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Challenges in creating a voice over video

Overview Laura North, the DIAL leading person for the Presentation Skills Project and myself have been devising a structure for a video resource, which will provide an outline of the workshop Laura run at London College of Fashion with the MA Fashion Entrepreneurship course on Presentation Skills. The aim is to create an online resource with supporting material for UAL academic staff to teach presentation skills to their students.

Based on our experience we have complied some advices for making a video documentation of a workshop/educational activity.

        Things to consider when shooting

  1. Essential for the making of a video is the original footage. Shooting high quality footage would make your work a lot easier. Consider from the start what will be the final format of the resource you’ll be producing and shoot accordingly. Use an HD camera for High Definition footage.
  2. Take as much footage as you can, close ups, full views, one to one interviews, long one take as well as short clips, so that you have a breath of material when selecting your clips for editing.
  3. Make sure your camera has a high quality microphone or bring an additional microphone, because high quality sounds is also essential.
  4. It’s useful to consider getting the right distance from the person you are filming - whether it’s too close or too far away - as the volume in most of the videos was too low.
  5. Quite a few of the students filmed in portrait mode. It could be better to film in landscape due to the fact that video players tend to play back in landscape, and it reduces the need to spend time reformatting the videos for playback.

The biggest setback we had in preparing this video resource has in fact been the sounds. The sound levels when the students were speaking were too low and it was very hard to hear what they were saying. The students' interviews and feedbacks were also poor quality and couldn’t be used and we were unable to go back to the college to re-interview the students. We have been able to still use the original clips but we had to record a voice over with Laura explaining the various stages of the project.                         

The voice over

  1. The writing of the text for a voice over can be quite a lengthy task, as it has to be very considered and matched the clips you will be using.
  2. The difficulty in writing a text for a voice over is that the result tends to be far too controlled and losing the spontaneity of the original clips.

Which is exactly what happened to us: the first take of Laura recording wasn’t working, the reading was too formal and disconnected from the visual. We had to do it again, we decided to record Laura talking whilst the clips were playing to try to recreate a sense of spontaneity.

  1. A good suggestion in cases like this one, is to have a clear structure in place:
  • Revisit the text and match it to the clips that work best with it before starting recording.
  • Start recording using a sound recorder with an external microphone.

       The Editing

  1. Once you have the recording is a matter of finalizing the edit. Import all your clips and the sound into an editing software such as iMovie, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, etc… I used Final Cut Studio 7.
  2. If you need editing tutorials for this part of the project refer to because UAL staff and students can access tutorials as the University has a annual subscription and their tutorials are brilliant.

The final video resource will be referenced here as soon as it is finalised. So watch this space…

For additional feedback on our journey in putting this resource together please visit:

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
This Work, Challenges in creating a voice over video, by remanuele is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.