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My Top 5 Filming Tips That Won't Cost a Dime

My Top 5 Filming Tips That Won't Cost a Dime: These no cost filming tips will hopefully help make teacher's instructional videos a bit more engaging.
Teachers all around the world are quickly diving into filming both live and prerecorded instructional videos. If you are one of those teachers and don't have any background on video recording, go ahead and pat yourself on the back for even clicking on this post to read about the tips. I'm truly amazed how educators have jumped into the world of remote learning with very little coaching and guidance.

I am by no means a filming professional. I don't own expensive equipment or the have top notch software. Really, I'm just like YOU with a passion for teaching children. I wanted to write this post to provide you with no cost filming tips that will hopefully help make your instructional videos a bit more engaging.
My Top 5 Filming Tips That Won't Cost a Dime: These no cost filming tips will hopefully help make teacher's instructional videos a bit more engaging.
#RealLife: My laptop sits on top of a pack of paper and my ring light (which you do not NEED If you have nature light nearby) broke and is just dangling on the tripod😆
☝️Note: When I took this photo a few months ago I was getting ready to record a video. It just goes to show how I am all business on top and remain comfy on the bottom😆.

Lighting


Natural light is key. If you can, try to position your setup near a window. No one wants to look at a dark video full of shadows. They want to see YOUR beautiful face! Captivate your audience😉

Clean Background


Choose an area with a clean background. You don't want anything too busy or messy since that can be very distracting to the viewer. Remember, what is pictured behind you says a lot about who you are as a person. If you are sitting in front of a book shelf, what books are displayed? Do you have any trinkets out? If so, make sure you have put all of your naked sculptures away before meeting with your first grade class (people may laugh at this but you would not believe some things I have seen in the past🙄). 

A lot of people think I use green screen technology for my app background. Nope! It is just a simple wall decal I purchased from WallMonkeys a few years ago😂.  

Avoid Shaky Video Footage


Depending on what device you are using to film your videos, make sure it sits on a steady surface to avoid shaky video footage that can make your viewers sea sick. If you are using a phone or iPad, make a stand out of everyday objects. #STEMchallenge! Check out THIS idea for using a disposable cup.


Eye Level with Your Camera

I think the most flattering filming angle is when your eyes match up with the camera on your device. You want to look directly at the camera, not your screen, so your audience connects with YOU. Setting your device too low gives a great shot up your nose as well as the dreaded double chin. Apparently high camera angles can give the subject a weak or childlike look. Some people recommend setting your camera at a slight downward angle to get the most flattering angle of your face. I still have videos on my YouTube channel that make me cringe. But you know what, that's okay. Video creation is a huge learning curve for everyone.

Posture

Your posture sets the tone for your videos as well as video conference meetings. If you are slouched or kicking back in your chair or on the sofa,  it gives a very casual vibe. If you are sitting upright, opening your chest and relaxing your shoulders, not only does your body look more proportionate on camera, it also gives your video a more professional look. Therefore, you need to decide, do you want to "hang out" casually with your audience or do you want to appear more confident and get things accomplished. Learn more about how to succeed with having good posture by clicking HERE


That's it!

Those tips are very simple and easy to accomplish! Remember to give yourself grace. Your videos don't need to be perfect (I know, easier said than done). Most of us educators didn't go to film production school and therefore don't need top notch recordings. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: What software do you use to create your instructional videos?

A: I use a variety! However, I find myself using ECamm, ScreenFlow (screencasting), QuickTime (screencasting) and iMovie most often.

Q: What microphone do you use?

A: It depends! My favorite is the Blue snowball and my lavalier lapel microphone. If I am shooting a video in front of a green screen, I use a wireless microphone. (affiliate links) Check out THIS blog post about affordable microphones for the classroom!

Microphones for recording in the classroom

Q: What is that circular light in your recording area?

A: You don't need it if you have good, natural light nearby. However, that is a ring light! I use it when I am shooting videos at night. Last week I treated myself to a NEW one. It is still affordable compared to the Diva ring light and so far I am LOVING it. Here is what I purchased:




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