Media Moments Western Reserve Public Media


Video Production Guidelines

What is the goal (topic) of your video?

Who is the intended audience?

1. Select a topic.

This can be accomplished through brainstorming. Once you have brainstormed your idea you can use a four-step process to decide which idea is best.

Step 1. Group ideas into categories

Step 2. Discuss the categories

Step 3. Do preliminary research to find possible sources of information about each category

Step 4. Select the topic based on the following questions:

1. Is it interesting to the group?

2. Will it interest the target audience?

3. Is there enough information available?


2. Produce a script

When making a video, it’s the pre-production work that makes a good end product. The more time you spend planning before you use the camera, the less time you will waste. The following four steps can help with making the production.

Step 1. Outline. Categorize the materials you have collected during your research.

Step 2. Scripting. A script should be written for your audience to hear, not read. Keep it simple with familiar words and phrases.

Step 3. Storyboard. A storyboard helps you decide what you want to show the audience. A storyboard is used to match the script with video plus decide on where the camera should be and what types of shots to use.

Step 4. Combine script and story board. Once the script and storyboard are done you will have a complete record of what you want to videotape.


3. Shoot the video for editing

When shooting videotape for later editing, the most important thing to remember is to put five seconds of throw away video before and after each shot. In other words, start the tape rolling, wait five seconds, start the action you want to see on the finished tape. At the end of each shot add five seconds of video. Those added seconds serve as slop room for your edits.


4. Types of camera shots.

Long Shot (L.S.) is used to show where you are. Also called an establishing shot, a long shot can also be used to show large groups of people or all of something like a house or a statue

Medium Shot (M.S.) is used to focus the audience’s attention. A medium shot cuts out unwanted people or background and close in on what’s important in the picture.

Close Up (C.U.) is used to isolate what is important in the picture. A close up can show a person’s face, or enlarge something to give the audience a better view.

Extreme Close Up (E.C.U.) is used to show details or small objects. An extreme close up might single out a person in a group photo or show the inside of a watch.


5. Types of camera moves

Pan – camera moves from left to right or right to left

Zoom – going from a wide angle shot to a telephoto shot or vice versa.

Tilt – camera moves up and down.

Combining shots to add continuity

Keep in mind, you control what your audience will see. Make it simple for the audience to keep track of what you are doing by establishing where you are with a long shot, then narrow their focus with a medium shot and finally show them what is important with a close up.


6. Sound

Good sound is very important to making a good video. The mic on the camera is good for picking up sound from all around but should not be used for recording individuals. For recording individuals go with an external mic such as a hand held which is good for interviews because two or more people can share the mic, or a lapel mic that is clipped to the clothing and used by one person.


7. Lighting

Many video cameras will record in very low light but low light pictures won’t show up and don’t edit very well. When shooting with a video camera the strongest light will always win, therefore, if the subject you are shooting is in shadow, the camera will adjust to the bright background light and leave your subject too dark to see. It is always best to have the strongest light come from the direction of the camera. In other words, have the light at the camera persons back. Remember always, the basic rule of thumb for lighting is: the more the better.

PBS Copyright©2007, Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc. All rights reserved.