Planning the shoot
Recording videos, especially when you are on your own, can be overwhelming as there are many things to think about, and many things that can go wrong on the day of the shoot. It is therefore very important that every part of the shoot is carefully planned in advance. The following sections will give you general guidelines on how you can plan for your recording.
Scripting your videos
Unlike some other forms of recording that tend to be to be quite spontaneous (eg podcast conversations) it is important that you know in advance exactly what you'll talk about in the videos. It is therefore important that the dialogue is scripted carefully to make sure that the exact content is communicated in the time frame intended.
Writing a script does not necessarily mean writing what you intend to say word for word - soft scripting is also an option if you would prefer to be prompted rather than be read text word for word. The script should still contain enough information to ensure you still cover all the intended content, and rehearse multiple times to get the flow of ideas and the timing right.
Even though a script is written, make sure that you write it in a the same voice as you would if you were speaking, i.e. err on the casual / informal side.
Moreover, make sure you break down the video into different segments so that you can pause, and continue the filming easily without too much disruption to the flow of the video if you need a break. If the final video will also contain images or other videos (so you won't appear continually from start to end), consider filming the video as separate files, so that if you need to reshoot, you don't need to do it from the start.
After you finish scripting the text, read through the text at roughly the same pace you would for the video, and time yourself. Remember not to make the videos too long, as even videos with high-impact graphics can become overwhelming after a while. If the dialogue is over 20 minutes long, consider splitting the video.
Learning Environments have put together a collection of resources to assist academics produce their own media content.
Booking the microstudio
For instructions about booking the microstudio, please follow the link here:
When booking a time for the microstudio, allow time for setting up, wrapping up, reviewing instructions, and doing several takes. For example, if you estimate that the total duration of your filmed footage will be 20 minutes, it might require 2 hours of microstudio time. Always allow for more time than you think is necessary. You can always come back if you run out of time, but your physical appearance (besides just clothes) and tone of voice can vary noticeably from day to day.
If your booking time starts immediately after another booking, allow the person to leave the studio before you walk in as you do not want to interrupt them in the middle of a recording. Similarly, if there is a booking immediately after yours, make sure you finish all your recording at least 10 minutes before the end of your time in case the next person did not realise the studio was being used and walks in.
Use the sign outside the Microstudio to know if there is an active recording session.
Preparing your script for the teleprompter
The teleprompter uses an iPad and an app called Teleprompter Premium. The app can generate a rolling text from a Word file. If you want to use the teleprompter, the only preparation you need is to write your script on a Word document. Make sure you to break down the sections into manageable parts, but don't worry about formatting (eg text size) as this can be done in the app itself.
When you finish writing your script, email it to yourself so you can have access to it on the iPad.
Sometimes, the formatting on MS Word does not always translate perfectly into the format on the iPad. This is not necessarily a problem as further formatting can be done on the teleptompting app itself.
Notifying BEL+T of any special requirement
The ABP microstudio has been set up to record one person (ideally) or 2 people standing. The field of view will capture the torso and head of a standing talent, with some clearance above the talent's head. A single boom microphone will capture the dialogue from one or two talents onto a single channel.
If your video has special requirements (eg a filmed conversation between two people where the dialogue will be carefully curated in post-production and therefore has to be recorded separately), please get in touch with the BEL+T team as we can make minor adjustments to the equipment setup on an ad-hoc basis.