This year MSF is holding a film competition specifically for Friends of MSF.
The winner will get the opportunity to come into MSF HQ and work with the Communications team to produce a promo film for Friends of MSF.
We’d like you to produce a short film (four minutes max) around one of the following issues that MSF is involved in: (Click on the links to find out more)
What do I do next?
The competition will have two stages, firstly we’d like you to complete a proposal, this will need to be submitted to us by Monday 31 October.
Please download and fill in this form.
We will give feedback on your proposals and may suggest resources that you can use, i.e. b-roll from our database.
After you receive your feedback, you’ll have until 31 January to create your film, and submit it to us.
The videos will all be uploaded to our website, and reviewed by our Communications team.
Everyone who submits a video will receive a small, but special prize. We will notify the winner within two weeks of the submission deadline.
How will I make the video?
MSF was formed by Medics and journalists, so we’re encouraging you to collaborate with other students in order to share resources and ideas. Perhaps there’s an active film society at you university, or a media and communications department with people who you could bring on board?
However, if you want to work on your own, that’s absolutely fine too. In terms of equipment and resources, anything goes - you could be filming on an iphone in your kitchen, it’s up to you. We're keen to see ideas that are inventive and make good use of the resources that you have. Just make sure that you are taking your resources into account when you write your proposal.
What are we looking for?
Your main aim with this video is to create an authentic and engaging piece of content. Something that people will want to watch, and share. Here are a few things to think about:
Who’s my audience? Who am I speaking to? Would I watch this?
You could be trying to raise awareness in the general public, or you might be trying to to reach out to particular group of people, such as young parents, in which case you might try to target your video content towards them.
Who am I speaking to? Is my message clear and focused?
Don’t try and fit too much information into your video. Less is more, try to create an emotional response: stories not stats (though well placed statistics can certainly be effective).
Does my film have longevity?
Try not to make a video which is tied to one specific event, as when this falls out of the public eye, so might your video. Try to chose a story/subject that will still be relevant in a year’s time.
Does my video reflect MSF’s values?
Take some time to read The MSF Charter.
MSF has an obligation to remain Neutral, Impartial and Independent. You must remember this when you create your video, you cannot directly attack or promote certain groups, governments, or institutions.
However, it is fine to highlight the severity of a situation by indirectly advocating for more awareness of an issue, or demanding that action should be taken. E.g. “governments need to do more.” If you're in doubt about what you can and can't say, please contact us.
Types of video
Video from first person POV perspective, that shows your own personal feelings about an issue. Vlogs work well when they are authentic and honest, they treat the viewer as an equal and often bring in personal experiences to back up views and opinions.
There are many different kinds of animation, stop motion, hand-drawn, etc. Animation can be used effectively to produce a unique visual style that would be difficult with live action, and also to illustrate action and locations that would be difficult to film.
This is a type of factual video that is used to further public understanding of an issue. For example, you could be explaining about a neglected tropical disease. People who watch your video might be urged to take action and spread the word.
This is a short (2-5min) documentary style video that will use a mixture of interviews, cutaways, (shots that illustrate what people are talking about and help to establish the environment) on screen text and voiceover to look at a focused issue. Alternatively you could be following a presenter around e.g.
Using actors, this type of video could be a dramatic re-telling of an event or situation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an exact re-creation, i.e. you don’t need to recreate Kinshasa in your bedroom! - sometimes an analogous drama can be really effective
Sometimes even serious issues can be approached in a fun way. Parody can be a great way to take advantage of a concept that is already familiar to many people, like this MSF video that parodies a famous Aldi advert:
There’s no reason why you can’t combine different types of video into one - for example start off with a drama, and then use elements of animation to explain some in-depth focus points.
Video editing resources
Pros: Free online video editor, very simple to use, easy learning curve. Publishes straight to youtube. Good if you know that editing your video will be quite straightforward.
Cons: can be a bit slow, and has limited functions
Requires: youtube account and internet connection
Pros: free fully featured editing package. Good if you know you want to use multiple titles
Cons: steeper learning curve
Royalty free music and sound effects
Access to the MSF media library
The MSF media database media.msf.org contains a wealth of videos and photos that you can use in your video. You will need to create an account in order to download content from the site.
Fair or Free use
If you want to use news footage that is freely available on the internet this normally comes under the terms of fair use, and you will be able to use it in your film. Examples of this might be mentions of MSF in news, or footage which has been broadcast by news that you think would work well in your film.
For more detailed information on Fair use, please see the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use