Q: We have to produce a series of fire training videos to support the training courses we sell. We don’t have a big budget but would like to produce something professional.
National Training Group
A: I’ve had the opportunity to produce a number of fire training DVDs (or videos as they were called when we first produced them)
The main training topics are:
> Life and death: The importance of fire
> Preventing fire
> Raising alarms and evacuation
> Fighting fire
> The role of the fire marshal
I would recommend dividing the DVD up into 5 modules like this or similar.
Now consider that shooting the above topics presents some difficulties as there aren’t exactly many fires available to shoot!
And there isn’t a big budget going round either.
I’d tackle the problem in the following way:
Use 2 Presenters
Shooting a presenter discussing the issues or explaining the points is an obvious way to produce a DVD where there aren’t many footage opportunities available.
But one presenter can become a bit didactic.
So use 2 presenters to camera.
They can run a dialogue between each other, which is much more interesting than one single person to camera
It’ll cost a little more, but if you stick to “unknowns” the bang for your buck will be worth it!
Buy in some fire animation
Every training DVD needs a graphic theme for titling, the DVD graphic menu, for captioned bullet point summaries, and suchlike.
If you source some animated flames and combine these with fire crackle and other fire sound fx noises, you’ll have a convincing visual motif for your fire training DVD.
Again, it shouldn’t cost a lot, but you’ll get a lot back.
Talk to your local fire brigade
Most fire brigades have a video department. If you ask nicely they’ll probably give you some footage of a major fire that you can use in your DVD.
This is free.
Showing a massive building going up in flames is sure to drive the point home with your audience.
When budgets are tight you have to spend carefully and effectively.
I’d suggest looking at:
> Using two presenters to make up for the lack of footage
> Buy in some fire animation and sound fx for impact
> Beg some fire footage from your fire brigade
With the addition of these three, a potentially bore-them-to-death series of fire training modules will have that extra sparkle that audiences demand and you want to supply.
Fire training DVDs are a specialist subject on their own, and need their own unique approach