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How To Make A Great Showcase Video

Read these simple tips to increase your chances of America camp directors hiring you.

Author: Liam
17 Dec 12:46

Whether you’re a prima donna who can’t wait to get in front of the lens or camera shy and filled with dread when even thinking about making your clip, a few expert pointers could make a big difference.

Firstly, you may be wondering why you’re making a video or who’s actually going to be watching it. The video is mainly for the benefit of the camp directors over in the US. With hundreds of summer camps in America hiring thousands of staff, it can become difficult for directors to get a good idea of who you are from looking at a picture and your application. So, following feedback from the camps, we decided that videos would be a handy way for them to get a better snapshot of you and for you to really stand out from the crowd and highlight your best assets.

Top tip #1

Be enthusiastic.

However, don’t confuse enthusiasm with volume. Screaming at the camera won’t get you placed and being a little reserved won’t stop you from getting placed. Camps need all types of people – from loud and entertaining to quiet and personable. Enthusiasm comes from within and is translated by tone of voice more than decibel counts. It is also translated with a clear pronunciation, good eye contact with the camera and body language, so don’t be slumped and monotonous, be vibrant and focused. You’re applying for a job in an American summer camp and enthusiasm is the heart and soul of camp, so heaps of it will make all the difference.

Top Tip #2

Keep it short and sweet.

Camp directors will be looking at hundreds of videos, so they’re not looking to get comfy, whip out the popcorn and have a Lord of the Rings marathon-style film fest, they’re looking for a snapshot of applicants. We recommend that the video shouldn’t be longer than a minute. If it runs a bit over, that’s okay, but once you’re hitting the 1.30 mark, you need to shout cut. It’s about the quality of the footage, not quantity.

Top Tip #3

Be creative.

Even if you’re not a naturally creative person, don’t worry, you’re not expected to reinvent the wheel, but just try to think a little outside the box in order to make your video stand out. A good way to do this is to show off your skills. If you play an instrument, write a song, if you play sports, show off your skills, if you can dance, get your boogie on.

Top Tip #4

Make a high-quality video.

It should be high quality but do not to stress over it. This one is just finding a balance. You’re not expected to be a Tarantino or a Hitchcock and you don’t have to have the greatest movie editing skills. Just make sure you’re not filming it on your Nokia N90 from 2005. iPhone-quality is good enough. Make sure you don’t forget about the sound quality either. If you’re a technophobe, get help from a friend. If your friends are technophobes, don’t worry, Youtube is easy to upload to and has a very basic in-built video editor. File size wise, you’re looking at a maximum of 2GB.

Finally, avoid a full image slideshow – you need to be talking at the camera. This is a video, not a presentation, so we need to see some moving images. However, if you want to throw in a few static images, feel free, but keep them to a minimal and only include them if they’re relevant. And make absolutely sure to keep your drunken pictures of you twerking on top of that car out of the video. Unlike your favourite cocktail, camp and alcohol do not mix, so whatever happens on your night out should stay on your night out.

Ultimately, it's about being yourself and showing it well. Below are some great examples of good videos. Both have different feels, but most importantly, they stand out and show a true reflection of Mark and Laura.

Liam is our king of summer camp. Having worked at Echo Lake and IHC in New York City, this champ lives 10 for 2, 24 7.

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