The following video production advice is geared towards simple productions like interviews, lectures or panels. This information will be very beneficial in helping you during the pre-production, production and post-production of your project. Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Media Services or the Digital Learning Commons to discuss your project in greater detail.
Even when just taping an interview or lecture, there should be some pre-production planning. Here are the key elements that you should think about and discuss during the pre-production process.
What is the objective of the video? Is it to document an event, do you want to use it as a tutorial or is it something you want to turn into a marketing tool. All of the above examples require different levels of production. Knowing the objective will help produce a product that accomplishes what you want.
Make sure you have a clear, defined list of goals for the video and that you have made your goals clear to all of those involved in the production.
Is this something you plan on using only internally or do you plan on putting it on the internet for the world to see? This is a very important point, because it effects what should be done production-wise when it comes to cameras, audio, lighting, etc.
Below are some of the resources involved in a video production and the important things you need to know about them (especially if you are producing something by yourself).
In most cases, one camera should be sufficient. Camera equipment can be rented from Media Services. Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- The only thing you should use a Flip-Cam for is interviews and the interview should be conducted with you only a few feet away from the person you are interviewing.
- If possible, have the camera plugged into a power supply. If no power supply is available, monitor the battery level to make sure the camera does not shut off in the middle of your production.
While Media Services offers equipment rentals, they don’t typically manage the technology for you. For most projects, you will have to operate the equipment yourself or get friends to help you. If that is the case, you can refer to these video production guidelines:
- If you want the video to be useful, then this job needs to be taken seriously. The person needs to pay attention to the camera and to what is being recorded.
- This person should know what the goals and objective of this project are.
- Whenever possible, use a tripod. If you don’t have a tripod, see if there is a flat, steady surface that you can rest the camera on.
- Use a pair of headphones to monitor the audio.
- If there is an AudioVideo (AV) presentation accompanying the presenter, film the presenter…not the AV. You should only film the presenter and the presentation should be added in post-production.
If you are interviewing someone, here are some easy to follow tips to make sure you get a good product:
- Use the “Rule of Thirds” to frame your subject (Google “rule of thirds” and you will get an easy to understand explanation of this).
- Ideally, you should use a microphone for this (not the built-in mic on the camera).
- The microphone should be around chest level and aimed towards the person’s mouth.
- If you don’t have a microphone, make sure you interview the person in a place that is quiet and that you are only a few feet away from the person you are interviewing.
- Wear headphones to monitor the audio.
- Be aware of background noise (airplanes, fans).
- Also be aware of your background.
- Make sure that the tone of the interview fits with your project. So, if it is a serious subject and you are interviewing a friend or someone you know quite well, make sure they are serious for the interview.
- Interview the person in a well-lit area.
This is often the biggest issue with video production. If the audio is bad, it won’t matter how good the video is. Any video that is heavy on talking, needs to have crisp, clear, easy to understand audio. Media Services has microphones available that can give you good audio quality. Here are some other thoughts:
- Make sure you are using microphones (not the built-in ones on the camera).
- Make sure you test the microphones before the presentation/event begins to make sure the audio is working.
- If your microphone has batteries, make sure they are fully charged or that they are new batteries.
- Wear headphones to monitor the audio.
Make sure that whenever you do anything with video, the lighting is good.
Once the production is finished, the raw video and other materials need to be turned into a finished product. The Digital Learning Commons team can help you with this. Here are some other key points to remember in this process:
- If you are using graphics, logos, or text that depict the Institute, please refer to the MIIS Communications Style Guide for further details and guidelines.
- If someone used AV tools during their presentation, add them in during post-production. For example, if they had a PowerPoint, get those slides and add them in while the person is talking about them.
If your video project is going to be outward-facing or publicly shared, keep in mind that any media you use in your video, such as images or music, must be copyright/fair use compliant. To search for copyright-safe media, you can use resources such as:
- Creative Commons resources are shared via different CC licenses. These licenses determine whether you can use resources freely, with or without attribution, whether they can be adapted, etc. You can filter your search by a specific license, and licensing information is included with every Creative Commons resource.
- Images can be used freely — attribution recommended.