During this Corona virus lockdown we are making videos each week with a short act of worship on. We are keen to include as many regular members of the congregation as possible by getting people to record a reading or the prayers. On here I want to offer a few tips about recording video at home.
For most people these days recording decent video is perfectly possible on your smartphone. Most have very good cameras and even the front facing cameras are really good these days. If you have a choice of smartphone or tablet check the resolution to see which is the best. This is probably easiest to do by checking which model you have and googling the model and camera resolution. The rear camera will be better but harder to use on your own. Many phones these days have very good front facing cameras as well. If you have someone to help you, they could hold the phone. You can also record from a laptop if you have built in webcam but usually this won’t be as good as your phone. It would probably be fine for our purposes though. If using a phone work out where you can put it, if you’re lucky enough to have a tripod and a clip to hold the phone then you’re sorted but it is also possible to prop it up on a bookshelf or contruct a make shift stand out of books or candles or mugs or whatever comes to hand. Think about whether it needs to be “Landscape” or “Portait”. We use the different ratios for different things.
Then think about these things:
- Location. Well lit with an uncluttered background.
- Clean lens. Phone lens’ often get grubby from handling or being in your pocket so blow the dust off, breathe on it and wipe it gently with a soft cloth or your sleeve.
- Lighting. Ideally face a window (natural light is best) but have some other light on you to minimise harsh shadows. If you wear glasses watch out for the reflection on the glasses and possibly sit at a slight angle to the window.
- Have the camera reasonably high. We ALL look better when seen from above! There is a reason why horror films and comedies like to film people from low down. So get your phone/tablet/laptop raised to eye level. Pile the books or boxes up.
- Make sure there isn’t distracting noise. If you have a seperate Mic then that’s great but most people don’t so just make sure you haven’t got the dishwasher or washing machine on in the background and speak nice and clearly.
- Background. Move things around so you don’t have distractions such as your unwashed saucepans. Perhaps move a houseplant into shot to hide a bit of mess.
- When speaking look at where the camera lens is as much as possible. We tend to want to look at a face and if using the front camera you can see your own face so quite naturally look at that but try to look at the lens as much as possible.
- Check the shot. Record a small sample and watch it back to see if it works.
When recording prayers we might just want an audio recording. We’ve been using a nice image, such as a candle for the background to the prayers. Most smartphones have a perfectly good app for recording voice pre-installed. On an Android “Voice Recorder” is good quality and pretty simple to use. You might find it somewhere like the Samsung folder or similar. On an iPhone “Voice memo” is pre-installed and is again perfectly good quality and simple to use. If you just record audio you can probably email it to me. If it’s too large a file I can send you a link to upload it to.
When it comes to sending the video there are various options. You might just get away with emailing it but if it’s too large then ask for access to the google drive folder and upload it there or send it using something like wetransfer. Another way to send it is via WhatsApp.
The Church of England national digital team give all sorts of fantastic advice and have a post about recording video that you can find here: https://www.churchofengland.org/How-to-set-up-to-film-a-video-on-your-phone
Eve Powers from Church House has produced a lovely video about making videos.