Tips for creating a good video
Whether you are filming from your phone or a camera, here are some tips for creating a good video.
- When using your phone, use the actual camera, not the front-facing (selfie) camera. The quality is much better.
- Hold it steady. Prop the phone/camera on something to hold it up, use a tripod, or ask a family member to hold it for you.
- Record with the camera horizontal, not vertical (landscape, not portrait).
- Watch your headroom. Your head should be in the top third of the frame.
- Film at eye level.
- Strive for the best audio you can manage. Use an external microphone, if available. Don’t cover the microphone on your phone or camera.
- Control background sound. As much as possible, you should try to turn off any item with sounds, such as fans, blowers, and HVAC.
- Control your background. Again, as much as possible. Your background should be free of distractions and, if possible, suggest Parkside. If you are at Parkside, that is easy. If you are away, try to get some green -- nature or plants – behind you.
- Your light source should be in front of you (or your subject), not behind you.
- Take advantage of natural light. A bright window or a shady spot outside work nicely.
- Look into the lens of the camera. No matter which lens you’re using, please look directly into the lens. It is noticeable when you are looking elsewhere (ex. the main screen when using the selfie camera).
- Dress appropriately. Parkside gear is always a good choice. Avoid wearing red or purple. Dress as professionally/casually as the sentiment of the video.
- Remember to smile and talk with enthusiasm!
Practice before your final video
- Record a brief test video. Watch it back to assess the quality of your video, sound, background, eye contact, and energy level. If you are unsure, share it with your marketing coordinator for feedback.
- Read your script a few times to warm up and to familiarize yourself with the script.
- To the best of your ability, memorize what you are going to say. A conversational presentation is always preferred.
- If you need to read a script, place it beyond and ideally above the camera so that the distance your eyes move from camera to script is less noticeable. Enlarge the font of the script so it is easy to see. With a short script, you shouldn’t have to scroll; but if you do, scroll slowly to achieve a teleprompter pace.
- On Android phones, these settings are usually right inside the main camera app, either tucked behind the settings gear wheel, or accessible via a toggle button.
- On Apple phones, you’ll find it in the main settings app. Back out of the camera app, go into Settings, scroll down to Photos & Camera, and then scroll down to the Camera section.
- Webcam settings and how to access them vary. If you know what webcam you use, do a web search for instructions. If it is a campus computer/laptop, contact CTS for help.
- Other video capable cameras will have unique instructions for adjusting settings. Consult the user manual or internet for find out how to adjust settings.
- Once you’ve found the settings, choose 1080p at 30 FPS (frames per second).
Need more tips?
The internet is a great souce of tips. Here are a couple good ones.
Getting your video posted
Because videos are often too large to email, the best way to deliver a file is to save it on the OneDrive and share with your marketing coordinator or drop it off on a flash drive.
Requirements for posting
Before you start a video project, be sure to talk with your marketing coordinator for tips, suggestions, and assistance.
- If you use any copyrighted material you need to get written permission and give credit where due
- Videos need to adhere to YouTube guidelines, even if we post on Vimeo
- Video must represent Parkside in a positive manner
- Provide a description with the video
- Videos must pass approval of the University Marketing staff to be posted
Videos that are instructional in nature should also be posted to the university's iTunesU site. Contact the Learning Technology Center for more information.