In a nutshell
We teamed up with the University of Bath to create a short series of vlog style films. The vlogs follow nine students during their first year at the University. Aimed at young people thinking about their next steps, the vlogs provide an insight into uni life. We followed first year students Hayley, Callie, Jessica, Jhon, Jess, Esther, Toni, Jonathan and Coran. The films are on their personal You Tube accounts.
The vlog filming is part of the University’s widening participation agenda, to encourage young people who may not think of university being for them, to consider applying. The barriers to HE can vary, from socio-economic background, ethnicity or having no family history of attending university. The University knows that film is a great marketing tool to support enabling them to reach out to a diverse audience of young people.
Our aim was always to create films that will help young people to really think about their opportunities, think about how they can use the skills and talents they have and see that, whatever their background, university is an option. The University wanted vlog-style films, as they know this is a strong way to reach out and engage the younger generation. We used the expertise of our whole Suited and Booted team to help them to develop the idea. We worked with the students and marketing and widening participation officers to bring the idea to life. Our main point of contact was Caroline Thomas from the widening participation office. She had a clear idea about the content of the films. We’ve really enjoyed the creative process; especially making the vlogs feel natural and unforced.
The brief was to keep the relaxed, informal nature of a vlog, but with a more professional appearance and high production values. These vlogs need to balance standing out from the crowded ‘vlogosphere’, with the audience feeling they are in the room with the students, having a one on one conversation. During filming we had to ensure that we were creating something that felt natural, direct and personal. The films were not scripted; these are real students in their real environment talking truthfully about their experiences. It isn’t about covering up the struggles with university life, but rather learning to deal with them – a “warts and all” approach!
We allowed the filming style to develop naturally with the students. It’s important that they felt relaxed and could be themselves. The natural development of the filming style meant they become more comfortable and have developed into being fluid and mobile ‘performers’ in front of the camera. We took the natural style and gave it consistency so all the vlogs are clearly part of a suit of films.
Each vlog is a journey with the students through their life at university. We watch them grow and mature across each episode. The students are filmed in their own environment, ranging from their rooms to areas all across the campus. Over the course of the vlogs, this gives a feel of the university atmosphere, as well as what the students are like in their own environment. The students explain tasks they have achieved whilst living away from home, which they may have not been able to do so before, and the highs and lows of their new life.
For many young people, university can feel daunting. The great thing about the vlogs is they let potential students hear from their peers. They get to share their experiences, see the benefits of their new lifestyle and be reassured that uni life isn’t quite as scary as they first thought!