In this article, we cover some basics about how to set up a shot, frame and light it in order to showcase your movement as well as possible.
5 Top tips
What device to use to record video?
The answer to this question will depend on what equipment is available to you, and in many cases, a mobile phone camera can be a versatile video recorder with excellent quality.
Equipment from Trinity Laban
- The Faculty of Dance library has a wide range of equipment which can be used to record video. See the article “What Equipment is Available from the Faculty of Dance?” for further details, and how to book it.
- Equipment is also available from the Music Technology team in the Faculty of Music. See the article “What equipment is available to borrow from the Faculty of Music?” for further details, and how to book it.
A mobile device (phone/tablet)
Many mobile devices have excellent cameras, so these can be excellent devices to choose when recording.
What orientation to use?
If using a mobile device to record video, we’d strongly recommend using the same orientation for all of your shots – whether this is landscape mode (usual for visual media consumed on computers or TVs) or portrait mode (usual for visual media consumed on mobiles, such as Instagram and TikTok).
The following video gives an example of some of the advantages of each type:
Stabilising your mobile device
Particularly if you are recording on your own, you may find it useful to find a place to set up your phone/tablet. Therefore, we’d encourage the use of an inexpensive phone tripod adapter or a totally free and ingenious method to create your own phone stand for filming – (search “toilet roll phone stand” or visit this YouTube video for further info).
Use of a stand enables more flexible placement of the device, and a stable image will make it much easier to edit the footage together.
Laptop camera or webcam
Webcams or integrated laptop cameras can vary a lot in quality, so we’d recommend checking that the framing and quality of the image is as desired.
To easily record from your webcam, you can use applications on your computer such as Quicktime player (Mac), the Camera app (Windows 10), Loom (Mac/Windows/Chromebooks) or websites such as webcamera.io.
When setting up a shot, a good starting point is the rule of thirds. For more on this concept, see https://www.slrlounge.com/glossary/rule-of-thirds-definition.
I want to keep it as simple as possible
- Avoid recording yourself in front of a window
- Position your camera (or other recording device) in a position where it will cover all the movement you’ll do (a wide shot to capture the full movement). This may mean that the camera should be positioned a number of metres away from you as you move.
- Ensure that there is enough light, otherwise, you may not be seen!
More advanced stuff
If you plan on editing your piece or creating a montage of shots, it’s often more visually interesting to cut between different shot types.
Use additional light sources
Use of additional lights can really make a difference to how nice a video can look.
There are lots of good guides online about using light to improve videos, but remember that standard desk lamps can be used and will make a difference.
Once you’ve recorded footage, you’ll either need to get it on to the device you’d like to edit it on (see Transferring files from one device to another) or upload it directly from your mobile device.
If planning on further editing, see the Video Editing section of the knowledgebase.
Please contact us if you have further questions!