Production resources

If you've chosen to deliver content through the use of video and audio, there are a number of choices regarding format, technique and quality that is often aligned to your budget and intended audience.

The following information details the resources available for creating and uploading content as well as production techniques.

Media production services

The following media production services are offered at the University:

If you are interested in self-producing your own content, there are cost-effective options available that can help deliver a reasonable quality result appropriate for your audience.

Producing your own video

Recording a great video doesn’t need to cost the earth. Current smart phone cameras are now good enough that high-quality videos can be obtained using equipment you might already have in your pocket.

Think like a producer

The trick is to approach your own production in the same way that the pros do. First think about your audience, then work on the script. Next find a great location, and finally make sure you’re getting the most out of your phone or camera on the day of the shoot.

Equipment

We often get asked for equipment recommendations. By following the tips in our video, it’s completely feasible to record a presentation to camera using just the inbuilt microphone and an improvised camera support – something like a bag of rice on a stack of books, or a paper cup with a notch cut into it.

Using a bag of rice as a phone camera tripod
Using a bag of rice as a phone camera tripod
Using a paper cup as a phone camera tripod
Using a paper cup as a phone camera tripod

Taking things to the next level might involve getting hold of a mobile phone tripod and a microphone designed for mobile film making. We’ve used and can recommend the following:

Tripod

  • Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod
  • iPhone holder - Joby GripTight One Mount

Audio

  • Rode Wireless Go: Great for wireless mic
  • Rode smartLav+ lapel mic: When presenting close to camera
  • Rode NT-USB: Also a good USB mic for desktop audio recording.

Unfortunately, Learning Environments doesn’t have spare equipment to lend, but ask around your team or faculty to see what might be available to borrow locally.

Once your equipment has been organised, the next step is to consider the over all production of your presentation.

Filming

We’ve put together a basic check-list below to help you produce professional results with minimal fuss:

  1. Script your presentation for a screen viewing audience.
  2. Stabilise your device with a mini tripod and test the record settings.
  3. Choose a location with good natural light.
  4. Choose a quiet location to maximise the quality of your audio.
  5. Rehearse out loud before recording.

Editing

Once you’ve filmed your video, you’ll have to think about editing. If a simple ‘top and tail’ is all that is required, you should be able to do this using the software on your phone. But for more complicated edit jobs, you’ll want to offload the footage to your computer.

  1. Check your project settings.
  2. Include a range of ‘assets’. Video, stills, music, voice-over.
  3. Try to tell a story with your assets.
  4. Choose the best takes – good audio & vision.
  5. Export with your delivery platform in mind – for Kaltura, aim for a frame size of 1280x720 or 1920x1080, and export your video using a MPEG4 or h264 preset.

Software

There are lots of video editing packages available. For a simple, free, open-source option take a look at OpenShot Video Editor for Mac, PC and Linux computers.

For more fully featured solutions, we have a more comprehensive list available here.

There are plenty more tips on the Learning Environments website. Best of luck for your shoot!

SoftwareDescriptionCost Difficulty levelOS Screen
recording
Editing
Audacity Audio recording and editing Free Easy Mac/PC No Yes
OpenShot Video editor Free Easy Mac/PC No Yes
OBS Video, screen recording and live streaming Free Easy Mac/PC Yes No
Quicktime Video player, recorder and editor Free Easy Mac Yes Basic trimming
Movies and TV Video player and editor Free Easy PC No Basic trimming
Zoom Video conference software Free (for staff) Easy Mac/PC Yes No
Kaltura Personal Capture Screen recorder Free (for staff) Easy Mac/PC Yes Basic trimming
Screencast-O-Matic Screen recorder and video editor Free (for staff) Easy Mac/PC Yes Yes
Camtasia Screen recorder and video editor Paid Medium Mac/PC Yes Yes
Adobe Rush Video recorder and editor Paid Medium Mac/PC/iOS No Yes
Adobe Premiere Pro Video editor Paid Advanced Mac/PC No Yes, fully featured
Final Cut Pro X Video editor Paid Advanced Mac No Yes, fully featured
DaVinci Resolve Video editor Free Advanced Mac/PC No Yes, fully featured

Resources

  • Copyright

    Be aware of the various copyright policies regarding online audio and video. Generally speaking, don’t include any third-party content without permission or correct licensing. Visit the copyright office website for more information.

  • Video hosting

    What platform to host your content depends on the type of video, visit this link for more information. Also consider the shelf-life of your video, will it need to be online in 6 months, 2 years or 5 years time?

  • Technical standards

    The appropriateness of video and audio production values is highly subjective, but should ultimately be closely aligned with audience expectations.

    For example, a selfie video recorded on an iPhone (with a relatively low production value) could still be appropriate for an LMS subject or a social media post. On the other hand, a professionally produced marketing video may come across as too polished for a specific audience.

    With that in mind, there are technical considerations that can help get your message across:

    Audio - You must be able to hear the presenter clearly. For example, the closer that a microphone is to the mouth, the more clearly audio will be heard.

    Video - The way it is filmed should not distract from the content. For example, using a tripod or holding the camera steady is recommended in most situations.

  • Stock images, templates and other resources
  • Professional development programs

    Learning Environments runs professional development programs throughout the year. Check this page for current sessions. Some examples include:

    • The Art of Authentic video storytelling
    • Designing for learning with technology
    • Using video in education
    • Presenting to Camera
    • Video production with smartphones
    • Self-service audio recording
  • Additional learning resources
  • Presentation tips and resources
    • Rather than 'presenting a paper' or 'giving a lecture' consider some other ways of delivering content
    • Watch some Three Minute Thesis presentations for examples of short and sharp research communication
    • Do you have what it takes to share an idea worth spreading? TED's secret to great public speaking
    • If you prioritise reading your notes instead of engaging the audience then don't be surprised if they start looking at their phones
    • If the audience doesn't intrinsically have an interest in your topic, find a way to make it accessible and interesting
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