During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are several options for creating video messages to communicate with your audience. Keep in mind that we are all using technology to keep going in today's remote world, so allow extra time to prepare for, record, and upload your videos. We are all working together through technical difficulties and computer malfunctions etc, so don't be discouraged!

How to set up your shot

  • Lighting: use soft, diffuse light when possible: something with a lampshade or near a window (natural lighting is always best). 
  • Angle: if possible, raise the camera to just below eye level. Optimal placement is eye level or a little higher. 
  • When recording, look directly into the camera as much as possible.

Recording methods

Recording with a smartphone: best option

  • Most smartphones released in the past few years have great video capabilities. 
  • Test your phone's video capability: record yourself and play it back to yourself. 
  • Check your phone's settings and see that "HD video" or "1080p" is enabled. 1080p means it will be "HD" quality (or 4k is fine, too). 
    • The rear camera of the phone usually produces a higher quality video, but newer phones (ex. iPhone 7 or newer) have 1080p capability on the selfie camera, making it easier to self-record videos. 
  • Use a simple tripod setup to simplify the process.


  • Allows for multiple speakers at once
  • Allows for minimal coaching from a director / someone recording
  • Sometimes doesn't work well with slow / laggy Internet 
  • Note: hide "self view" when recording and also mute yourself if you're recording remotely
  • Enable HD video by choosing Zoom > Preferences > Video > Enable HD
  • More about Zoom: https://teach.uiowa.edu/web-conferencingzoom

Other desktop apps

  • If you have a computer made in the past 3 years, the front-facing webcam is probably "HD quality" but you may want to look up your model information on the web to confirm that. 
  • iMovie: iMovie is widely available for Mac and does a great job of recording from the built-in FaceTime camera or other sources. 
  • Panopto: also called "UI Capture" is supported by ITS and is able to record from your camera and store files in the cloud for editing and sharing later. 

Sharing your footage

The most important factor here is making sure the video quality is intact. Sending video over text or email, especially from phones or iPads, lowers the quality of your video. Using Google Drive or OneDrive to upload your video and share with those who need access allows the highest quality in a remote setting.