Our Creative Services video production staff works within the agency and local schools in an effort to improve communication and learning and to provide video-related assistance. Services are available to school districts for a fee on a project by project basis. Please contact Beth Strike, Director of Communications & Creative Services for more information at 319-273-8222.

Video requires a great deal of research, writing and organization skills and is an increasingly utilized resource in today’s world. Whatever you feel you might need a video for, Central Rivers can help. We can help get you started on your next project.

Browse these pages to learn more about the services we offer, tips on producing your own videos, and information about copyright and permissions.

Visit our YouTube Channel to view some of our video work!

Video Services

Central Rivers AEA offers video production services and consultation to area schools. If you have questions or concerns about getting started with video production in your school or classroom please contact Tiffany Muhamedagic, Video Production Specialist, for guidance.


Central Rivers AEA can offer guidance, training, and consultation for a variety of video-related projects.  If you need assistance getting started, we can help point you in the right direction so you can begin creating your very own video productions. We can assist you with information on filming, camera operation, editing, lighting, script writing, working with a green screen, and much more!

DIY Video

Are you planning on taping a meeting, conference, class, or event? or are you just interested in doing your own creative video work? If you’re looking to do-it-yourself and take a stab at video production, the tips, guidelines, and resources below here to help! If you would like additional guidance please contact us.

Gather Equipment and Get Permission

The most important part of creating a video is pre-production. The decisions you make before you start recording anything will determine how successful your final project will be. Make sure you spend time properly preparing. Obtain all permissions and signed releases before recording, gather any equipment you need, and familiarize yourself with this equipment before the day of your recording.

Write a Script

If you’re working on a creative project make sure you write a script and plan out your video before you just jump in. A script includes all of the key information you want presented throughout your video including interviews, reporting, voice overs, narration, textual information, footage, and imagery. The script is the informational foundation and outline of your entire piece. All of this information is arranged within the script in whatever order best presents the message and creates the greatest impact. One tool to help you plan the visual aspects of your project is the Storyboard which allows you to draw out each scene throughout your video to help you visualize and plan how you want it to look. There are a million possibilities when it comes to video which is why having a well-thought out plan will help make your production process more efficient and will lead you to a better end result.

Record Your Video

Next you need to capture, film, create, and gather all the materials, both audio and video, needed to assemble your project. Get started by checking out a camera and tripod from Central Rivers’ Media Center! Not sure what to do with the equipment once you have it? No worries! Watch the video below to learn the basics of setup and operation or check out this DIY Recording Guide for step by step instructions on operating the JVC Everio Camcorder that is available for checkout at the Cedar Falls Central Rivers Media Center.

Process Your Footage

Once you have recorded all of your material, your next stage in the production process is referred to as post-production. This stage includes importing all of your footage into your computer, editing, and creating your final video file.

You can tackle this phase yourself if you have access to a computer and editing software (Final Cut, iMovie, Avid, Premiere, etc.). Many of the cameras that can be checked out from the Central Rivers Media Center include a connection wire (USB, firewire, etc.) to hook up the camera to your computer in order to import the video files. If you record to a camcorder memory card you can also transfer your video files quickly and easily with a card reader.

Copyright, Fair Use & Permissions

When it comes to filming, duplicating, and creating video, it is important to understand what you can and cannot do. Make sure you research copyright law and fair use to determine if the material you are using and the way you are using it is legal. The majority of material you use, from the footage you capture to the music and images you include, requires that you have the proper permissions, releases, licensure, and/or credits.

Copyright Material

Any material that has been copyrighted and does not fall under “Fair Use” cannot be used in a video project without permission from the work’s copyright holder. In many cases, a license or royalty fee may need to be acquired/paid in order to record, use, or duplicate the copyright material.

There are several online resources that offer royalty-free music and images that anyone can use free of charge as long as the work and author of the work are credited. When using these resources make sure to read the “Terms of Use” to ensure you understand how this material can be used and how the owner of the material would like to be credited.

When it comes to recording and duplicating school performances it is important to understand what can and cannot be done legally. In most cases, licenses and permissions need to be obtained, and sometimes fees paid, in order to record and/or distribute any copyrighted works, such as music. Check out these links below for further information on these situations.

Copyright Law:  What Music Teachers Need to Know
Got Permission to Upload that Video?
Copyright:  Recording and Selling Student Performances
Mechanical Licensing and You:  What You Need to Know Before Recording Your School’s Performances

Fair Use

Fair use is basically a set of guidelines outlining instances in which copyright material can be used without permission. There are four main principles outlined in the “Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices In Fair Use.” These principles are instances in which copyrighted material can be used and they may help you to determine if your use of copyright material is “Fair Use.”

  • Employing copyrighted material as the object of social, political, or cultural critique.
  • Quoting copyrighted works of popular culture to illustrate an argument or point.
  • Capturing copyrighted media content in the process of filming something else.
  • Using copyrighted material in a historical sequence.

There are many gray areas when it comes to Fair Use as there are a variety of situations that arise concerning the use of copyrighted material. In addition, the boundaries of how much material one can use and when it is permitted is a point of debate. Even the principles above contain limitations. Creators of media should know that use of any copyright material is a “use at your own risk” type of venture. It is best to err on the side of caution. To find out more information on what is and is not Fair Use, take a look at the resources below.

Best Practices in Fair Use
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video


For the majority of video you record, signed video releases must be collected from every student, educator, and participant appearing in the footage. Most schools now have their own version of video/media release forms for this purpose. Contact your school administration to see if your school has a release form for this purpose. Signed releases must also be collected for locations/property on which filming occurs, unless that location is public, as well as for any creative material/original works included in the video.

Please note that Central Rivers AEA follows strict adherence to federal copyright laws and therefore we cannot record/duplicate programs that contain copyright materials or incorporate any copyright materials into our video productions without the proper permissions and/or licensing. Before you film anything, make sure you have all the proper release forms signed by whoever you’re filming as well as the property you’re filming on.