Video Planning and Shooting Tips

7 Planning and Shooting tips for your online Training Video

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With the recent changes resulting from Covid-19, many people now find that they need to adapt their learning/teaching online for the first time.  Using training videos as part of a blended or virtual classroom experience has many well defined benefits.

According to a Brandon Hall Study, online learning takes up 40%-60% less time than traditional classroom training.

Here we share 7 video planning and shooting tips to help you plan and produce online videos for your training program.  When planning your video, there are many aspects to think about and important questions to ask during the preparation stage.  Considering these as early as possible will help to develop a much smoother process later in the production cycle.


1) Planning questions

One of the first questions to ask is:

  • What type of video is planned?


These can range from promotional videos to interviews, but our focus here is on online training videos. Their visual nature can be used to cover a wide variety of topics and situations.

Imagery improves retention and is most effective at ensuring that the information gets stored as a long-term memory.  Visuals are processed 60,000x faster than information presented as text.


Another important question to ask is who is the target audience?

If you consider who you are planning to connect with, this will have an impact on the message you share!  This leads on to another important aspect of the preparation phase:


2) The key message(s)

When reviewing the existing subject matter content, which could be located in Power-point slides or PDF documents, the following are a number of key questions to ask:

  • What is the important content you wish to share?
  • What tone will you be using for the video (formal or informal)?
  • Will these be done with voice-over or with a person to camera?

How the content and messages are structured will feed into the video scripts and storyboards.  A storyboard is a graphical representation of the planned video shoot sequences.


Video shoot setup considerations


To showcase how we consider a number of video shoot aspects such as lighting, sound and framing, (on a case by case basis) we share a short clip from a recent project example:



3) Lighting

We used a 3 light set-up in this clip:

  • Key light: This is the main light source positioned to the front right of the subject and establishes the overall look and feel of the shot. It also adds a sparkle to the eyes.
  • Fill light: The fill light provides balance to the key light by ‘filling in’ the rest of the subject’s face with softer light & is positioned to the opposite side of the key light (front left in this case). It also helps to eliminate shadows created by the key light.
  • Back light: The back light creates a flattering rim of light around the subject, separating her from the background.


4) Make-Up

When using lights, it is recommended to apply suitable make-up to the subject in order to eliminate a ‘shine’ from the skin.

5) Composition

The composition of this shot is called a medium close-up.  It frames a subject’s head and cuts off around mid-chest.   Therefore the focus is on the subject and only a little of the surroundings is revealed.  The facial expressions of the subject are highlighted and this is commonly used for interviews & presentations; as in this example.


6) Sound

You can use either a wireless mic or a directional mic to record crisp audio in stereo.   In this case we used a directional mic positioned in front of the subject and as close to the subject as possible, without encroaching on the frame.


7) Teleprompter

A teleprompter is recommended for a detailed information video.  The presenter can read the script as they look directly into the camera lens so it appears that they are talking directly to the viewer.


Edited Examples

These tips highlighted here are just a few of the steps we generally follow as part of our planning and video shoot/editing process.  The following promotional clips from a number of recent projects, provide an example of how we used these and other relevant steps.

Suitable background music can be included to add ambience to the videos, as can been seen in these video samples.


Introduction to Taric and RevPay


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