Make your own film

Last changed: 05 October 2020

Do you want to make your own video, perhaps with your mobile? Below are some tips, tricks and pitfalls to avoid. The links at the bottom of the page contain even more information.

Before filming

  • Create a simple storyboard; a rough sketch of what the video will contain, and in which order.
    See the storyboard form (only in Swedish).
  • Choose interesting and relevant filming locations that communicate the subject in an appealing way and present an attractive image of the university.
  • You have to get permission from people to film them and to use the filmed material (except if they are far away from camera and practically unidentifiable).
    More on legal requirements.
  • Ensure that you have enough light. Place the filmed person in good, natural light or use extra lighting.
  • Select a calm environment without disturbing background noises.
  • If possible, use a microphone or lapel mic.
  • Avoid shaking. If you are filming with a system or video camera, use a tripod as much as possible. If you do not have a tripod, support the camera against something, e.g. a post or place it on a table, etc. Another trick is to hold the camera/phone close to your body, but that may be difficult if the camera is heavy.
  • Ask the interviewees/persons filmed to avoid wearing stripes, checkered clothing, all-white or all-black. Patterns can have a heavy moireé effect. Large white or black blocks increase the risk of incorrect exposure.
  • Ask the interviewees to avoid wearing jewellery that jingles or other things that may disturb the audio recording.

During filming

  • Clear the picture, remove disturbing cords and things in the background that take away attention from the main person.
  • Do not film vertically unless the video is made solely for social media and posted instantly without editing. When editing a film in more simple video editing tools as iMovie and such, the vertical format is cropped supplemented with ugly black lines. Also there is less room for subtitles.
  • Should the interviewee’s voice be included or not? Should the question be included on the screen in writing? Should the interviewee answer the question in such a way that the question is implied? In that case, they should be notified beforehand. You must also (always) pay attention during filming to ensure that the recorded material is understandable and useable.
  • Avoid contre-jour. If that is not possible, use extra lighting to lighten and illuminate the subject you wish to film.
  • Avoid exposing other brands or phenomena that may risk damaging the SLU brand.
    SLU’s image and video policy.
  • If you include a narrator, this person should be shown at least once. You can film yourself during a question, from the front or over your shoulder, so both of you are in the picture.
  • Where should the filmed person look? Directly into the camera or at the interviewer? Decide this beforehand to ensure that the interviewee has a clear understanding of the process and is comfortable.
  • Vary the composition to get all the building blocks for your film: Overview, half shot, full shot and close-up.
  • Camera angle – it is most common to hold the camera at normal height when interviewing someone.
  • Do not use the zoom function when filming with a mobile phone – it may impair the film quality. Instead, get closer.

Editing

  • Begin the video with something interesting. You have to get the viewer’s attention and keep it. Otherwise, they will not want to finish watching.
  • Only use material which you are authorised to use. Ensure that the material used is not copyrighted, or get permission from the originator to use their material for the intended purpose.
  • If possible, use “straight” clips. Transitions can be used in emergencies to even out footage from the same recording session.
  • Footage must be shown for at least three seconds. Shorter clips than that give a messy/antsy impression and should only be used as a special effect.
  • Do not forget the accessibility requirements. 
    More on legal requirements.
  • A professional frame with the SLU profile enhances your film.
    Read more about film graphics.
Page editor: jenny.svennas-gillner@slu.se