Best Practices

Recording in the Video Production Studio

The video production studio is located in the Council Building RM143 & RM144.

video production studio

The studio features:

  • Large green screen
  • Studio lighting
  • Professional HD Cameras
  • Two 50” TV Monitors for viewing your content during the recording
  • Wireless Lavalier Microphones
  • Teleprompter
  • Presentation PC with remote
  • Digital Pen Display for annotating documents
  • Document Camera (ELMO) for capturing physical documents, handwriting, and books
  • Learning Glass System

The basic process for recording in the video production studio involves:

  1. Preparing your content. Be sure to reach out to your instructional designer in academic technology for guidance.
  2. Contact Jessica Harden to schedule your recording session.
  3. When you arrive for your recording session, you will login to the studio presentation PC and load up your materials e.g. PowerPoints, spreadsheets, websites, video clips etc.
  4. If you will be appearing on camera; media services staff will sit you in front of the green screen, attach a microphone to your clothing, and adjust the lighting and camera. If you are not appearing on camera, only a microphone is attached.
  5. During your recording, you will control your slides and other visual content by using the presentation remote or the PC mouse and keyboard.
  6. Media services staff will operate the video recording equipment, adjust lighting, audio levels, and operate the teleprompter (if used).
  7. After your recording session, media services staff will perform any editing or post production to your video.
  8. When your video is complete, you will receive a YouTube embed code via email. This embed code can be used to add the video to a Blackboard course or other online website. Note: Your video is uploaded to a specific JU Media Services YouTube account for storage and delivery only. Your video is unlisted and not published for public viewing. Your video is not searchable via YouTube, Google, or the web. You decide who has access to your video by virtue of where you post the embed code.

Preparing Visuals and Documents for Video

Video is a unique format and requires certain considerations over a live presentation or a printed document. Visuals and documents that work in print or in a live lecture environment may not necessarily translate well to the video format. Your audience will be viewing your video on a variety of screens; from large computer monitors and televisions, to smaller tablets and smartphones. Font size, color contrast, and the amount of text on the screen are extremely important considerations when formatting visuals for video.

PowerPoint for Video

  • PowerPoint slides should be formatted in a widescreen 16:9aspect ratio. The traditional square 4:3 aspect ratio is no longer the standard. All monitors, television screens, laptops, phones, and tablets have adopted a widescreen format. Displaying square 4:3 slides in a widescreen video will produce black bars on each side of the video known as pillarboxing.Pillarboxing
    • To verify your slide size in PowerPoint; click the DESIGN TAB, then click SLIDE SIZE.
    • Ensure your slide size is set to Widescreen (16:9)
    • For best results, set your slide size prior to creating your presentation as converting afterwards can often disrupt the layout of your text and images.
  • Use a sans serif fontfor body text. Sans serifs like Calibri, Arial, or Helvetica tend to be the easiest to read on screens.
  • We recommend at least 20-point font, as anything smaller will be difficult to read in the video player.
  • Once a sans serif font is selected, it is best to use the same font throughout the video.
  • Use dark text on a light background as this is easiest to read. If you must use a dark background, be sure to use light colored text (white, or cream) and also consider increasing the font size by a couple of points.
  • Avoid red-green or yellow-blue combinations as contrasting colors, because individuals with colorblindness are unable to differentiate the text from the background.
  • Align text left or right. Centered text is harder to read.
  • Avoid clutter. A headline, a few bullet points, maybe an image – anything more than that and you risk losing your audience.
  • PowerPoint slides should be the visual aid to your lecture and not a verbatim copy of your lecture. Your audience should not be able to read your entire lecture from your slides.
  • PowerPoint presentations should be saved in a .pptor .pptx file format. Do not export slides as a PDF document or separate images.

Using the Document Camera

Document camera

The video production studio features a document camera (Elmo) for displaying pages from books, physical documents, or capturing handwriting on paper.

  • Be sure that your document is well printed and not faded.
  • When capturing handwriting, be sure to use a dark colored pen or marker.
  • During your recording, be sure to periodically glance up at the large display monitor to ensure that your document remains in the video frame.
  • Use the zoom control on the side of the document camera to enlarge small text. The video output from the document camera will be displayed on one of the large studio monitors for you to reference.

Playing Video Clips

You can play video clips during your presentation in the video production studio using the presentation PC.

  • Video clips from the internet can be played back using the Google Chrome Web Browser.
  • DVD video discs can be played back via the PC’s DVD-ROM drive.
  • Video files can be can loaded onto the presentation PC via a USB flash drive or by downloading from an online storage space like Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or your JU (H:) Drive
  • When using video files, it is always best to test the video file in the studio prior to your recording session to ensure there are no issues with playback.

Using a Script

prompt reader

In most instances, speaking casually as you would in a live classroom ensures a more natural presentation and is more engaging to your audience. However, there may be certain instances where a script is more appropriate.

The video production studio features a camera mounted teleprompter that allows a presenter to read a script while maintaining eye contact with the camera i.e. your audience. As you speak, a studio engineer will scroll your script in the teleprompter, keeping up with your pace.

  • Scripts can be created using Microsoft Word or similar word processing software.
  • If using a script, it is best to have reminders within the script for when you want to advance your PowerPoint slides. For example, write into the script “Slide 1” or “Next slide” to denote a transition.
  • It is best not to leave blanks “________” in the script that you will fill in on the fly as this typically presents an obvious change in demeanor. Having a complete script works best.
  • The teleprompter displays plain white text. Keep in mind that text formatting such as custom fonts, bold, or italics will not transfer properly onto the teleprompter.
  • If you need to include emphasis in your script, use CAPS or **asterisks** around such words. Line breaks will be fine, but indentations may not display correctly.
  • Be sure to practice your script a few times for accuracy and timing.
  • If you feel uncomfortable reading a script but would still like to have some cues during your recording, you may want to instead use bullet points in order to remind yourself of what topics you want to cover.
  • Scripts should be saved as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file format.
  • Please email your script to a media services staff member at least 24 hours before your recording time so that it can be tested and reformatted if needed.

Video Length

  • To maximize student engagement, it is best to break up lectures into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Creating videos that are 5-10 minutes in length is best. However, videos should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • If your content takes longer to cover; it is best to break it up into segments.

The Recording Session

  • A recording session can be booked for a maximum of 3-hours. We do not advise recording for longer than 3-hours, as the quality of the lectures will often begin to suffer.
  • We ask that you please arrive 10-minutes prior to your scheduled recording session. It is also recommended to bring a bottle of water.
  • You can access your presentation materials by logging into the studio PC and downloading from an online storage space like Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or your JU (H:) drive. You can also bring in materials on a USB Flash drive.
  • Important: For clothing, avoid wearing the color green for green screen recordings. The color green is removed from your video to create the green screen effect.
  • Avoid checks, pin stripes, or tight patterns as these cause an optical illusion that looks bad on video.
  • Eye glasses can sometimes reflect studio lighting. Only wear glasses if needed to view the teleprompter.
  • A studio technician will be on hand for the entire session to monitor the recording and handle all audio-video production responsibilities.
  • Studio staff will also handle post-production editing of your video.
  • During your presentation, you will be in control of advancing the PowerPoint slides and other presentation visuals by using the presentation remote or PC mouse and keyboard.
  • If using a script, the studio engineer will scroll your script in the teleprompter, keeping up with your pace.