Time to think about putting the script in to action! Think about the following things before you start filming so you’re prepared and make the most of your time. You may want to storyboard your video after considering these points so you have an idea of what shots you need to get and how you want them to look. This will also help in the editing process by having a clearer idea of how you want the finished product to look.
Are you able to get some footage relevant to your city or location? Are you getting a variety of shot types? You’ll have more options during editing if you get more than you think you’ll need, so go for it! Check out the example videos for inspiration.
If your subject is evenly and well lit, the viewer can more comfortably connect with them and what they are saying. The most common problem is not having enough light. When filming inside try to avoid shooting against windows. If possible, choose a nice and bright location. The opposite problem of too much light should only come up when outside on a sunny day.
There is nothing more frustrating than finishing filming, looking over footage, and realising that it is all out of focus. So, no matter what you use, whether a phone or DSLR, make sure your subject is in focus.
Can your voice be heard? If you’re hoping to have someone speaking to the camera, a windy field or a noisy location won’t be the best of options. Being aware of the sounds around you will be important for making sure you can get the best quality sound for your video. Make sure to listen back to your recordings while you’re filming so you can check the audio is clear. You may want to consider using an external microphone depending on your filming equipment or the types of shots you want to include.
A video should be long enough to communicate a message but short enough to keep the audience’ attention. These videos don’t need to be long. Are there time limits to videos on such platforms, for example, Instagram allows a video under 60 seconds to play automatically unless it goes to IGTV. Is that your main platform? These are things worth thinking about.
Your computer probably includes software like iMovie or Microsoft Video Editor Windows.
If you wish to use software that’s a little more advanced for video making, there’s Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro (for Apple products). Both require a paid subscription, but you can get free trials for up to 30 days. Da Vinci Resolve is a free downloadable software that is similar to Adobe Premier.
If you are recording audio separately from the visuals (e.g., using a voice memo app or a microphone while a subject is far away from the camera), then have someone clap in front of the camera as soon as you press record. This way in editing you can easily synchronise the visual clip with the clap audio on separate audio file.
Does your song/soundtrack choice fit the style of video? Is it loud enough to hear but not so loud that it covers other audio you want to be heard? Do you have copyright permission to use the track? If not search for some royalty free music websites.
Will you be including text? What font? What colour? Can it be seen over the visuals? Does it fit the tone of the video? For example, Times New Romans is a classic font style. However, with the upbeat music track you’re using, the high energy video clips and with the audience you’re seeking to reach, Times New Romans may not be the most appropriate choice of font to use. There are plenty of free font websites online. See: www.1001freefonts.com and www.fontsquirrel.com.
TikTok videos and Instagram filters are very popular. Use effects that match the tone of the video you are trying to set if you’re going to use any. Don’t use them if they add nothing good to the video. Very often less is more.
Here are example videos from Glasgow, Essex and London (you can see the scripts on the previous page).
We know filming may be difficult for some CUs, particularly if no one is near or on campus, so we’ve produced a generic video that any CU can download and use to welcome students.
Download the video here and add your own caption – see the ‘next step’ page of this resource for tips on writing your caption.
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