Top Five Tips for Recording Footage

1. Pay attention to the lighting of room you are in.

Lighting can affect your footage significantly. Be aware of lighting especially if you are filming inside a building. Sometimes it is a good idea to bring some extra set lights with you so that your footage is lit correctly and you get the look you want. 

2. Make sure your audio equipment is recording what you want.

Make sure the microphones connected to the camera are not picking up unintended sounds. It’s a good idea to check the volume of the recording to make sure that your audio is being recorded at a sound level.  To do this listen to the audio through a pair of headphones that you connect to the camera.  Have someone speak into the microphone while you listen.  It is common to have this person say “test, test, test,” or “check 1, 2, 3” until you are confident that the audio is loud enough to hear, without being so loud that it cuts out on certain words.  If the audio is cutting out, you will see the sound level bar go into the red and the voice will sound distorted.  Turn down your volume if this happens.  Also, consider turning off things that make ambient room noise – window air-conditions for example.  A good thing to remember is: if you can hear it in your headphones, you will be able to hear it in your recording.

3. Plan out what shots you want for your video

It’s important to plan out shots before you begin to film.  Consider drawing images of the shots that you would like to capture.  Videographers refer to this process as storyboarding.  The more you map out what you plan to record, the more likely you are to capture the shots you need.

4. Learn to control your tripod.

Make sure you know how to move your tripod before filming. If the screws on the tripod are too tight, it can hard to move the camera while filming which can lead to the recording being negatively affected.

5. If something doesn’t the record the way you want, there is still hope!

 If your recording doesn’t go 100% perfectly, don’t fret. During the editing stage, it is possible to fix many issues that may arise during recording. Editing programs such as iMovie and Adobe Premiere can allow people to adjust lighting, color and sound issues.  With this being said, don’t fall into the trap of “we can fix it in post.”  Just like your favorite dish, the quality of the ingredients included, along with the chef’s skill will determine how great it ultimately tastes.  You might be able to save the dish with salt and pepper if it isn’t properly prepared (fixing it in a post), but it will never be as good as it could have been if you would have taken the time to plan and execute correctly during the cooking process (production.)

College Commons Loan Equipment Process

Are you a student or faculty member at the College of Education and Human Ecology requiring video and audio equipment to record the classes you teach, need it for a class project, or simply require it for research purposes?

Here at the College Commons located in Ramseyer Hall 260, our trained student employees can assist you in loaning out what you need to improve teaching and learning experiences. We offer Canon Vixias and Bloggies; tripods for each of them; and even microphones like the Nessie and Zoom.

What can you expect during check out?

Our full time program assistant, Andrew Vogel, and a trained student worker at the front desk can explain to you the difference between the different microphones and cameras to help facilitate your decision as to what you want to loan out. You will then have to fill out a Qualtrics survey with your contact information, the course you require it for, the associated faculty member teaching the class and the details of the equipment you are loaning out. Don’t forget to bring your buck id. Without it, we are unable to verify if you are indeed a part of the university. Each staff member or student is allowed a 20-business day loan period after which all equipment loaned out must be returned. Equipment loaned out by a faculty member is allowed to be loaned out for the remainder of the current semester. Once you have agreed to our terms and conditions and the survey goes through, you will be receiving an initial email confirming your loan with information about when it’s due and what equipment you loaned out. Our student workers will also be emailing you a reminder email to return your equipment closer to when your loan is due. If you are late, you will be receiving a late email. If after a week of delinquency if you are a student, we reserve the right to contact your professor and grades may be withheld.

What if I have never used a camera and tripod before?

Don’t fret the staff siting at the front desk are available at our open hours to assist you in learning how to use the equipment; in fact, you can get a demo right then and there after you loan out your equipment. How do I transfer and edit my recordings on my computer or any other device? In the bag containing your equipment you will find the necessary cables that you require for any transferring needs. Our staff can also walk you through the transfer and editing procedure.

When returning cameras, our staff will be checking if the equipment returned is in the same condition as it left; a valid buck id must be brought in for us to cross check if the person who loaned it out is in fact you. If we find any damage to the equipment we are reserved the right to charge you for replacing the damaged equipment. We recommend you delete the recordings off your equipment yourself before returning it and make sure you have it saved on your device. If our staff find any recordings on the equipment; we reserve the right to delete it immediately once the check in procedure is completed and do not hold ourselves liable to any loss of your project. It would be highly appreciated if you could charge the equipment before you return it as during our busy season there is equipment loaned out the minute we have a return and our staff might not be able to check if the equipment is working or provide a demo to the next customer.

If you have any questions you can contact our Program Coordinator, Kristina Fox, and Program Assistant, Andrew Vogel, for more information, or you can contact us at