We have made significant progress on developing the video training modules for the various teams on the ground in Pemba. These modules are designed so that our local Kwanini team members are able to learn, develop and hone their skills even at times when our team leaders are unable to make the journey to Pemba. Using footage we have obtained ourselves, edited by our Creative Consultant and with a Swahili translation both provided and voiced by our community team member Abdulrahim these videos will allow us to provide the necessary skills to promote the Foundation, administer and maintain the MPA and support local communities.
Editing each video is a detailed process, beginning with the script. Once the video has been scripted, with notations of necessary footage, the file is sent to Abdulrahim for translation. Prior to the current COVID-19 restrictions, our Creative Consultant/Head of Training Ross would then work with Abdulrahim directly to record the script as an audio narration for the video - under current circumstances this now has to be done remotely. When the recording is complete, the audio and visuals are then matched together along with any annotations, infographics or other supplementary imagery. The final step is to check the completed video with the rest of the creative team, before uploading them to our privatised file repository and YouTube channel so the teams on the ground in Pemba can view them - the modules are designed to be viewed as many times as the team wish.
The modules are divided into the following categories:
All teams will be expected to undertake these training modules. They cover the basics of the Kwanini Foundation and the MPA, the importance of coral reefs and why their protection is paramount, and what our Snorkelling for Conservation and Citizen Science programmes are and how they help our efforts.
Ranger Training Modules
These detail the ranger team's roles, correct protocol for document keeping, equipment care & maintenance as well as boat handling and safety, and how to interact with fishermen, including conflict resolution and incident reporting procedures.
Service Fundi Training Module
An additional module for the Manta Resort Service Fundi team is all about promoting the projects we have already completed, our small grants programme and emergency relief fund, and how to discuss them with the guests to the resort in order to spread the word of our work.
Snorkel Guide and Dive Leader Training Modules
These modules are mandatory for the snorkel and dive team, which detail guest interaction, guiding our Citizen Science programme, some more advanced scientific training on monitoring coral health and a more detailed tutorial on the value of the MPA.
Below you can see the first step in creating a video - the storyboard:
A storyboard for a video, showing scenes, required footage, and voiceover
This is where the whole process begins; by drawing out the various scenes that will be featured in the video, we get a snapshot of the finished product at the first stage of the creative process. The storyboard consists of images that roughly suggest what order the clips will feature in, and underneath the specific video sections we want to use for the final product. This is also where we list any required narration and which background music (if any) is most appropriate for this particular scene.
Once the storyboard is complete and has been checked, we then turn it into a script as you can see below. The script is where we write our narration; as every training video discusses technical tasks (and it is vital that our team members perform these tasks correctly as well as understand their importance) we must ensure the narrative of the video is clear, precise and easy for the viewer to understand.
This is also where we match our chosen video clips to specific parts of the narration; whilst the storyboard tells us which parts of the narration go in which scenes, the script is far more precise. Here the script writer indicates exactly which video clips they want to appear during a narration block, and whether a specific clip, still image or infographic should be highlighted at a certain point. These scripts can be (and often are) written by any members of our creative or science team who best understand the material, and are then sent to our creative consultant/head of training for checking, completion and implementation. When he is satisfied with the script, the narration is then recorded; this is either performed in the studio in the UK if the video is in English or on location in Pemba by Abdulrahim if the video calls for a Swahili narration. In this latter case, the script is sent to Abdulrahim for translation and recording.
The next stage of video production - the script
The images we see below are of the video during the editing process. This is the final stage in creating the video itself. Here the clips are laid in the correct order on the timeline according to the script, in line with the relevant narration as well as any background music or text overlays if they are required. Whilst this is a relatively straightforward process, this can be very time-consuming as placing the constituent parts of the video in the correct place requires precision and patience. It must also be checked thoroughly at regular intervals, as a single change made earlier in the timeline can put subsequent visuals or audio out of synchronisation or sequence. The editing software features a playback screen in the top right to make this quicker and easier, rather than having to save a copy of the video work in progress and watch it in a separate screen.
Once the editor is happy with the video, it is then rendered - this is an automatic process conducted by the computer to turn the various constituent parts into one cohesive video format that can be played on other devices; depending on the length and complexity of the video, and power of the computer used to perform the task, this can take between twenty minutes and several hours. Once complete, however, the video is then ready for distribution.
A snapshot of a video timeline during editing
A snapshot of a video timeline during editing
Due to the current global situation, we are uploading our training videos to a private YouTube channel; these can then be shown to our team members whenever they wish, and can be rewatched at their convenience. We have provided our teams with a checklist and sign-up form to indicate they have watched the training module at least once to make sure we can track which teams require training or retraining at any time.
Our next video project, currently under construction, is an overview trailer video describing the goals and methods of the Kwanini Foundation, showcasing our team members at work as well as the naturally beatific environment and local communities with which we have the privilege to work. A link will be posted here and to our social media as soon as the video is available.