Rangatahi mō Papatūānuku – Bringing your Idea to Life + Filmmaking Tips

Department of Conservation —  02/03/2021

With 14 days to go before submissions for Rangatahi mō Papatūānuku video competition close, there’s still time left to tell everyone, including your niece’s dog-owning cousin, about this competition! Great prizes too… Share your ideas on keeping Papatūānuku healthy and how that affects us all.

We’ve also uploaded blogs of our four practical online workshops so you can dip in, get up to speed and get your stories together. Just one more to go this week. Keep reading for details. But if you’re ready to submit now, have a read through the Rangatahi mō Papatūānuku webpage, which includes a Google form you need to fill in along with your video and make sure you’ve got everything before you submit your video.

During this workshop, Te Mahara, our guest facilitator, talked about how you can use camera, lighting and sound to capture great video and evoke meaning throughout your video.

🎥: Te Mahara – facilitating workshop ‘filmmaking 101’

Camera shots and movements

Te Mahara gave a brief introduction about basic camera shots and how each shot can be used to create meanings. Here are a few examples:

Establishing shot: As it sounds, this is a shot that establishes the location.

Long shot: This is a shot that is taken from a (you guessed it) long-distance to show the impact between a subject and its environment.

Close up: Is great for not only capturing emotions but also creates an intimate reaction among viewers.

There are many different camera shots and movements you can use to capture people, places or things. Always get lots of shots! But when you’re out shooting remember to think about what you want your audience to see and understand from your story. For more examples, watch the workshop video above.

Film tip: If you shoot your video in landscape (this means to hold your camera or phone horizontally, not vertically) you can capture more features of people or places. Don’t mix portrait and landscape shots together – it’s harder to edit. If you want to do a tik-tok, then portrait’s style is OK. 

Light and how it can be used

Te Mahara described how lighting your images can help increase emotions in people watching your video. Dark lighting is often used to create an eerie effect or to depict sadness, whereas bright lighting can create a ‘happy’ effect.

Lighting tip: For interviewing, try to pick places that have a good amount of sun. Artificial lighting can sometimes make a person looks dull whereas natural lighting emphasises a person’s natural features.

Artsy lighting tip: If you would like to experiment with lighting, find a torch and use coloured cellophane over the torch to produce coloured light!

📷: Te Mahara taking it away with his filmmaking talk.


Sound is really important. A video may look good however if the sound for that video is poor, then many people will lose interest very quickly. Your interview clips need to be clear and easy to hear.

Sound tip: When recording voice-overs or interviews choose a quiet location away from external noise – it could be in a car, a house. If you are outside in a quiet spot that is fine, as long as there’s no wind!

Join our final workshop!

For more inspiration, take a look through Te Mahara’s presentation on filmmaking and join us for our final workshop ‘Editing and upload’ this Thursday 4th March at 4 pm. Here is the zoom link to join this weeks workshop. Editing is where all the parts of your story come together in the style you chose. We’ll run through key points, which editing software you can use for your phone or computer – and ensure you can be ready to upload your 2-minute factual video before 15th March.

Share this kaupapa so friends and family can get their ideas in too. It’s time for rangatahi perspectives and voices to be heard and recognised and here’s a chance!

If you have any questions, please email us at rangatahivids@doc.govt.nz and we’ll be happy to help you out! In the meantime. You can also check out tips on filming with Sonny and Puawai on DOC’S YouTube channel.

For any more information about the competition, check it out here:  www.doc.govt.nz/rangatahivids