Guidance for recording and uploading your Sea of Voices submission

Submitting a Sea of Voices video

The Commonwealth Secretariat welcomes people from across the Commonwealth to share their special connections with the ocean via video.

Sea of Voices is a collection of videos illustrating the importance of, and connections with, the ocean. People from around the Commonwealth discuss their personal, work and/or cultural connections to the ocean and share how working together is important for protecting, sustainably using and creating awareness of ocean challenges and successes.

Approved videos will be published on the Blue Charter website and the Commonwealth Secretariat's Twitter and Facebook accounts.

View previous videos

What to submit

We are looking for a short high-quality video (30 – 90 seconds), showing enthusiasm for the ocean, linking to the Commonwealth Blue Charter.

These videos seek to inspire collaboration, action and learning.

How to do it

Ideally you may use a DSLR camera with a good microphone, or even a mobile phone that does quality videos.

The format is as follows:

  1. Introduce yourself;
  2. Explain why you care about the ocean and any particular issues of concern;
  3. Comment on how working together helps to address the issue or spurs action. (I.e. through the Commonwealth Blue Charter, international partners and/or forums).

Some tips:

  • Tell your story: How do ocean issues impact you personally or your community?
  • Appropriate location - film outside if possible: do be conscious of background noise, echoes, people talking. If available, a microphone would work well. Also pay attention to lighting and position.
  • Film in landscape: film the video horizontally and in high definition (minimum 720p resolution).
  • Centre yourself in the middle of the shot: ensure there is space on either side of you and there is space above your head.
  • Keep the length under 2 minutes: the length should be between 30 – 90 seconds so that it can be used on social media.
  • Stabilise your recording device: ensure that it does not topple over or moves.
  • Don’t zoom: ensure that you are close enough to the camera so that you don’t have to zoom in.
  • Make sure it is in focus: ensure camera is in focus, a test recording will help with this.
  • Quiet area: ensure you are in a quiet area so your voice can be heard.
  • Speak clearly and at a normal pace: ensure there is no echo, outside noise etc.
  • Check your lighting: ensure you are not backlit, there is enough light to clearly see your face wear solid clothing.
  • Record a test video: recording a test video will help you ensure all of the guidance is followed and the video looks and sounds good.
  • Enjoy: The best videos are when subjects are relaxed and authentic

What happens next?

Please upload your video via the submission portal on the Blue Charter’s website. By uploading your video through the portal, you give to the Commonwealth Secretariat consent and all rights to use, edit and share the video for communication and promotional purposes.

Our web team will process the video for quality assurance and branding. If there has been significant editing, we can send it to you for verification.

The videos are posted on the Commonwealth website, the Blue Charter website and Commonwealth social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn).

Please don’t forget to indicate your usernames/handles so we can tag you!

If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail our web team.

Upload your video

If the video that has been sent to the Secretariat does not meet the required quality standards that the Secretariat has, we have the right to refuse using the video.