M320 Grenade Launcher Qualification



Every unit has multiple weapon systems to engage enemy targets in different ways.  The Soldiers assigned to these systems must stay proficient in how to safely and accurately employ these weapons.  Cobra Battery utilizes the M320 as a way to engage buildings, vehicles, and dismounted enemies.  It has munitions for smoke, high explosive, illumination, and crowd control.

As a part of the qualification, grenadiers must complete multiple engagements of various types of targets, including two engagements in chemical protective masks.  The grenadiers have to estimate distance and use proper firing techniques to fully qualify.

For this video, I documented the qualification of this system as well as giving a description of the weapon system.  For inspiration, I watched other weapons videos such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cFThAjGCKU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egAPL0P3z8s&list=PLP47akGwI69tPc2ku6vQiUX_9WE3WuDHO

I then shot the footage using my cellphone’s camera while completing the range.  I didn’t get some of the shots I would like due to my other responsibilities on the range, but I wanted to show the various firing positions and Soldiers in action.  After collecting the footage, I recorded with Audition a voice over for the video.  I laid out a basic overview of what I wanted the sequencing to be with this tool:

Timestamp Visuals Audio
0:00 Title slide: Cobra Picture Background Music Begins
0:06 Establishing Shot Introduction Voice over, shooting
0:30 Photo 1 and Photo 2 of M320 Description of M320
0:40 Range finder  
0:50 Near shot, side shooting Firing options
0:55 Close-up shot over the shoulder 1  
1:10 CBRN Engagement 1 &2 Qualification Results
1:20 Close-up shot over the shoulder 2  
1:25 Ending Credits Slide Closing audio, music fades

After composing the general order of audio and video, I then had to edit a few of the clips that were too large for the frame of the video.  I changed the scale on these videos to fit this frame.

For the images of the M320 I used keyframes to provide a zoom out effect on the system.  I then used transitions on some of the clips to film dissolve into the next frame.

cobra nero

Courtesy of Luca Boldrini https://www.flickr.com/photos/lucaboldrini69/4281952215/

M320 Stand-Alone System



M320 stand-alone with ladder and day/night sight

Courtesy of Army Program Executive Office https://www.flickr.com/photos/peosoldier/

I added a backing song that I found on Soundcloud using creative commons license   For this track I faded the song in an faded the song out using audio transitions, crossfade.

To conclude the video project I added a title image and a closing credits slide.

This project was challenging to set up all of the images and audio exactly how I wanted.  For a future version of this project I would like to play around with how a “bug” would look thoughout the video.

Your critiques are much appreciated to make this the best video story possible.



4 thoughts on “M320 Grenade Launcher Qualification

  1. Hello Luke,

    I think you picked a good video subject for your topic. Over all I feel as you are going in a good direction for your video. I enjoyed that you filmed from different angles and over some shoulders in your video. It was also interesting to me seeing the footage of the M320 being used. This is not a topic I am familiar with so it is all new and interesting to me.

    I do have two different suggestions that you could possibly fix for this video. First I felt like some of the breaks between when you talked were too long. You could decrease them by a few seconds and you would be still getting the same message across.

    Second, I may suggest having your credits roll after you finish speaking. Keep a picture/film about what you are talking about until right up to the ending. I look forward to seeing how you make changes and finalize your video project.

    -Jessica Beck


  2. Luke ~ I found your topic very interesting in part because it so far afield of my own experience. It’s amazing to me the many different types of jobs we all have that have brought us together in this program! You used a variety of effects in your video, and I think the background music you’ve selected seems very appropriate (though in a few spots it sounds like it is competing with your voiceover). You also do a great job of explaining your process in your blog post, which is especially helpful to someone like me who doesn’t come from a similar background. I watched one of the videos you mentioned as inspiration (the one about training exercises with the German army) and found that quite helpful.

    A few things you might like to consider in your next round of revisions: I really like the bright field shots you’ve used. Your clips convey the scope and size of the range where you’re practicing. However, I’m wondering if it would be feasible for you to get some more close-up shots in the mix. Is there anyone you could interview? Could you offer more explanation about the various targets and scenario we’re seeing? Is distance a factor? As a novice viewer, I’m curious to know how far away these targets are placed; how long does certification process last, etc. If you could branch out in a few more directions I think that would make you video more engaging.

    Also, about 15 minutes in the opening shot where there doesn’t seem to be a lot of visual action and no accompanying narration (maybe there is something important going on, but to my untrained eye that’s not apparent – perhaps some more verbal explanation would help your viewer appreciate what’s happening in that shot). Finally, regarding your closing credits, you might want to continue experimenting with size and font, drawing on some of the ideas we covered back in our photoshop and logo units. I realize that credits are just sort of the final piece of information, but you have a lot of copy that might read better if there were some hierarchy.

    Hope you find these insights helpful ~ I’m looking forward to seeing your finished video!


  3. Hi Luke,

    You did a good job selecting a song that propels your piece and supported it with the progression of the voice over – well done. Another strong element I see is your ability to use effects effectively. The zoom effects on the weapons were brilliantly constructed and enhance your project to the professional level.

    One piece of advice I have is to shorten, or add some additional footage. There were a few clips that I feel were a little longer leaving me wanting to see and explore the weapons in use more. Maybe enhance this with some various angles and depths of shots to switch it up a bit. I think this will give your video that extra push it needs.

    You did an awesome job and I’m excited to see your ideas for your final.

    Best of Luck,


  4. My peer’s insights into this video were really helpful into seeing how my video actually translates to an audience. Some of the comments that I found most profound included my ending credits, the narration of my piece, awkward pauses, and needed explanation.

    For my final edit, I will allow for my ending credits to be placed onto two slide cards or even roll, as it is hard to see the hierarchy of information during the credits and may come across as a bunch of words. I want to be sure to give the proper credit to the sources that I borrowed from.

    I will re-record my narration to allow for a better explanation of the overall process and distances of the targetery as well as explaining some of the safety features of the weapon. I will also pair down some of the clips to allow for there to be less awkward pauses in between shots.

    I hope these corrections will allow for the story I want to tell to come across. Thank you all for the awesome feedback!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s