What is remote direction? Remote direction involves a video producer providing guidance to the speaker being recorded using an online communications platform. Remote direction is one method to solve location differences and can be helpful when videos are scripted/stylized and for interview-style videos.
Download the ETO's one pager "Self-Capturing with Remote Direction"
Want a printable version of this guide? You can print out the ETO Prep Sheet PDF!
1. The Online Setup
- It's virtual! Self-capturing with remote direction is done online using Microsoft Teams or ZOOM. The ETO will send out the invite.
- Who will be in attendance? Joining the call will be a member of the ETO, who will be providing the remote direction.
- What will be recorded? You will be recording yourself on camera. You will also be able to share your screen during the session.
Need help sharing your screen? Here is a Microsoft guide on how to share content in a Teams meeting and ZOOM's support for sharing your screen.
2. Your Set-Up
- Your location: Try to set up in a space that is quiet, well-lit, tidy and free from possible interruptions.
- A good light source: This can be anything from a window, a room light, or a ring light.
- How to dress: We recommend wearing something that is professional. Avoid bright colours and loud patterns and those tend to look different on camera.
- Stable Internet: Since we are doing this online, it's best to avoid recording in "dead zones" where WiFi cannot reach.
- Webcam and microphone: These can be external or built in, and will be needed to communicate with the ETO member, and possibly also for recording (see #6).
- A recording device or software: Your on-camera footage will be recorded on a device or software from your end. You will need either a separate device such as a smart phone (recommended) or a high-quality webcam and recording software on your computer (eg. Camtasia).
- Test your equipment: It's always best to test your recording device/software to ensure good video and audio quality.
- Presentation Slides (if applicable to your video project): This can be in it's current digital format. There is no need for perfection as the slides will be re-formatted by the ETO for the final recording.
Looking for some hardware recommendations? See our full guide to choosing your hardware.
3. The Recording Process
- Before the Session: Ensure you have gone through your set-up checklist.
During the Session: Our session will take place online, using Microsoft Teams (we'll send the invite!). We use Teams to communicate but not for recording. The recording happens on your end!
a) If you are recording on a separate device: This process is bit of trial and error. You will be guided on where to set up your camera. You will then do a quick test record and play it back on the webcam to review.
b) If you are using recording software: You will be guided on how to set up in front of the webcam before recording. You will then share your screen so that we can review before recording the rest of the content.
c) When we are ready to record: You will be given direction throughout. This may include suggestions to look more at the camera, pacing, or any framing adjustments. During recording, the ETO member will turn off their microphone.
- Post-Recording: You will need to share your video files with us (eg. a cloud-based storage folder). There may be one already set-up for you, depending on the project. The ETO member will be able to confirm after the recording.
4. An Example Set-Up
- Try to face a window if one is available in your space. Avoid having the window behind you as this will create dark shadows on your face.
- A separate recording device (smart phone) is set up horizontally and at eye level. This is the device that will be recording the speaker.
- A webcam and microphone are also set-up so that the speaker can communicate with the ETO member via Microsoft Teams.
- Some notes to the side are always helpful.
To see an example of a video that was remoted directed, check out the ETO's FaseTime video with Professor Chirag Variawa. The session was done online, and his on-camera footage was captured on his smartphone.