Best Practices When Filming

This article outlines best practices when filming a video for use in course content, in communities of practice, and elsewhere throughout the platform. 

Note: The following tips are specifically meant for when filming via a phone, tablet, or webcam.

Location and lighting

  1. Try to find a location with more natural light.
  2. If available, try to record in an area with some depth, as opposed to a flat wall behind the subject
  3. Make sure as much light is falling on your face as possible. Don’t stand in front of a major light source such as a window.
  4. Try to have the light source directly behind the camera so that the light is falling evenly on your face. 

Sound

  1. If you’re using a phone, put it in Airplane Mode to avoid disruptions.
  2. The camera picks up more sound than you might think. Avoid spaces with lots of foot traffic, talking. Try to avoid HVAC noise or noise from computers or refrigerators although those noises tend to be easier to remove than inconsistent sounds like footsteps. 

Positioning

  1. Get the camera close enough to you that you do not need to zoom and are able to capture good sound.
  2. Hold the camera steady. You can do so by having a colleague put it on a tripod or hold it on a stable surface – instability can make editing difficult.
  3. Record the video horizontally and not vertically.

Capturing your message

  1. Record two takes if possible.
  2. If you would like to repeat yourself, take a moment, reset yourself, then start over. A lot of people will try to jump back and start talking immediately which can make for an awkward cut. 

Clothing

  1. Avoid wearing thinly striped or checkered suits/ shirts.
  2. Wear solid colors – warmer colors are better.
  3. If you are wearing a white shirt, wear a jacket over it to create contrast.

Appearance and presence

  1. Sit up tall.
  2. Smile/keep your eyes alive.
  3. Keep eye contact with the person you are speaking with – think of it as a conversation.

Speech

  1. Speak naturally, but slowly.
  2. Be concise.
  3. Maintain spaces between sentences.
  4. When the interviewer asks you a question, restate the question in your answer. The interviewer will not appear on camera.
  5. When you finish answering a question fully, pause and take a breath before moving on. Doing so creates a more effective transition on camera.
  6. Sometimes the person interviewing you will ask you to repeat or clarify a point to capture an insight you shared.
  7. Feel comfortable repeating points if you find a clearer way of communicating your message.

Preparation

  1. You do not need to prepare fully scripted answers to any questions. If you choose to prepare thoroughly, have short “sound bites” that you prepare and include in your responses during the interview.
  2. Think about the audience – what do they want to hear from you and how may they want to hear that? Prepare how you’ll connect with them on camera.
  3. If you prepared responses to the questions in advance, use your notes before answering the question but do not turn your head down to reference them while you’re speaking.
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