Producing a video: Before you produce a video, think about how you plan to disseminate and use it. There are six basic steps to producing any type of video: conceiving a topic, planning, producing the video, validating, distribution, and monitoring and evaluating (Figure 1). Who plays the lead role in each step will depend on what type of video you want to develop, but all videos for agricultural extension and learning will involve scientific organisations, partner organisations (e.g. non-government organisations (NGOs), extension services, farmer organisations), farmers, and other rural stakeholders. If farmers will be making the film themselves, it will be necessary for the video production team to work with film professionals who will provide guidance and train them on basic film-making. Scientists, extension staff, and film professionals should always listen carefully to farmers so that the finished video reflects their perspectives and conveys a message that is technically accurate.
Focus each video on a single topic. Prepare for filming by writing a story board or a draft script based on what you know and what you learn in the field. Videos can be just a few minutes long, and shouldn’t be longer than 20 minutes. Ensure that a diversity of farmers (women, men, the poor, youth etc.) and rural people (landless, market sellers, etc.) appear in the video.
After filming, edit the clips and order them according to your story board or script. Then you can add narration, music, titles, and end credits. Keep text to a minimum, e.g. avoid sub-titles. Once you have a first draft of the video, show it to farmers, extension agents, scientists, etc. to ensure that farmers understand the message, that it includes logical and scientific explanations, and that the visuals help explain the content.
Once a video is finalised, it can be translated into local and international languages and printed onto a DVD. Videos may also be distributed on USB sticks, tablets, mobile phones (not just smart phones), pico projectors (pocket- sized projectors that can be run from smart phones or tablets), and smart projectors.
Using videos for extension: Videos can be used for many purposes including disseminating information, training, and encouraging innovation. Videos can be distributed in many ways: directly to farmers, or through extension services, radio stations, value chain actors (e.g. buyers or processors), and farmer organisations. Videos can be screened in rural communities (through group meetings, village shows, video shacks etc.) with the help of community-based facilitators, extension agents, or others. Video viewing clubs, which bring together a group of farmers led by a facilitator, area structured approach for video-based training. When screening videos for the public, you will need to identify a suitable venue and have the necessary equipment such as a power source, video playing equipment, and some sort of screen.
Monitoring and evaluation: Continuous monitoring and impact assessment of video are important functions that can be carried out in many ways (field studies, surveys, or by software that monitors viewing).