Tips for making a contest video

Here are some tips and resources to help you make an amazing video.

Review our requirements

  • Show why your community needs a new playground
  • Incorporate the voices and ideas of kids and parents/guardians in your community
  • Involve the voices of other caring adults in your community that can or are helping make it easier for kids to play
  • Show us the playspace kids in your community dream of having
  • Encourage more kids and families to get out and play!

For a preview of all the questions in the application, download the Let's Play Dream Playground Contest Grant Guide.

Plan your video first

You don't need a full script, but plan your shots out first.

Composing and framing

You'll want to compose and frame your shots just as you would a still picture. If it doesn't look good in a regular photography, it won't look good when it's moving.

Proper orientation

If you're using a smartphone to shoot your video, make sure to film in landscape, so your video isn't cut off when you upload it.


Make sure your shots have plenty of light, but avoid shooting people standing in front of the sun because all you'll get are their silhouettes.

Steady hands

If possible, secure a tripod. If one isn't available, use a stable object to rest the camera or recruit your friend with the steadiest hands. Shaky video is difficult to watch and may detract from your message.


Don't waste time and ideal conditions with dead batteries. Make sure your recording device is fully charged. If possible, bring a spare battery.

Outdoor video

Unless you have access to quality microphones, avoid recording a lot of speaking outdoors. Even a light breeze, especially on empty lots or fields, will make it very difficult to hear what the speaker is saying.

Audio quality

If possible, using a microphone or even just headphones with a microphone built in will vastly improve the clarity and quality of your audio, especially if you film outside.

Shoot to edit

Video editing software is cheaper and more prevalent than ever, so shoot more footage and multiple takes and put the video together on a computer using video editing software.

Saving and back-ups

When it comes time to edit, never edit your raw footage. Edit a copy of it. Make back-ups continuously, but don’t leave all your backups on one computer! Make backups on an external hard drive or cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. You don’t want to lose your masterpiece if your computer is lost or stolen. Finally, save your project often. Don’t let a power outage force you to lose hours of effort.

More on creating videos

Low-cost or free video editing software

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