Creating a webcam recording is getting easier and easier with modern browser technology. Years ago you had to rely on things like Flash (now being taken out the back and quietly put down by Adobe) or Silverlight or other convoluted plug-ins with questionable stability to offer a camera recorder on your site.
Embed a modern recorder on your site through our HTML5 Video Camera API
But that’s only half the story. If you are going to let your users subject their opinions onto the rest of the world via YouTube or other platforms, then you probably want their videos to look half-decent. After all, people will associate your user-generated videos with your brand and you also want them to hang around and pay you a bit more attention – something you can achieve if your video creators look more like they made an effort to comb their hair and light the scene properly 🙂
4 Tips for your users to create better webcam recordings
So here are our four Clipchamp tips to creating a decent webcam video – feel free to share these tips with your users so you’ll get top-notch clips from them.
1) Let There Be Light
And it was so. Sitting in the dark is both literally and metaphorically not good for you or your viewers. There are a lot of Webcam lighting tutorials on good webcam lighting online but a quality setup doesn’t need to be expensive. And they’ll last for ages.
Webcam lighting ExampleBut if you’re really short of budget the simple solution is to get yourself outside. Try and avoid bright sunshine because first, that’ll make you squint and secondly, any shadows in the background or across your body will stand out like a sore thumb. The best thing to do is try and opt for a relatively cloudy day, around late morning or early afternoon when the sun is still bright but not directly overhead.
2) Position Yourself
There’s a long conversation about this when it comes to your personal brand, but that’s not what we mean here. Basically make sure the camera is correct in relation to your face. NO-ONE wants to see up your nose, and if you look like you’re staring upwards all the time, it’ll start to look awkward to the viewer, and feel even more so for you.
Mix up your positions too. You don’t have to stay still for the whole recording. Or have the same background. Which will work better when you then jump cut the edit.
3) Jump Cut The Edit
Jump cutting is the simplest and quickest way to record any video. It goes a little something like this: get a friend to read a line to you, record you saying the line, stop the camera. Repeat until script is completed.
You then take all the little bits you’ve recorded and stitch them together in the edit. You might think it could look like a random jigsaw puzzle and feel awkward and, in your first few attempts, it probably will. But you can make some hot looking videos if you can get this working well for you. Check out (the sometimes offensive) Nicole Arbour who does this well if you want any tips.
4) Keep It Short, Stupid
This won’t end well.
Too much of a good thing can be like eating a whole pizza yourself made for 4 people. It seems like a good idea at the start but afterwards, you’re going to suffer for a good few hours and there’s nothing you can do to take it all back.
Video recordings are the same. If in doubt, keep it to 90 seconds. If you think you can keep the audience engaged beyond that, then go for longer, but if you have ANY DOUBT AT ALL, shut up after that point. Ten lots of 90 second videos are going to garner you more attention (and more traffic on YouTube) than a 15-minute epic where people fall asleep after three minutes. You can also drip-feed shorter videos. You can’t drip feed one email.
So if you want to build yourself a YouTube or Facebook empire, hitting the HTML5 webcam bandwagon is a good way to do it. Of course, no amount of editing can help you if you’re boring, but even the most niche subjects can build huge followings. After all, if network TV can produce a show based on fish tank make-overs, then we’re pretty confident you can make successful web video series too.