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Tips for self-filming video content

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Want to produce your own user-generated video content? When self-filming on your mobile there’s a number of things to think about. Here are our top tips to help you produce great authentic content.

Some are specifically about StoryTagger, our guided video storytelling app, which makes it easy for people to reflect, plan and record their learning experiences. For more info:

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Tips for self-filming video content

  1. 1. Tips for self-filming
  2. 2. 1. Planning and practice
  3. 3. Plan your story first Before you record, run through each story block and use the prompts to help plan your story. Add notes or a full autocue script – it’s your call. You can edit from the recording screen too.
  4. 4. Add some emotion! Don’t be afraid to open up about how your story made you feel. Sharing your struggle, hopes and fears makes a great narrative.
  5. 5. Practice Try it out. A few practice recordings will help you get your timings right, work on your delivery and make any changes. Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable with the result, you can record again.
  6. 6. 2. Setting the scene
  7. 7. Record where you’re comfortable Where will you record your story? Sometimes a busy space is fun - people will assume you’re on a video call. Or, you might prefer a quiet space where you can concentrate.
  8. 8. Walking, standing or sitting? If you feel more confident and creative wandering around, why not film as you walk? Do watch out for obstacles, though! If you’ve found a great location, feel free to stay in one spot.
  9. 9. Background changes Different locations or positions for each story block can add variety. A static background keeps things simple, especially if your video is short. You can even record closer up so the focus is mainly on you.
  10. 10. 3. Technical tips
  11. 11. A bit of shake Unless you’ve got your phone on a stand, a bit of camera shake is only to be expected. Don’t worry about it. People are much more interested in what you have to say. Find a comfortable grip and remember, you might need to scroll notes with your thumb.
  12. 12. Keep it clean! The front lens on our phones is a magnet for mucky finger prints. Don’t forget to give it a quick clean before you start for a crystal clear recording.
  13. 13. Headphone mic or phone mic? Your phone mic is good if you’re in a quiet place, but if you’re surrounded by noise you’ll get much better sound quality with your headphone mic.
  14. 14. Let there be light Our phones have great cameras but they do need a bit of light to create a nice, clear image. So, try to avoid dark locations, unless that’s the effect you’re going for!
  15. 15. 4. Ready to record?
  16. 16. Wait for the countdown StoryTagger won’t start recording until the countdown ends. Make sure you’re ready to speak at the right moment. If you’re not sure, play your recording back to see if you hit your cue.
  17. 17. Don’t be a perfectionist Trying to record the ‘perfect’ video will drive you crazy! StoryTagger videos are quick, informal reflections, so don’t worry about the odd mistake. If you can get your point across, you’ve nailed it!
  18. 18. Review and re-record You’re in complete control of your recording. If you’re not completely happy, you can re-record as many times as you like.
  19. 19. 5. Playback and review
  20. 20. Don’t overthink it Most people hate seeing themselves on camera - even some Hollywood A-listers! Don’t forget, you’re your own toughest critic, so don’t be too hard on yourself!
  21. 21. It’s all about the words People care more about what you have to say than how you look or sound, so keep your focus there. As long as you’re getting your point across, the odd ‘um’ or background noise doesn’t matter.
  22. 22. Final check You’re making your video to share something useful. Remember to check back to your notes to make sure you covered all you wanted to. How about asking a colleague or friend for feedback?