Recording a great video doesn’t need to cost the earth. Learning Environments have prepared some pointers on how to record a great video 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.
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.
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:
- Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod
- iPhone holder - Joby GripTight One Mount
- 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.
We’ve put together a basic check-list below to help you produce professional results with minimal fuss:
- Script your presentation for a screen viewing audience.
- Stabilise your device with a mini tripod and test the record settings.
- Choose a location with good natural light.
- Choose a quiet location to maximise the quality of your audio.
- Rehearse out loud before recording.
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.
- Check your project settings.
- Include a range of ‘assets’. Video, stills, music, voice-over.
- Try to tell a story with your assets.
- Choose the best takes – good audio & vision.
- 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.
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.
We have also compiled the following list of more fully featured solutions that are in use around the University.
|Software||Description||Cost||Difficulty level||OS||Screen recording||Editing|
|Audacity||Audio recording and editing||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|
|Echo360 Universal 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|
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.
What platform to host your content depends on the type of video, we've outlined some options for video hosting at the University of Melbourne. Also consider the shelf-life of your video, will it need to be online in six months, two years or five years time?
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.
The guidelines for video and audio provides a framework to create video and audio content to ensure it meets minimum quality and brand standards.
Stock images, templates and other resources
- Tactical communication resources
- LMS support (includes Kaltura guides and workshops)
- Photo and imagery resources (including Imagebank)
- Templates and logos (including video templates)
- Photographing and filming people (Copyright Office)
- Privacy issues when photographing, filming or recording on behalf of the University (Legal and risk)
- Brand guidelines
- Video captioning.
Professional development programs
Learning Environments runs professional development programs throughout the year. 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.