As a key component of our visual communications toolkit, producing video content that is engaging and on-brand is essential. The following standards apply to all video production initiatives done either in-house or through outside vendors. If you are planning or producing video content, or have questions regarding these standards and best practices, please contact us to discuss your project.
Brand standards for video
Framing for an interview
- Place interviewee on right or left third of the frame with outside eye in upper crosshair
- Interviewer should stand 2-3 feet to left or right of camera and have interviewee talk directly to them
- Shot should be framed at chest height
- Ensure the interviewee brings their answer with a summary of the question
Tips for recording your own video
If a videographer is not available, or circumstances otherwise force us to record video remotely, you may have to record footage on your own using an iPhone or Android phone. Here are some tips that may help you get the best possible footage in this situation:
- Shoot landscape
- If possible, avoid using front facing camera and have someone hold the phone, place on table, windowsill, counter etc.
- Change camera settings to 1080/24fps or 1080/30fps
- If phone camera setting support 4k/24fps or 4k/30fps, these are the best options.
- Turn camera settings to ‘most compatible’ on iPhone or turn off ‘high efficiency video’ on Samsung phones
- Make sure main source of light is on the subject’s face, standing in front of a window provides the most natural light and will provide even light.
- Choose a background that is bright, colourful and away from movement
- Place the subject 3-5 feet off backdrop/wall
- Have the subject centre in the frame, chest/shoulder and up, filling the screen top to bottom. The top of their head should be just below the top of the frame.
- Make sure nothing is blocking the mic on the phone
- Film away from fans, fridges or vents.
If you would like to record a meeting or presentation for use in another video or project, here are some steps to follow:
- Begin the Microsoft Teams Call
- All but speaker turn off their camera and mute their mic
- Ensure you are viewing the call in ‘Full Screen’ mode (top left corner of the screen, green button to expand)
- In the upper right corner, clink the ‘More Actions’ button (…) and select ‘Start Recording’
- A message will appear that the call is being recorded. Click dismiss.
- Once the portion to be recorded has ended, return to ‘More Actions’ and select ‘End Recording’
- Participants can turn their camera on if desired
To share the recording, follow these steps:
- Following the call, the recorder will receive an email. Click to view the video. Once in the ‘Stream’ site go below the video and click on ‘…’
- Select ‘Update Video Details’
- Under Permissions, search for the person you would like to share the footage with (e.g. MarComm staff), and make them an owner of the video
The Microsoft support website also has detailed steps on how to do this.
Share a video using Brock OneDrive by following these steps:
- Sign on to Sharepoint with your Brock ID
- Access OneDrive by clicking the waffle menu in the top left-hand corner of your screen, beside the Brock logo.
- Upload your video to OneDrive by clicking the Upload button or dragging and dropping your video file into the browser window.
- Select your file and click Copy Link, change the link settings to “Anyone with the link” and click Apply.
You can then send this link to anyone you would like to view or download your video file.
Using video on Brock websites
Please contact Marketing and Communications to have your video uploaded to the Brock University YouTube page. Add the Video Player element to your page and paste the URL in Video Player Settings.
A video thumbnail is the image displayed in the video player when the video is not playing. YouTube automatically selects a thumbnail image for each video. Selected images should represent the content.
Image specs: 1280×720, JPG or PNG, 2MB
Size: 1080p (1920×1080)
Size: 1080p (1920×1080) or 720p (1280×720)
Size: 1080p (1920×1080)
- Frame rates should match source material
- Progressive scan (no interlacing)
- Variable bitrate, multi-pass encoding
- Audio: 44100 Hz, Stereo, CBR and 96K bit rate
The idea behind video storytelling parallels photojournalism: We are attempting to use images and natural sound to tell a visual story. A good video should tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. When approached with an idea for a video, the key question to always ask is: Why would someone want to watch this video?
Below is a list of criteria that every video assignment should strive to meet.
Does the story have movement in it? Is it a person doing something? Is there a process to capture? We need the subject of the video doing something that pertains to the story. If you are including images in the video, how can you create movement so it fits the style and content of the video?
Is the story visual? Where does it take place? Does the background reflect the content of the video?
Is there a main character in the story that can be followed and used to help tell a larger story? We strive to tell stories in a character-driven manner with the idea that viewers can relate to a person rather than an idea or theme.
Is there a story that can be visually told with a beginning, middle and end?
Can the videographer physically get close to the character or subject? If we can’t get access to an event, a video talking about the event does not have the same impact and may not work in some cases.
We are not covering breaking news. It takes time to prepare for a video shoot, find and follow a good character, conduct interviews and edit the final story. Lead time is critical to producing a compelling story. A typical short video takes a few weeks to plan, shoot and edit. That being said, with enough pre-planning, it’s possible to deliver a video in a few hours.
Video’s greatest asset is its ability to bring the viewer into a story: to show what’s happening, as well as when, why and how it happens. By letting characters speak for themselves, video allows them to connect directly with the viewer.
Adapted from Harvard University.