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When the TV calls and your moment in the spotlight beckons……

What do you do if you get the call from national TV saying they want you on one of their programmes – but they can’t send out a camera crew so you have only one option, to record yourself.

This is what happened to Sally Baker, TV Therapist of Working on the Body last week who had a request from Sky wanting her to appear on six slots over the next few weeks.

Her PR consultant Carrie Eddins put a call out on social media for help with the technical aspects of the shoot and as a video journalist (MOJO) and smartphone video trainer I was pleased to be able to jump in and offer advice.

So if the call comes read on..

Video Essentials for Recording a TV clip

  •  Don’t panic – listen to the guidance the producer/ journalist gives you, make notes and get a phone number if you need to call them back.
  • Be really clear about the amount of time you are being given and the points that they want you to make. Don’t be tempted to waffle or go over your time allocation – otherwise your video will be cut.
  • The likelihood is – if the programme is news based you will be under time constraints so you may have minutes or hours to do your clip.
  •  This means that you are going to have to respond like a journalist and use the kit you have. In all likelihood this is going to be your smartphone so unless you know what you are doing don’t dig out your DSLR or call  your friend whose son or daughter is on a media studies course. Your smartphone will do the job very nicely.

Organising your Shoot

  • Decide where you are going to shoot your video – and rigorously check the background. Take some sample shots and see what they look like and get rid of anything that distracts the eye. You could go for the ubiquitous bookcase or a plain wall background but it should be something that fits with your business. So if you have a food related business the kitchen, or a conservatory if you are a gardener etc.
  • If you have someone to help you, set your phone up on a tripod and use the back camera – because it’s usually the best lens on your phone. Having said that the latest high end iPhones have 12 megapixel selfie cameras too.
  • Go into the phone settings scroll to camera and adjust your recording settings to 4K at 24 FPS.
  • Make sure you have plenty of space on your phone as video recording at 4K creates large file sizes and you don’t want to do a perfect take and find that it hasn’t recorded.
  • Check out the light – you need a constant light source – if you have a skylight or conservatory or well lit room go for natural light.  If you wear glasses do not use a ring light because it causes comedy circular reflections on the lenses which means that your video might be dropped completely.
  • When you check out the shot don’t be tempted to use the Zoom function on the camera – all you are doing is degrading the quality of your video. Instead move closer to the phone.
  • Clean the lens on your phone. Phones are kept in pockets, handbags and generally get taken everywhere – as a result you can get dust on the lens which can negatively effect the quality of the video.
  • Check out the audio – use an external microphone. If you have the kit record the audio separately as a back up.
  • Before you start talking pause for a few seconds and then smile before you start talking. At the end pause again.

Review before you send

  • Before you send your clip play it back and check the content.
  •  Don’t be tempted to do any of your own editing – colour grading etc – as the programme will do its own edits.
  • Ask the producer if you can use the clip on your own website. Or if it’s going to be part of a bigger programme ask if you can get a recording /link for your own use.

Finally relax and enjoy your opportunity to have a moment in the spotlight.

If you want to know more about recording video for your website, social media or for PR purposes I run regulary video training courses. Email me at info@masterthedigitalmaze.co.uk for more information.