Video Podcasting Techniques

I was recently asked about best practice in terms of video podcasting & recording techniques.
Specifically the question was asked by a speaker who we will be recording this weekend.

In terms of tools we have been using Adobe, imac and Camptasia.
Kitwise: 2x 3CCD based DV Cams and 1x single channel wireless mic + 1x wired mic.

It is important to brief the speaker on the following areas:

  • Articulation of words, including gaps between long speaking sections
  • Ensuring what we call, ‘in range’ shots. We use a cover cam that records from a wide angle and in parallel the main camera that focuses on the speaker. The wide angle cover cam includes capturing any slides/powerpoint activity to assure post production timings.
  • We have it on good authority that the attention span for viewers is approx 45 seconds, therefore, the camera person may ask for selective shots after a conference to create subtle interludes between the session. NB In addition, avoid panning in and out too much.
  • When recording an audience it is best to get a disclaimer signed that also authorises the permission for recording them.
  • For video podcasting it is likely that the final images/output will be small, therefore, selective recording of close-ups is recommended.
  • Sound quality is important – an external mic on a long cable is recommended (safely positioned) for audience questions.
  • In a conference situation a variety of seating arrangements are possible – a personal preference is what we describe as workshop style, i.e: lay out tables in a clustered diamond shape with 4-5 seats – again with safe access.
  • Take stills of specific exhibits for inclusion at a later date.
  • Test all equipment, keep spare batteries & audit pre+post packing.
  • Agree a high-level structure of the session but allowing the speaker/facilitator to be creative.

At the end of the day it is all about creating a valuable experience even if a 3 hour session becomes 12mins of video.
In terms of educational seminars – Video Screencasting / latter inclusion within an online education seminar agreeing core
subject areas, fading between each one with a good intro, flags to each section and a good summary can all help to make a worthwhile refresher and engaging viewing experience.

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