Pro-bono video services in high demand

07 November 2022

Each year advanced level Bachelor of Digital Media (BDM) students volunteer to collaborate on projects needed in the community that might otherwise be unaffordable for organisations.

Projects for 2022 have recently come to fruition and most in-demand this year have been video productions.

"There has been a surge in demand for short videos for social media platforms'" says Dr Ashley Holmes who coordinates the Collaborative Digital Media Project units.

Beneficiary organisations this year included Central Queensland Animal Society Inc. who received a suite of six professional videos highlighting different aspects of their animal foster care program.

Society President' Brooke Lacey' was most appreciative of the service.

"The resources will be utilised to promote awareness of our animal rescue' with an aim to get more foster carers onboard and more animals adopted out'" Ms Lacey said.

"We would love to be able to get more donations or support from other local businesses so we can continue to save many more animals."

The three students involved enjoyed the project and endorsed the authentic learning experience.

"I have never filmed animals before'" Tiffany Lui said.

"They have so much personality!"

Another of the student team even adopted a cat while filming on location.

After Andrew Gill' Principal of Kanomie Island Environmental Education Centre' submitted a 'wish list' of a project brief in early 2022' a team of four worked with him to scope what would be feasible for 12-week duration of the two-part unit.

The outcome was the development of bespoke video communication and promotional materials for use across various platforms.

The facility' operated by the Queensland Department of Education' is located 11km offshore from Yeppoon on a National Park island surrounded by marine park.

Students conducted needs analysis and pitched a proposal in Part A' and then visited to capture footage and edited the products in Part B.

One of them' Joe Perchard' also provided professional voice-over talent for a film documenting the unique off-grid sustainable facilities.

Another' Liam Weis said he visited the island as a 13-year-old high school student.

"It was amazing to return and capture footage of the new facilities'" Weis said.

Dr Holmes was awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in the 2020 Australian Awards for University Teaching for a decade of running this program of authentic learning that benefits students' community partners and the University.

He said the program was unusual because about half of the students were studying online from anywhere' so the teams all collaborate virtually.

"Many of them are also working' and so if they have to travel to participate it can be a real challenge for them to organise."

For another project' a team whose members are remote from each other and their client' produced branding and co-lateral item designs for the 50-year anniversary of University of the Third Age Rockhampton and District' and the upcoming 2023 International Conference they are holding to celebrate.

Conference Committee Chair' Henry Cope said the committee was very impressed with the professional approach and creative ability displayed throughout the process and were delighted with the product presented at hand over.

Students studying the Interactive media minor in the BDM also formed teams to produce a web-based mobile app and an educational game for other clients.

"Due to the complex nature of them and the limited time students have' these kinds of projects usually proceed to proof-of-concept stage'" Dr Holmes said.

"Between now and early February' I invite registrations of interest for our 2023 program.

"Projects of sufficient scope and challenge for a small team are sought.

"Digital media communication products such as videos for education' training and public information are suitable. Animations (2D or 3D)' interactives' website development' graphic design and social media assets are too."