Do’s and don’ts of video
If you feel you can’t keep your eyes on the lens all the time, you don’t always need to talk to the camera directly. A good alternative is to record as if you were being interviewed. You can talk “off camera” by looking at someone (or something) past the camera, making sure your gaze is within the shot, as shown below.
TWO OPTIONS FOR CORRECT POSITIONING OF THE SUBJECT on a ‘off camera’ shot
WRONG POSITIONING OF THE SUBJECT on a ‘off camera’ shot
Try to pick a more interesting background than a white wall right behind you. If you try to position yourself away from your background, most cameras will allow you to focus on the subject and leave the background out of focus, which will give your video a more professional look. Even the most basic cameras today will allow you to record in HD and with good image quality.
Keep the camera at eye level at all times and please don’t shot against a window when you don’t have enough light in front/on your face. Backlight shooting is a big ‘no’ in video and will result in you appearing very dark.
EXAMPLES OF A GOOD SHOT
In case you decide to talk to the camera, be sure to keep your eyes on the lens throughout the video. In this set up you can place the subject at the centre, or to the left or right of the frame, in order to use the space. Two examples:
EXAMPLES OF A BAD SHOT
DON’T: have to wide a shot, this puts too much information around the subject and we lose focus on the subject and his message; also don’t put your subject too close to the background.
DON’T: have the subject look down by placing the camera below their eye level.
DON’T: chop off the subject’s head.
DON’T: let the subject look to the wrong side of an ‘off camera shot’; ask them to look to the opposite side past the camera (but in this specific example it is also wrong to place the camera below the eye level of the subject).
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and our Journals Multimedia Editor, Leticia Amorim, will get in touch with you.