Throughout the pandemic, platforms like Zoom have made it easier than ever to connect with clients, customers and employees. But they can also be turned into engaging content to share with your audience. In part one of our two-part blog series on transforming video calls into engaging and shareable video content, we provide five valuable tips to set up and record zoom calls. These are tips that we have used with clients who want to use content from their video calls. They apply to a range of video calling software, including Microsoft Teams, Skype and FaceTime. Share this with your colleagues and any future video call participants.
1. OPTIMISE LIGHTING
When it comes to the appearance of video calls, how you light yourself makes all the difference. Lighting affects camera performance, the look of your skin and how much you stand out against your background.
Avoid bright lighting directly behind you, as this will cast you in shadow. In contrast, using a front light will pull you away from the background and improve your appearance. For this, sit by a prominent light source. Natural light is ideal, so try sitting with a window facing you. If this is not possible, a simple lamp will do. Alternatively, you may consider purchasing a ring light, which is designed to light your face in a flattering way.
2. TEST OUT YOUR ANGLE
Filming from below produces an unflattering angle. Instead, keep your camera at eye-level. You can achieve this by playing with the height of the camera device being used in the video call. If your laptop sits too low on your desk, prop it up with a stack of large books. Another option is to consider investing in a laptop stand or a camera or phone tripod for filming at a consistent angle.
3. DECIDE ON THE FRAME COMPOSITION
For the background of your call, simple is generally better. You want the focus to be on the subject. So before you hit record, remove clutter and distracting objects from the frame (note: this also helps you make a better impression on the people you’re calling with). That doesn’t mean your set-up has to be completely devoid of personality; bookshelves or houseplants are always pleasant touches. We also advise checking your clothing. Avoid wearing busy patterns – not only can they be distracting, but it can also create a ‘moiré effect.’
4. HOW TO GET THE BEST VIDEO QUALITY
Before you start to record your zoom call, assess your built-in webcam’s image quality. Your phone camera may be better than your laptop’s camera, so consider joining the call from your phone instead. Just remember that when using a phone, always shoot horizontally. Video calling software like Zoom and Microsoft offer built-in recording systems for capturing video and audio. However, if possible, don’t rely on this to record zoom calls. You can often get better quality by screen recording natively from your computer or laptop.
Bonus tip: We always tell our clients to record an interview with two participants in gallery view as opposed to single speaker view, where it automatically flicks to whoever is speaking. Then, when it comes to editing, there will be more flexibility in cuts and choosing footage (more on editing in part 2).
5. HOW TO GET THE BEST AUDIO QUALITY
When it comes to getting the best audio quality, using an external microphone over your device’s built-in microphone is preferable. This can be anything from using earphones or headphones with a mic to buying a professional microphone. Consistent proximity to the mic helps to keep audio levels even and reduces background noise interference. A microphone that is attached to your earphones or your clothes allows you to move around freely without worrying about changes to your volume. If you’re not using it to join the video call, you can even try using your mobile phone to record better audio separately. Don’t worry – you can sync up the separate audio and video recordings in post.
We hope you enjoyed these five tips on recording zoom calls for video content. Next week in part two, we’ll give our tips for editing your recorded calls into dynamic video content for your webpages, social media profiles, email campaigns and more.
If you want professional assistance in filming, editing and marketing your calls as video content, get in contact with us here.
Gemma recently joined the Blueprint Film team as our marketing coordinator. She takes care of our social media, email marketing and advertising campaigns. Her strengths lie in following trends, conducting research and writing compelling copy.