NHS Leadership Academy Digital Team

8 DIY Video Do’s and Don’ts

Posted by: Adam Refoufi - Posted on:

8 DIY Video Do’s and Don’ts 

Be still – Move the camera when you have a reason and the opportunity.  Frequent shaky movements and needless adjustments will ruin your shot and focus.  Some of the more expensive camera phones will have image stabilization so it may not be a problem, however, if you have a camera without image stabilization consider a static shot using a mini tripod – you can buy one from amazon for £5 or create a free quick and easy DIY tripod

Composition – The Rule of Thirds – This is a very simple method of producing a more natural image. It’s the process of dividing an image into thirds, using two horizontal and vertical lines. The imaginary grid displays nine parts and four intersection points. Position the most important elements of your image in the cross hairs of the top two intersections of the lines. It’s a good idea to position people off to one side of the frame. This provides some “breathing space”, shows the subject’s environment, and stops the video from looking like a mugshot. Place them at one of the intersections on the rule of thirds grid to give the shot a clear focal point.

Tip: Don’t shoot from a million miles away. Get close up to the subject, we are naturally drawn to people’s eyes.  Fill the frame and don’t let anything in the frame distract from the subject or focus.

[Image by Megan Leetz]

Video Length – Keep it short and succinct, plan what you’re going to say. Learning videos should be as long as they need to be in order to meet learning objectives, however, research suggests that 6 minutes is the optimal length of a video. After 6 minutes engagement rapidly drops.

Tip: To edit your video clips download for free either iMovie for iPhone or Snapseed for Android.

Lighting – Avoid being backlit by making sure you’re facing toward, and not away from a window or light source. 

Tip: If you don’t have a good forward-facing light source open up a white image or word document on an external monitor or laptop and use that to illuminate your face. 

Audio – Try and limit noise pollution. Be mindful of the type of room that you use to record. Does it echo? Is there outside noise? Ideally record in a carpeted small space.

Video Quality – Record in 720p HD as a minimum. 

Test your setup –  Once you have everything set up be sure to test before you hit record. 

Sharing your file – For iPhones, you can airdrop to a laptop. For both iPhone & Android, you can upload to iCloud or Google Drive app. Alternatively, you can upload the file(s) to wetransfer.com and a download link will be sent to your chosen email address. Access Wetransfer through your phone browser, there’s an upload limit of up to 2GB (720p HD video @ 17Mbps is approx 22 minutes of video content). 

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