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Center for Information Technology Video service Making videos yourself

How do I make a video?

What do I need?

You need to prepare a number of things to in order to make a good video. The most important resources for making a video are:

  • Video recording equipment: Almost every digital camera possesses a more than decent video function. You can use a photo or video camera, but a mobile phone or webcam also works - depending on their quality - quite well.
  • A suitable background: During filming choose a suitable background. The best backgrounds are clean, so try to avoid messy areas. This way students will not be distracted so easily, and it also gives your video a professional vibe if you choose a calm, plain background rather than a busy one.
  • If necessary use a stand: A stand prevents the camera from moving, making for a stable video which feels calmer and more professional.

How do I make a good video?

There are a number of technical and functional elements to keep in account when creating a video. This will massively boost the quality of your video.

  • Consider the length of your video in relation to the content carefully. A good educational video is a maximum of 7 minutes long and focuses primarily on one subject. If you deal with complex material it might be wise to make a thematical division between a number of videos dealing with concepts individually. Try to cut out any explanation or material that is not necessary for proper understanding of the message conveyed in your video.
  • Visual means such as drawing, animations and other forms of presentations can tremendously add to the quality. Besides the obvious advantages of illustrations it can also provide for a gentle variation in the video.
  • Proper lightning, camera angle and camera distant are paramount to a good video. Try to avoid light coming from above or the side casting any awkward shadows on the presenter, this can be very disrupting.
  • Think well about how you are going to portray the speaker and any relevant objects. You can choose to show the entire speaker or a close-up of his upper body. The background plays an important role here as well; try to avoid messy backgrounds, in particular featuring objects that have any readable text on them, rather select a plain wall or tidy bookcase; this positively focuses attention on the speaker and not their surroundings.

Where do I start?

Our recommendation is to write a short plan before you start recording and to make a script in which you write out, for yourself, what exactly the purpose and contents of the video are. This way you can carefully consider each and every element in advance. It can actually be to your benefit to write the text out in its entirety and time a rough duration, especially if you use other visual material in the video as well. Especially during a series of videos or for a video for an exam we strongly recommend planning ahead to make sure the material makes logical sense.

The internet provides a wealth of information that can serve as inspiration. Youtube is packed with interesting educational videos and professional productions such as MOOCS can also be a great example of videos done right. A good source of information is (In Dutch) which provides information, examples and best practises.

Last modified:22 March 2017 5.34 p.m.
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