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Library Research Guides

Resources for Video Creation

Do you want to make a video, but don't know where to begin? This guide will introduce you to basic video concepts and helpful resources available to you at the University of Michigan Libraries.

Shooting Basics

Shooting Better Interviews

(Remember: You can break the rules that are meant to be broken - just be sure to learn them first!)


Planning Tips

1. Charge your batteries and test your equipment with plenty of time ahead. 

2. Pack all your gear. Prepare a checklist: camera, microphone, headphones, tripod, batteries, pre-striped tapes, power supply, lights, etc.

3. Use the checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.


Recording Tips

1.     The picture will not look better than real life.

2.     Don't record sound without listening to it. After all, you wouldn't take a picture without looking, would you?

      •   Wear headphones.
      •   If you can, make a test recording and play it back.
      •   Check for good sound and lighting.

3.     Use an external microphone if possible

      •   If no external mic, zoom out and stick camera in the subject’s face (2’-3')
      •   If no external mic, remember, you are closer to the mic than the subject. Be quiet – breathing, moving, coughing, etc.
      •   In all cases, videographers and subjects should minimize noise – no moving, rustling clothes, coughing, etc.
      •   In all cases, do NOT say anything over your subject talking. No “uh-huh..yes….” etc.!  Be quiet and don’t talk over their voice.

4.     Use a tripod!

5.     Set up camera to have lens at nose height of subject.

6.     Fill the frame with the subject; maybe just their head, or head & shoulders. Employ Rule of Thirds.

7.     Interviewer should be just to the side of the camera. Subject should talk to interviewer.

8.     Subject should sit in a comfortable chair and not against a wall or other background object.
       • NO rolling or spinning chairs!

9.     Use a soft light and avoid hard shadows.

10.   Avoid mixing indoor and outdoor light.


Production Steps to Interviewing

1.   Make sure you bring all the equipment.

2.   Choose a quiet, well lit location, or use continuous lighting if you have it.

3.   Set up your equipment and test your setup before the subject arrives.

4.   Make the subject comfortable.
      Tell them what they can expect.
      Review the questions you will ask them.

5.   Have the subject sign a release.

6.   Test record with the subject and listen to the sound.

7.    Start off by asking some general, get to know you questions until the subject is comfortable.

8.    Shoot the interview.

9.    Tell the subject that they did a great job.
       Ask them if there is anything they wanted to say that wasn’t talked about.
       Thank them for participating.

10.  Transfer your files to your drive and name with subjects and approximate times for each.

11.  Pack all your gear. Use the checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.

12.  Secure your video files or all is lost; make backup copies as soon as possible.