This article was written by Michael Jacobson, CPLP – Vehicle Safety & Regulatory Compliance Process, Methods & Training, FCA. Michael is also a past President for ATD Detroit.
Not that long ago, incorporating video into your eLearning was a really big deal that usually came with a really big price tag. If you didn’t have access to an in-house studio you would hire a production company which meant adding time, cost and complexity to your project.
Thanks to lower priced cameras and efficient distribution channels, there has been a shift in recent years.
Video production has moved out of the studio and is now available to everyone. Tripods have given way to selfie sticks and point of view (POV) video has become common place (just watch any show on HGTV and you’ll see multiple shoulder mounted cameras constantly on the move). This shift is also making its way into the workplace. By 2025 millennials will represent 75 percent of the global workforce(1). This generation has grown up watching handheld videos shot on smart phones and posted to Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.
Don’t get me wrong, in certain situations (anything client facing, customer facing, representing your brand, etc.) you should definitely call in the professionals. But for in-house, limited use, rapid development situations, I encourage you to grab a camera and start shooting.
Here are 5 practical tips to help you get started:
In general, the more light the better. Be careful of having your subject directly in front of a bright window. While there may be a beautiful backdrop outside, it will often lead to an underexposed subject.
If possible, invest in an external microphone. There are many affordable options for both wired and wireless microphones and they make a world of difference. If you use the on-camera microphone, try to get as close to the subject as possible, which leads to our next tip…
Get as close as possible to your subject and have them fill up as much of the frame as possible. This is especially important if your video is going to be viewed at less than full screen or on a handheld device.
Watch out for clutter in the background (including plants, posters, and messy desks). You don’t have to sit your subject in front of a plain white wall, but just make sure there’s not a plant coming out of their head.
In most cases using a tripod is the safest bet for a quality video. If you want to shoot hand held video, keep the camera movement slow and steady. Move around with the camera as if it was a very full, and very hot, cup of coffee.