Skip to content

Video Best Practices

You should keep the following basic points in mind when producing a video for the university.

Most importantly, all videos you produce must be captioned for the hearing impaired.

Along with our branded video assets, the items below will help improve the quality of your videos.


Captioning

All videos produced by UT must be captioned for the hearing impaired.

YouTube offers the ability to easily add closed captions to any video you upload to their site. Alternately, you can add open captions to videos by placing subtitles on the top layer of your project in your video editing system.

If you need assistance adding captions to a video that you are not uploading to the web, contact the Video and Photography Center.

The Office of Disability Services can provide more information about captioning, including recommendations on when to open caption your videos.

Production Quality

A tripod and external microphone go a long way in producing a quality video. Handheld cameras can make your viewers “seasick,” and on-camera microphones often make for muddy audio. Both of these are especially important for interview setups.

Lighting is a key component of any quality video. Good lighting will keep your images crisp and in focus. If you don’t have access to a lighting kit, try to shoot outdoors or in a well-lit interior space.

Always keep the composition of the frame in mind. Too much activity or a cluttered background makes for a less-effective shot.

Videos should be shot in high-definition whenever possible. You can always scale down your videos when editing. You can’t scale up.

Editing & Encoding Videos

How you process your video is important in maintaining the image quality. Use quality video editing software whenever possible and always try to edit in the video’s original format.

Be sure to maintain the aspect ratio when editing/encoding your video files. In other words, if you shot the video in HD, but need to export it in a 4:3 format, don’t squeeze and distort the frames in the process.

YouTube and Vimeo are great sites for hosting videos that you want to embed on a website or distribute electronically. A lot of editing software programs offer presets for YouTube and Vimeo output. A high-quality H.264 file is also a good option for exporting videos.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

Report an accessibility barrier