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Make Your Own Video: Cameras, Accessories, Software, Training

You don’t need to be a video professional to produce and promote your own video. With the easy availability of relatively inexpensive high-definition video cameras, everyone from university professors to students are creating do-it-yourself videos and sharing them on YouTube and other video-sharing websites, sometimes generating much-desired publicity for their efforts.

Can you do that, too? Sure thing! But if you’re going to capture and produce video, you want to have a sense of what technology is involved in creating a video that’s actually worth sharing.

Get a Photo Model Release or HIPAA Authorization

Use the university model release forms to obtain written permission to photograph or videotape subjects. HIPAA Authorization forms are required when working with patients who disclose health information in any form. All subjects must complete and sign one of these forms for each photo, taping, or interview session. Learn more and download the forms.

Video and Student-Athletes

NCAA guidelines restrict how images of student-athletes can be used. Contact the Scarlet Knights’ communications department at 732-445-4200, for information regarding NCAA guidelines and the use of video involving student-athletes.

Don’t Steal Music!

Just because you have thousands of songs on your computer doesn’t mean you can use them in a video. In almost all cases, you cannot.

There is no wholesale educational exemption for the use of copyrighted music in videos. Alternatives for background music include short clips you create on your own, with the help of the “loops” available in music-making software, and “stock” sites offering music clips and songs for use in video projects.

Video Cameras, Accessories, and Editing Software

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Camera: You can easily spend thousands of dollars for a video camera, but much less expensive video cameras—and even cameras on smartphones—are now capable of recording high-definition (HD) video.
  • Tripod: Consider buying (or borrowing) a tripod for steady shots. A tripod with what is known as a “fluid head” will likely be necessary for film-like effects, such as panning the camera across a scene.
  • Microphone: Your sound quality is likely to improve markedly with the use of an external microphone.
  • Lights: For shooting indoors, adequate video lighting is essential.
  • Video software: Much of what really makes your video—what will turn it into something that’s actually compelling—happens through the video and audio editing process. What software you choose will depend on your particular production. The options include:
    • Free: Movie Maker (from Microsoft) and iMovie (from Apple), both available for free with most Macintosh and Windows computers.
    • Less than $200: A number of great programs are available at this price point.
    • Professional: If you are a serious filmmaker, consider professional-grade software.

Learning about Video

Want to learn about video? Here are some of the options for courses and training:

Video Production Resources

For video editing stations, software, and other equipment, consider using the resources available at the Digital Media Lab, located on the Busch Campus at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, or the Fordham Multimedia Lab, located on the Douglass Campus at Rutgers–New Brunswick.