Best Practices, Video

Video is a powerful way to tell a story, and the accessibility of video equipment, editing software, and online video hosting sites such as YouTube makes it easier than ever to shoot, edit and post videos that highlight the University of Manitoba.

Here are some fundamental best practices to help you produce compelling and informative videos.

Three Stages of Video Production

Essentially, there are three stages of video production: pre-production, production and post-production. Pre-production is the planning stage, where you work out the logistics of the shoot and draft a script/storyboard, production is the actual video shoot, and post-production is editing and delivery of the video.


The best way to ensure that the production and post-production stages go smoothly is with thorough pre-production. Here is a basic checklist:

• Define the goal of your video and how you will measure its success
• Define what story you’re trying to tell
• Define your audience and where your video will be posted
• Define a timeline for the project
• Draft a storyboard / script
• Define your interview subject(s) and possible location(s)
• Scout possible locations, ensure there is good lighting, sound and background
• Confirm date and time of event or interview(s)
• Ensure that all your equipment is available and working properly: camera, clean SD card, batteries, microphone, cables, tripod, light/bounce, headphones.


Here are some tips on getting good video footage:

• Use a tripod.
• Use manual focus.
• Set the white balance for each shot.
• When shooting outdoors, keep the sun behind you.
• When shooting indoors beware of excessive light from windows in the background.
• Avoid zooming.
• Use the rule of thirds when framing your subjects.
• Use an external microphone.
• Do a sound/level check and use headphones to listen for background noise. If there is too much noise, find another location.
• Do multiple takes.
• Consider a mix of wide/medium/close shots.
• Add a few seconds to the beginning and end of each take to help with editing.
• If subject is being led by an off-screen interviewer, ensure there is some space between the questions and answers for easier editing.
• Get subject to sign photo/video consent form.


Here are some general considerations when editing your video:

• Use the script / storyboard as the blueprint for your video.
• Remember the story you are trying to tell. Always stay true to the narrative.
• Avoid flashy transitions and effects. Be creative, not kitschy.
• Avoid copyrighted music or video.
• Keep in mind that 1-2 minutes is an optimum length for online video.
• Don’t complicate your video with too much info. Keep it simple.

Brand Story / Logo

Where appropriate, bring the institutional brand story into the video especially if it is part of a larger communications and marketing effort. Graphics and images from a larger campaign will align the video with other materials. MCO can assist with this.

Otherwise, when identifying speakers/programs/buildings, use the University of Manitoba logo in the accompanying title graphics.

Please contact MCO to see how we can assist you.