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3 Tips for Making an Award-Winning Video

June 20, 2023, The Association

With The Wagsies animal welfare video awards in full swing, we checked in with the creator of one of last year’s winning videos for inspiration and practical tips. Thanks to Charlene Lee, Foster Coordinator at Barks of Love Animal Rescue, for sharing the secret sauce behind “Frosted Faces Deserve Love Too,” the 2022 Wagsies Award Winner for organizations with budgets under $2 million.

You probably already have what you need

Lee created the award-winning video using iMovie. “This video editing software is included with Apple devices, so if you use them already, it eliminates needing to purchase anything out of pocket,” she says. The software includes various editing tools, including green-screen effects, media organization, narration, and soundtrack. In short: “iMovie is great for entry-level video editing.”

Keep it real

“Frosted Faces Deserve Love Too” is made up of photos of senior doggos who came to Barks of Love for care. Says Lee, “For the video we chose dogs whose stories needed to be heard, and to ensure their lives would never be forgotten.”

Keanu, the black Chihuahua mix featured throughout the video, is one such example. After Barks of Love had pulled him from the shelter and had him checked out by their vet, Keanu was found to be sicker than originally thought. “It was determined he would be moved to a hospice situation, where he can out the rest of his life in peace,” says Lee. “He’s not just an outcome measurement—for us, it’s a lifelong commitment. We featured Keanu so we could fight for dogs like him.”

Bottom line: Real stories make for compelling images.

Not going to enter The Wagsies this year? Just. Do. It.

New to videomaking and on the fence about entering the Wagsies? (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink: The deadline is this Sunday, June 25.) Lee has some strong words of advice and inspiration: “Don’t let the fear of not having experience in creating or editing a video for submission prevent you from trying,” she says. “Last year was Barks of Love’s first time submitting a video, and I personally had no experience.”

It turns out, though, she had the most important ingredient of all. “What I did know was how important it was to highlight a category of rescue dogs who deserved to be seen—senior dogs,” recalls Lee. “Barks of Love is a nonprofit organization where most of our funds go toward medical, supplies, and trainings, so we don’t have funds for making fancy videos. But we truly felt a submission like this might encourage the public to consider older dogs for adoption.”

Watch Barks of Love’s announcement of their 2022 win to see what the actual Wagsies award looks like. How would one look on display in your shelter?

Deadline for Submissions is Sunday, June 25

About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.

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