Guidelines to record a good Video Story

1. Use Plenty of Light (Golden rule)

  • Shoot in daylight if possible.

  • Position yourself so windows or your main light sources are facing you, not behind you.

  • Avoid overhead lights.

  • When shooting indoors, consider using a ring light that clips to your computer/phone to help light your face.

  • Before you set up your light sources, consider the effect you want to create in your finished video. Do you want your subject’s face entirely lit up (“soft” or “flat” light), or do you want some shadows (“hard” light)?

2. Use a Clean Background

  • Be deliberate about the background you use for filming. Nothing looks less professional than a messy or distracting background.

  • One easy way to get a professional look for your video is to use a solid-colored background. A wall, a bedsheet, or a large sheet of backdrop paper are all good options. Make sure your subject stands several feet away from the backdrop to avoid casting shadows on it.

  • It’s also a good idea to shoot a video in a “professional” environment: the place where you actually work or spend time.

  • Be careful not to film with a window or another reflective surface in the background of your shot. You could inadvertently catch the camera in the reflection. Besides that, having a light source like a window behind your subject can make the subject look dark and shadowy.

Example 1 of Clean background

Example 2 of Clean background

3. Use Your Phone the Right Way - Horizontal always, landscape format

The simple first step to learning how to make professional videos is to remember to shoot in landscape mode---turn your phone on its side. Vertical, or portrait, videos are fine if you're only ever going to look at them on your phone. The moment you try to watch it on a TV, laptop, tablet, or almost any other device its ill-fitting orientation will jump out as a surefire sign of amateur hour.

4. Clean sound - Be sure that the place is quiet and there is no external or internal noise

  • Your audio quality is actually more important than your professional video quality. Most people are willing to watch a video that’s not shot in HD or that’s even a little grainy, as long as everything else about it is good. But fuzzy, indistinct audio is usually enough to make anybody hit the “back” button within a few seconds of starting to play a video.

  • Avoid crowded rooms, people talking around, record the piece in a silent room with enough light.

  • Use a microphone if you have one. Capture clear audio by putting your microphone as close to the subject as possible. You might want to use a pop filter to eliminate blips and crackles on the finished recording. Be aware of any background noise that your microphone might be picking up, too.

5. Avoid shaky shots, if you need to repeat once again is ok

  • Shaky footage will make any professional video look like a home movie (and it can make your viewers feel seasick, to boot). It’s hard to hold a camera completely steady, so try not to hold your camera at all if you can help it. Instead, use a tripod, or set your camera on a sturdy surface.

  • Use a tripod if you have one, whenever is possible, otherwise look for a stable surface to place the camera, like a table, like in the image below:

6. Keep your script clear before you shoot

Plan your video in advance. If it’s an interview we strongly recommend to have the questions ready and make a rehearsal with the person you are going to interview in advance. Share with this person the questions so he or she can be ready to answer. Yo can make several shots to decide the best one for the final edition.

7. Add a grid mode in your phone, very helpful to avoid bad framing

  • Most devices have this option, available via a setting you may need to enable within your camera app.

  • The grid helps you align your video against a line in the background to ensure you're recording straight videos.

  • It aids composition, too. If you're recording people, position their eyes in level with the top grid line.

If you have an iPhone, you can turn on the grid by going to Settings > Photos & Camera > Grid:

8. Shoot from a Variety of angles

Cutting from one angle to another is a good (and simple) way to add visual interest to your professional videos. This is an especially useful technique if you’re making a how-to video, a product demo, or another type of video that shows you doing something rather than just talking.

Guidelines to record a good Audio Story

1. Record with the “Voice Notes” app from your smartphone directly, save the record afterwards

2. Control the Device Mic Distance

3. Speak clearly and without hurrying

4. Enunciate longer words carefully and avoid stuttering or slurring

5. Select upload audio with a picture in DIGIMI webapp so it will finally be a video format to upload, like a regular video