3. Video

Equipment for video and audio

Essential or very useful equipment:

  • Video camera or smartphone — newer smartphones can record high quality video
  • Microphone/audio recorder — an external microphone is preferable to the built-in one on your device
  • Tripod — to avoid shaky footage
  • Lights — for videoing indoors.

Your school or faculty may have equipment you can borrow to produce your video assignment. Check your Subject Outline for assignment details.

You will also need storage for your video and audio files. High definition (HD, 1080p or 4K) video requires a lot of storage. The Work with data and files module has information on how to manage files and storage.

Plan your video

Remember to check your assignment criteria first and think carefully about the intended audience and purpose of your assignment.

Using your mobile phone

Decorative Filming with your phone (YouTube, 15m16s) provides key information and many tips for filming a video on your mobile phone, including lighting, audio and editing:

Write a script

Write a script before you start recording so you:

  • know what you want to say,
  • check that you can speak it fluently, and
  • don’t forget to include important points.

If you improvise, you might be too wordy, leave too many pauses and say too many “umms” and “ahhs” as you think about what to say next.

Script essentials

  • Use a conversational tone
  • Keep your sentences short and simple. Avoid using connecting phrases such as “so then…” or “ as previously mentioned…”
  • Avoid repetition
  • If you are doing a live recording, do a practice recording (or a few) before the real thing. Work on trying to sound natural
  • Try to keep your video as short as possible. Check your Subject Outline for assignment details.


The storyboard is used to plan the visual elements that will go with your script. Your video may include a combination of text, photos, graphics, audio and video.

The storyboard can be a simple document or drawing that maps out your video. You can use it to plan what video shots, text or images to show for each part of your script.

Use this example Google Doc storyboard template.

Example of a simple storyboard
Slide no. and approximate timing Image, concept or idea Script
Slide 1

15 seconds

Show images of different types of ibis

Australian ibis flying
“Threskiornis molucca -Canberra, Australia -flying” by Duncan McCaskill is licenced under CC BY 3.0
The Straw-necked Ibis, Glossy Ibis and Australian White Ibis are native to Australia. Australians enjoy a love-hate relationship with the ibis, often referring to them as “bin chickens”.
Slide 2

20 seconds

Video group of ibis in city near bins. Start with a wide shot of group. Then a close up of an ibis with its head going into a bin. Put source of information in — Friday essay: the rise of the ‘bin chicken’, a totem for modern Australia from the Conversation. Brisbane has approximately 5000 ibis. Sydney’s ibis population is estimated at 10000. Hold onto your lunch extra tightly if you go down there.


Slide 3

15 seconds

Flying ibis
“Threskiornis molucca -Canberra, Australia -flying” by Duncan McCaskill is licenced under CC BY 3.0
When you feel annoyed at an ibis, try to remember that drought and habitat loss have forced them from their inland wetland home to coastal regions.

Note: It’s important to keep track of any sources and include them in your video.

Other storyboard templates are available for download.

DecorativeScript tutorials


When light comes from a single, direct source, such as the sun or an overhead light, it produces “hard light”. Hard light creates distinct shadows and can be harsh and unflattering. A “soft light”, produced by less direct sources of light, creates softer shadows and tends to be more flattering to your subject.

Outdoors, to have a soft light, it is best to video when the sun is not at it’s strongest:

  • On a cloudy day
  • An hour before sunset
  • An hour after sunrise.

Indoors it is best to record:


Choose a location that suits the theme of your video.

  • Plan your shot carefully. Your audience is sure to notice something that appears in the background, that you didn’t intend to show
  • Consider how noisy or windy it is, if you are recording audio while videoing
  • Record in front of a green screen so that you can choose a different background and avoid a noisy environment. Find out how to use virtual backgrounds using Zoom software.

Video techniques

  1. Video in short takes. Then you can easily redo anything that doesn’t turn out quite right
  2. Video extra at the start and end, for easier editing
  3. Hold your camera horizontally while videoing to avoid having black spaces on the side, when you view it in wider formats
  4. Don’t video with strong light behind your subject. Preferably, video in a soft light or have the light behind the camera.
Woman with sun behind her
Camera facing towards the light.
Smiling woman wearing glasses with street behind her
No light shining into the camera.

Avoid shaky video footage

If you can’t use a tripod, use a surface to balance your smartphone or video camera e.g. on a stack of books on a desk. If you have to hold your device:

  1. Use two hands
  2. Tuck your elbows in to your sides
  3. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  4. Breath slowly.


You can compose different types of shots to make your video more interesting, such as wide shots and close-ups. Visit how to frame different kinds of shots.

When framing a video for an interview don’t have too much space above the subject’s head. Don’t cut off the top of the head either.

Rule of thirds

The “rule of thirds” is a composition technique for getting well-balanced shots. Imagine the scene broken into a 3 by 3 grid. Frame your shot to place your subject where the lines intersect.


Dog overlooking a lake
Bad “rule of thirds” framing.
Dog standing on a bench overlookign a lake
Better “rule of thirds” framing.

Video tutorials

These tutorials have more techniques for creating videos:

Screen recording

For instructional videos you may want to record your computer screen. Screen capture instructions and tools:

Video editing tools

Tool Free Guides Tutorials
Microsoft PowerPoint Free for Charles Sturt students PowerPoint as part of Microsoft Office 365. PowerPoint video and audio (LinkedIn Learning course) Charles Sturt login required
iMovie (MacOS and iOS) iMovie support iMovie 10.1.16 Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning, 2h31m) Charles Sturt login required
Adobe Express Adobe Express tutorials Learn Adobe Express (LinkedIn Learning, 1h16m)  Charles Sturt login required
Adobe Premiere Pro Premiere Pro user guide Premiere Pro (LinkedIn Learning pathway) Charles Sturt login required
Adobe Premiere Rush User guide Adobe Premiere Rush tutorials
Powtoon Powtoon QuickStart Guide Powtoon Quickstart video tutorials

Get more information on tools for working with video, including Kaltura, Zoom and Adobe Spark.

Submitting your video assignment

You may be required to upload your video file for an assignment. Check your Subject Outline for details.

Video hosting sites

After you have created your video, you can upload it to a video platform for others to view.

Site Guides Tutorials
YouTube Upload videos to YouTube Create and manage a YouTube channel (LinkedIn Learning, 3h10m) Charles Sturt login is required
Vimeo Vimeo Uploading basics Vimeo School


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Digital Skills: Assignment Essentials Copyright © 2024 by Charles Sturt University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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