How to Make a Cool Video

Do you have an idea that should be featured on Planet Forward's national TV show? Show us and submit your idea! If you are new to video production, please share your ideas and question, but here are a few tips--and a video so easy an intern could do it--to help you get started.


There are three things to ask yourself when choosing a topic:

  1. Is my idea new and interesting?
  2. Does my idea answer any one of Planet Forward’s questions?
  3. Is my idea simple enough to convey in a short video? If you answered “yes’ to all of the above, then you are on your way.


You don’t need to be a professional cinematographer to create pieces that garner a large following online. These tricks will help you tell your story with video.


  • It may seem obvious, but good visuals cannot be overlooked. Visuals keep viewers interested and explain the story. We need to understand your idea and being able to see it is a big help.
  • When shooting, be sure to get a variety of interesting shots (tight, medium, wide, and super wide).


  • When shooting an interview, take note of the location. You want viewers to focus on your interview subject’s words, so notice objects in your shot that may cause distractions.
  • Avoid shooting people in front of bright windows, against cluttered walls, and outside when the sun is overhead. This keeps the interview subject’s face bright and the viewers’ attention on what he or she is saying.
  • Get cut away footage: you’ll probably need to edit your interview and cutaways, like an interviewee’s foot as he presses on the gas pedal, provide nice footage to cut to if your visuals (see above) are lacking.


  • Natural audio gives your piece credibility. If you are creating a video on hybrid cars, we should hear how loud (or soft as your case may be) the engine is.


  • Each video should have a purpose whether it is to inform, inspire, or persuade. Know what you want your video to do and stick with it. If you are offering a solution, be sure to set up the problem. If you are informing viewers about a new type of technology, make sure it is easily understandable. And if you make your case with a skeptical and questioning eye, viewers are more likely to believe you.
  • Look at the big picture. Although any small step is great, we want to know how your idea will affect the overall issue of climate change. Show us your path to the future.

Want to learn more about how to get your idea on national TV? Visit our How it Works page.

How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.