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Best Practices for Video

Before producing videos, learn about some of the basics.

What kinds of videos should I make?

We recommend six categories of video that are a particularly good use of your time when it comes to efficacy and engagement:

  1. Process illustrations: demonstrating how processes occur or how problems are solved
  2. Intellectual exchanges: presenting multiple expert perspectives on an issue
  3. Real-world connections: connecting course materials to real-world objects or scenarios
  4. Module introductions: providing context for course content
  5. Announcements: informing students of course-specific information
  6. Equivalent alternatives to existing content: offering visual learners an alternative to existing non-video material

To learn more about these in greater detail, read the article on Six Great Uses of Video

How do I make sure my video looks good?

There are three main considerations to take into account when filming videos on your own:

  1. Lighting: make sure your face (and body, if applicable) are lit evenly.
  2. Framing: put your head center frame with a little bit of space between the top of your head and the frame. (If you intend to have on-screen visuals next to you, put yourself in the left third or right third of the frame.)
  3. Sound: set your mic input levels appropriately to ensure you're not too quiet or too loud in the final recording. 

Independent of these foundational principles of filmmaking, there are also a handful of additional recommendations:

  • Record a test video every time: before starting a recording session, record a test video lasting a few seconds and then watch it to make sure your lighting, framing, and sound are good. 
  • Determine a “flub cue”: decide on a visual and/or auditory signal to your editor (which may be you!) that indicates that an edit is needed.
  • Film in batches: complete pre-production work for all of your videos, then move on to filming. 

For more detail on these tips, read our article on Video Basics

Need additional help? Contact the Multimedia Services team at multimedia@ucsd.edu.