the world more and more. 4-H youth have an opportunity to explore the world of filmmaking and learn the skills needed to make their own movies and explore career opportunities in video and filmmaking.

What is video?

Video is the technology that captures moving images electronically. Those moving images are really just a series of still images that change so fast that it looks like the image is moving.

How does video work?

The details are complicated, but in simple terms the lens of the camera focuses an image onto a sensor, and the sensor converts the image into an electronic signal that is stored on tape, disc, hard drive or memory card.

What's the difference between a video and a film?

Nothing, really -- both basically mean "a movie." All movies used to be made on actual film, and many still are. But a movie shot on video is still "a film." Film as a technology is quite different from video -- although they both do the same thing: capture moving images.

What about sound?

Video cameras usually record sound along with images. Almost all video cameras have microphones, but even though images and sound are usually recorded to the same tape, disc or card, they are two different types of information -- so sometimes it helps to think of them separately. You might record a beautiful visual scene with terrible noise, but you know that you won’t use the sound. Or you might record some beautiful sound with your video camera while the lens cap is on because you just want the sound.

OK, already. I just want to start making movies!

Making a finished movie is a lot more that just turning on your camera and shooting. For starters, to start editing your footage into a finished film you need a computer with editing software. Luckily, all PCs come with Windows Movie Maker, and all Macs come with iMovie.

What does 4-H offer for filmmaking?

If you would like to learn more about filmmaking and are interested in a hands-on camp on filmmaking, check out LOST Camp for seventh- and eighth-graders. This unique camp will feature a Videography track where you will shoot, edit and take home your own movie.

4-H Filmmaking Virtual Studio & Workshop -- This Web site is the online space to find tools and resources about video production and “how to make your own film.” On the home page of the site, you’ll find the main Filmmaking Workshop -- an 11-video “virtual workshop” geared toward youth interested in making Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) films. Although the workshop discusses SET as a primary topic area and delivery mode, the learning modes and principles apply across all topic areas.

Video Workshop -- Host your own local parish video workshop with the 3-2-1 Action! Videography Handbook.

State 4-H also shoots videos on topic areas such as wetlands and educational how-to videos for youth. 4-H members are given the chance to host and participate in these videos. Check out some of the videos 4-H members have helped make: L.O.S.T Promo, Cantaloupe Smoothie Recipe, Solar Oven 1Solar Oven 2 and Build a Bird Feeder.

Careers in Video

Filmmaking and video offer a lot of career opportunities from set design to camera control to film editing. Job possibilities include being a writer, actor, producer, director, multimedia artists, animator, film and video editor and more. The U. S. Department of Labor offers an article outlining the nature of the motion picture and video industries, working conditions, employment trends, occupations, training and advancement, outlook and possible salaries. Read the article here.

If you are interested in writing, acting, producing or directing, you also might be interested in the Theatre Arts 4-H online project and project books.

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