Lights, Camera, Action: Reflections from the Access Agriculture video training in Bangladesh

By Mohammad Kamrul Islam Bhuiyan On 15.12.2020 AgricultureTechnology

It is very easy to make videos with your mobile phone but when your aspirations are to share the film globally, and with a specific audience in mind, it is not

Over the last two weeks colleagues from Bangladesh and Nepal participated in a video training workshop provided by Access Agriculture in the Northern part of Bangladesh. Access Agriculture are a key partner of Practical Answers, our technical information service, providing and sharing technical solutions to solve agricultural challenges!

Practical Action staff learning how to use video

The training took place over a 12 day period. Four trainers, from England, Belgium and Kenya, led the course- they were very friendly, and ensured an engaging and insightful experience for all involved!

Prior to the training we selected, among our colleagues, three video topics: 1. Rearing sheep and goats on a raised platform, 2. Mango grafting and 3. Sorting and storing pumpkins. Before filming it is important to have a good script ; we discussed our prepared scripts so that we could receive feedback from the group.

The video production process consists of:

  • Issue selection
  • Research desk work
  • Script writing 1st draft
  • Feedback from specialist or relevant persons
  • Recce (the process of visiting and quickly looking around a place in order to find out information)

The recce process was  very new to me. After visiting the site we revised our scripts as we had gathered new information that would enhance the original drafts. In between this time we prepared some questions to take to interview: why should you store pumpkin, which pumpkins can be stored, how to protect pumpkins during storage etc. Then we went for filming.

Around 280 clips of footage was collected in four days, ranging between 2-8 minutes in length. At this stage 70% of work is completed within the production process. The remaining 30% consists of:

  • Input footage-logging/selecting
  • Transcription
  • Translation of audio
  • Incorporating translations into the revised script
  • Record voice over
  • Final edit

We used an editing software called Light Works, it is interesting as tasks are auto-saved. However, before editing we need to arrange the files into a specific computer drive. We learnt that for structured content it is important to consider using subtitle, voiceover and interview-translation using different voices. When using graphics you should consider cutaway pictures and moving shots. You should be aware of issues such as the height of the camera and ensuring there is action in the frame. You should also consider having music, title captions, name captions, background sound and edit credits.

When taking footage it is important to understand the different types of shots, they are:

  • GV: General View
  • VLS = Very Long Shot
  • LS = Long Shot
  • MLS = Medium Long Shot, it also call 3/4 shot
  • MS = Mid Shot
  • MCU = Medium Close Up
  • CU = Close Up
  • BCU = Big Close Up


When taking a shot we used a tripod to ensure the filming was smooth, and not shaky!

Our video on pumpkin sorting and storing will soon be available online in French, Bangla and English. This training course was a fantastic learning opportunity, and I look forward to putting my learning into practice! These newly acquired skills will allow us to better share knowledge in video format! Videos produced will be shared through the Access Agriculture network meaning our technical knowledge and experience can be used by many more practitioners.

Visit Access Agriculture to learn more about work, and future training opportunities.