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Participatory Video Workshop. 7 th May 2011, Wageningen, DOCU FILM FEST. Program of the workshop. MORNING Introduction to Participatory Video (PV) PV Workshop Playback and Wrap-up AFTERNOON Meeting the Organisations PV Process EVENING Editing Closing Reflections.

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Participatory Video Workshop

7th May 2011, Wageningen, DOCU FILM FEST

Program of the workshop


Introduction to Participatory Video (PV)

PV Workshop

Playback and Wrap-up


Meeting the Organisations

PV Process



Closing Reflections

Introduction to Participatory Video

  • What is PV?

  • Why use PV?

  • From/to Whom? – Typologies

  • Examples of PV Methods

  • How to facilitate PV?

  • Research options - Ethnovideography

  • Video Examples


  • Coffee break

  • Wrap up – Shooting tips

  • Lunch

  • Welcome back - Editing tips

  • Dinner 

  • Closing reflections

Have an exciting experience!

Have an exciting experience!

What is PV?

  • Or, what is not!

    PV is not making movies - it aims for community empowerment

  • You, as a PV facilitator will not be taking the shots - the participants have full ownership of the process and the product

Why use PV?

  • Creates a safe place

  • Literacy barriers

  • Geographical barriers

  • Exercise democratic right

  • Technology and knowledge transfer

  • Experiential action learning

  • Multi-stakeholder interaction

  • Attracts curiosity

  • Fits oral traditions

  • Low cost for outreach potential

From/to Whom? – Typologies (1)


From Community to researchers/ NGOs/ policy makers

From Marginalized/ isolated groups to wider community

Community to community

Policy makers to community

Multi-stakeholder workshops

From/to Whom? - Typologies (2)


Tool for sharing information and technologies, e.g. for agricultural extension and introduction of new practices


Used from project planning, M&E, consultation of isolated communities, conflict situations, etc.

Examples of PV Methods

The Fogo Process

National Film Board of Canada, 1960’s

Participatory Video Approach

Lunch and Lunch, 2006

Zooming in zooming out

Van Mele, 2006 and 2008

Visual Problem Appraisal

Witteveen and Enserink, 2007

How to facilitate PV?

The facilitator is a person who is substantively neutral, who has no substantive decision-making authority and intervenes to help a group to explore, solve problems and make decisions. Schwarz, 2002


Ethics and challenges


  • Attitudes and behavior

  • Hand over control

  • Be aware of power

  • Ownership

  • Honor commitments

  • Ethics of editing

  • Challenges

Research options


  • Six Navajos made films about anything they want.

Research options

Starting point:

people use motion pictures in a patterned, rather than a random fashion, and the particular patterns used would reflect their culture and their cognition.

Research options


  • The narrative “Style” of the films, related to mythic forms and symbols of the culture.

Research options

  • Analyze

  • The cultural, perceptual, and cognitive taboos influencing semantic or syntactic organization and structure of an utterance.

Research options


  • The syntactic organization and sequencing of events and units of eventing – we shall be dealing with way pieces or units of films were used/edited.

Research options

  • Method

  • Film when you look back with the filmmakers.

Video Examples

Teenagers in Wageningen


Students in Groningen, Netherlands

Small Gestures Big Effects

Participatory 3D Mapping, Ethiopia

Participatory Video with Students

Insights into PV

Example of PV Method

Example of PV Method

  • 10-steps method

    • Sit in circle

    • camera basics, handling precautions, on/off, framing - One teaches the next

    • Again, using the microphone – The name game

    • Watch footage, promoting reflection and comments

    • Introduce the tripod – Let them handle the equipment

    • Help making out what story they want to tell – Storyboard

    • Go, make it! - Let participants experiment

    • Participatory editing

    • Help organise a community screening

    • Reflect on the process and ask for consent for dissemination

Shooting tips

  • Before you start

  • Study the camera manual

  • Know basic camera functions

  • Charge batteries

  • Check memory space / empty tapes

  • Try to get a tripod

Make a plan

  • What do you want to tell / achieve?

  • Who will watch?

  • Where will it be shown?

    • Internet: short (around 3min)

  • Option: make a story board

  • Camera angles

    Bird’s-eye view

    High angle


    Frog perspective

    Low angle

    Point of view

    Canted shot

    Over the shoulder

    Cut away

    Camera movements

    • Panning from left to right

    • Tilting up and down

    • Dolly moving with subject

    • Zooming

  • Slow movements

  • 180 degree rule

  • Composition (1)

    • Rule of thirds

    Composition (2)

    • Empty space in the direction the subject is talking/looking/going


    • Position yourself next to camera

    • Use tripod for interview

    • Ask interviewee to maintain eye contact with you

    • Avoid leading questions

    Location and light

    • Find location that illustrates the story

    • Avoid moving backgrounds

    • Enough light. Preferably outside in natural light

    • Avoid backlight (into the sun)


    • Position of build-in microphone

    • Get close to person for better sound

    • Find quiet place

    • (or film source of noise)

    • Don’t touch the sound cables

    • Use external (clip) microphone to improve sound (if possible)


    • Count till 10

    • Shoot fat: start before action and keep shooting after

    • Diversify your shots: different angles, frames, movements

    • Include objects/environments that illustrate the story


    Meeting the Organisations & PV Process

    Welcome back!

    how was your afternoon?

    Before we start editing…

    A refreshment !


    • Access your Clips and Video effects and Transitions

    • Preview screen

    • Insert and edit clips in the Timeline (video and sound)

    Editing process

    Preview, name and classify clips

    Review storyboard

    Import selected clips to video editing software

    Make rough edit, placing clips in order in the timeline

    Choose tittles and soundtrack

    Refine editing

    Export to movie format

    • Thank you

    • Screening of today’s Videos

    • Monday, 8pm, @ Movie W