Filming yourself at home | Do's and Don'ts

Like many production companies and those in the creative space, we have had to adapt fast to the new working conditions presented by COVID-19. In part technology is helping hugely, had this outbreak occurred just a couple of years ago it would have been an existential struggle to keep projects coming in and turned around.

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Cloud services like Adobe Creative Suite can be accessed anywhere and as long as the hardware is up to it, there’s no reason why editors can’t continue to create from the comfort or confines of their homes! Thank the gods of production for fiber broadband, where after years of playing catch up, most of us enjoy reasonable speeds and can up and download without too much delay. Video assets in whatever resolution are the lifeblood of Quite Frankly and as long as we’re not talking terabytes of footage, it’s not unreasonable to distribute them around our network.

What’s interesting is seeing how companies are now talking to and with their people. What’s true of us as individuals – a need to check in with each other more – is just as true of our biggest clients. For that reason, my hope is that we and the many other brilliant companies in our space will weather these months in a sea of user-generated content. To that point rather than clogging up inboxes with another “business as almost normal” mailout, we thought it’d be more useful to give some pointers on the best way to film yourself with your phone, iPad, or any other device.

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The main problem for people filming themselves is light. Don’t stand or sit in front of a window or you’ll appear as a burnt-out silhouette. Try to get some natural light on your face.

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Microphones are mainly omnidirectional which means they pick up sounds from all sides, unlike your ears. What may not sound distracting to you, can ruin a recording – a radio in the background, a dog barking, or vibrating phones. Noisy fridges seem to be a particular issue!

Looking down into a camera means you are being filmed up your nose. I speak for myself but this isn’t usually someone’s best feature!

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Agencies

As well as our direct-to-brand and direct-to-function work, we are happy to partner with agencies to help broaden their offering to their clients.

If it’s an important message, what are you wearing? How’s your hair? Are you shiny? Contrasting patterns and pinstripes don’t look good on camera so again, try to keep things simple.

Try to fill your frame with about 20% headroom at the top. That’ll give the editor working on the piece room to move the image around if need be.

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Relax and talk clearly. In-built microphones can’t really handle shouting or whispering so try to keep things even.

Rehearse. You can always give your editor a couple of options to see which ones sound or look best.

And finally, and this is usually the hardest part. Look directly into the camera. Try not to let your eyes flick away. Imagine you’re talking to a friend behind the lens and focus on that point. At the end of your message give it a beat, and hold your gaze for a second or two to give the editor an option of how to cut out of your message.

And finally, with time on our hands, lots of tech at home but no chance to get out and about with our cameras, we thought we’d take the chance to redesign our logo. Stay well everyone and stay in touch.

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