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What I Learned Making Our Latest YouTube Video

water purification process

I recently filmed a new video for the ReAgent YouTube channel.  In this video I talk through the water purification process at ReAgent:

On the whole I am delighted with the video.  Nonetheless, creating video is a constant learning curve and you learn something new every time.  I thought it would be useful if I shared what I learn when I make these.  When you consider the video is likely to be viewed thousands of times, it’s important to constantly strive for perfection.

What I Learned Making The Water Purification Process Video

Plan What You’re Doing

I wrote recently about the importance of writing a script.  If you’re talking about something technical it’s always worth getting it checked for technical accuracy. It’s also important to do some test shots to identify which camera angles work best.  I have to give a big thank you to my colleague Amy who did virtually all the planning for this video!

Consider Background Noise

There is a reasonable amount of background noise in the video.  I have conflicting views on this – on one hand I think it’s a bit distracting – but on the other it’s a working piece of industrial equipment, so it’s ‘natural’ to have some noise.  All things considered I think the background noise levels are a little high.  I looked into what we could have done about this – the solution appears to be manually setting the sound levels on the camera before filming – I will have to remember to do this this next time.

Ensure Each Shot Is In Focus

The second shot (around 0:29) is slightly out of focus.  It isn’t so noticeable if you’re watching the video in Standard Definition, or on a small screen, but it’s more apparent in HD.  There are things you can do to compensate (I believe this shot was tweaked during post-production) but it’s obviously preferable to get it right first time.

Maintain Eye Contact

At 1:01 you can see me look away from the lens a couple of times.  Again, this is something I will make a conscious effort to avoid in the future.  It’s important to maintain eye contact so a video feels more personal.  It arguably looks more professional also.

Use A Wireless Mic

I have learned from recording previous videos that sound quality is dramatically improved if you use a small microphone.  This time around I learned the importance of making sure the mic is wireless.  At 1:44 you can see the wire going from the microphone to the camera – this was done out of necessity, the wire wasn’t long enough to be hidden – a wireless mic has since been purchased.

I really enjoyed filming this video and I’m looking forward to doing the next one!