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Video Best Practices

Is video the correct medium?

The first consideration should be whether video is the best medium to convey your message. Video is not always necessary/appropriate for all projects. In some cases, a simple picture will suffice, as video production is both time-consuming and expensive.

In some cases, video is the best medium, such as showing a program/project in action, documenting an event, or even providing a more emotionally engaging narrative.

Video Longevity

Consider how long it takes to produce a video, and how long you intend for it to be "usable." Since video production is time-consuming, it's a good idea to produce videos with a shelf life of at least 18 months.

Keep it short and sweet

Keep your videos short. Generally videos of 2 minutes in length yield the best "average time watched." People tend to stop watching videos (of any length) after this 2-minute mark, so it becomes ineffective produce videos much longer than this.

Legality

All individuals who are clearly visible in your video (ie. Interviewees, actors, etc...) should sign a release permitting the University to use their image and/or voice in the video. A copy of the release form can be found here Photo/Video Release [PDF].

Whenever using music in videos, it's important to legally purchase royalty free music, and to keep a copy of the license agreement for any song used (should there be a dispute).

When submitting videos to be added to Drexel's YouTube page, please be sure to include a copy of any music license agreement(s), should there be any future disputes.

Think about sound

Although video is generally thought of as visual medium, audio is equally important. To that end, any dialogue/voiceover should be consistently audible throughout the video. This includes being free of background noise. Also, don't ever let background music overpower any dialogue.

Pay extra attention to the sound characteristics of a room, and any external noise. It's always a good idea to avoid rooms with echo, loud air-handlers, or mechanical drone, as well as avoiding high traffic areas. These can all be distracting from the main dialogue.

Text

Any text used in videos should be easily legible throughout the duration of its screen time. This includes appropriate contrast to the footage it is being placed over.

Visual orientation

Videos should be horizontally oriented. This "issue" is mostly prevalent when taking videos with smartphones, as it is by habit that people hold their phones in the vertical orientation.

Logo usage

Avoid including any old versions of the University's logo in your productions, both as added graphic elements or included in footage of campus facilities. If you are unsure of the correct logo usage, please refer to our University Identity Guidelines.

Quality

Anything you produce (photographs, videos, etc.) is an extension of the University, and in some cases, people's only interaction with the University. So it is important that anything you produce be of the highest possible quality.

Keep University Communications in the loop

It's important to let University Communications know that you are planning to produce any video that will go online and/or be used at public events. Please be sure to share any "rough cuts" of a video with UComm, before it is finalized. This is so you can ensure your video meets the University's standards. UComm can also be a great resource for you in developing any preproduction plans, including reviewing storyboards, scripts, etc.

Remember also, per the University's social media guidelines, be sure to consult with UComm if you are considering to create any new video channels (on YouTube, Vimeo, etc).