Planning Your Production

When planning your course and the visuals to go with it, think about what B-roll, additional video footage, or still images you can use to liven up your course. Not only does a variety of footage and images help the viewer stay engaged, but it also allows you to take breaks while recording.

Scripts

If you have a good routine for recording screencasts, stick to what works for you. Some instructors write a script and follow it exactly, while others write a detailed outline and have a more casual approach to what they say. Figure out what works for you, but keep in mind that planning is key to coming across as relaxed and confident. Having either a script or outline will help save you time when it comes to recording and editing.

If it’s your first time doing live video, if you have questions about your script, or you want a second set of eyes to look it over, ask your editor to take a look before you record.

When planning your course and the visuals to go with it, think about what B-roll, additional video footage, or still images you can use to liven up your course. Not only does a variety of footage and images help the viewer stay engaged, but it also allows you to take breaks while recording.

Notes for Scripting:

  • Write in clear, simple sentences.
  • Limit yourself to one or two ideas per sentence.
  • Say it out loud as you write. It helps.
  • Double-space your script or outline.
  • Practice your script out loud before you record.
  • Post a large font copy of your script beside your camera.
  • Become familiar enough with what you are saying that the viewer can’t tell if you are reading.

For more on scripting, watch The Instructional Video: Chapter 2.3: Scripting.

If you are considering using a teleprompter or teleprompter app, watch Improve Your On-Camera Performance: Chapter 5.2: Ad-Lib vs. Teleprompter.

Clothing & Makeup

Clothing

You should think carefully about what clothing you'll be wearing when recording. You want to feel relaxed and comfortable, but it's also important to look professional. These are our guidelines:
  • Consider developing a “signature look” you can carry through all your courses.
  • Clothing for on-camera video should be a solid colour with no logos, images or distracting patterns.
  • Some fabrics, weaves and small patterns do not show well on camera. Do an on-camera check of the clothing you plan on wearing.
  • Solid jewel tones pop on camera.
  • Avoid wearing solid white.
  • Consider the colour of your backdrop, don’t wear the same or a similar colour.
  • If you are using a lav or lapel microphone test it out on your clothing, some fabrics can create unwanted microphone noise.
  • Keep accessories to a minimum.
  • Avoid wearing anything that reflects light or makes noise.
  • If you wear glasses, be aware of what is reflected in them. We want to be able to see your eyes.
  • Keep it simple, you should be the focus.

For more on clothing choices for on-camera video, watch Improve Your On-Camera Performance: Chapter 2.1 Clothing and Chapter 2.2 Accessories.

Makeup & Hair

We are shooting video in high definition with lights, so a little makeup can help reduce distracting blemishes, uneven skin tones and shiny patches. Makeup is not required but it can help you look your best.

  • A little makeup is helpful when recording under strong lights, which can wash you out or create shiny spots.
  • Use pressed powder to cut down on reflections in your forehead and T-zone.
  • Keep your hair out of your face and eyes.
  • Try to do your hair in a way that is easy to redo if you need to reshoot segments.

To find out more about makeup and hair for photo and video production, watch Improve Your On-Camera Performance: Chapter 2.3 Hair and Make Up. For a more in depth look at makeup for on-camera watch the course, Makeup Basics for Photo and Video.

B-Roll and Slides

Your course will be more engaging if you add in visual elements such as slides, B-roll and additional images. These additions will help you when it comes to the editing stage, but they should be used with restraint. These elements make recording and editing easier as you will have places in your script where you can pause and collect yourself without stopping the recording or begin again.

B-Roll

B-roll is supplemental or alternative footage that's intercut with your main shot. This can include footage of your completed project, video of you working, or a demonstration of what you are teaching.

It’s a good idea to plan and record your B-roll before recording your on-camera video!

Slides

Slides are a great way to summarise what you’re talking about in a written format. These are our guidelines:

  • Be familiar with our slides template and guidelines on how and when to use slides (See Slides).
  • Slides can break longer videos into sections such as: titles, compelling quotes, a statistic, or a graphic or chart to illustrate a concept.
  • Only use a few slides per video, roughly once a minute at most.