A man filming with a professional camera This Web Skills module on video tips will show you how to get started, what to consider when planning and filming and help with editing. It will show you how to upload to the College iMedia library and ItunesU.

Let's get started

Video Web Skills menu

Why bother?

Video an increasingly popular medium for sharing information especially via social media.

  • Over 24 hours of footage is uploaded online every minute.
  • YouTube has over 2 billion views a day.
  • YouTube is a very popular search engine.
  • Over 300 million downloads from iTunes U.
  • Videos are now used more frequently across College website and web presence.
  • Great way to really show what life is like on campus.
  • Enables prospective students to “meet” current students and get a sense of whether they will fit in.

Current College channels

YouTube channel screengrab YouTube - Our Imperial College YouTube account was launched in 2008, in 2015 the College YouTube passed three million views.

Imperial media library - A College resource that stores all College videos, you are encouraged to upload your official videos to share them more widely.

iTunesU- iTunes U is a vast learning resource, available on Apple's iTunes store. The content is primarily educational and can be downloaded straight to your computer, iPad, iPod and iPhone.

The College iTunes U content is available in the following places:

  1. College website.
  2. iTunes.

iTunes U Course Manager - a web-based tool that allows instructors to create and distribute courses on iTunes U. It can be used to publish complete academic courses, including syllabus, videos, handouts, PowerPoint presentations, class assignments, and more.

Any academic can publish their courses on iTunes to enable distribution to students and beyond. Individual academics can decide to share their iTunes course content with named individuals only, or whether they want to publish it to external international audiences via the College's iTunes U account.  See an example of an existing College public course.

 If you would like publish one of your videos on the College channel, please contact Martin Sayers 

Getting professional help

College Resource

The Digital and Creative Media team produces films of major College events, student recruitment activities and research news. If you have a project that you think may be of interest, get in touch with Martin Sayers, Video Production Manager.

Campus Services has a team of technicians who can record and edit events in lecture theatres across the College at a cost of around £400 for a standard one-hour lecture. You can contact the team via email.

STOIC - the student run television network has a small team who produce a wide variety of programmes for the station throughout the academic year. They may be able to film your event. Please contact the STOIC team directly.

External production companies

For advice on recommended external production companies please email Martin Sayers, Video Production Manager. Equally, if you have worked with some excellent external video production companies please do get in touch so that we can add them to our list.

If none of these options are appropriate or you are keen to get a bit more hands on then you may want to film or record it yourself.

Top tips for planning a shoot

Plan in advance

Start with your end requirement:

  • Who is going to watch the video you are about to make?
  • Is the video stand-alone or will text accompanying it to explain its meaning and content?
  • What duration would you want the video to run for?
  • Will people need to speak or be interviewed for your video?
  • Do you need to show places, objects or other things in the video?
  • What locations will you use for filming?

Jot down a storyboard for your film:

  • Helps you keep your filming short.
  • Ensures you capture everything you want.
  • Saves time.
  • Consider what you want to cover and how you can cover them.
  • Note down the messages you want to get across –bullet point script.
  • Write a list of the shots you need and locations.

Don't shoot too much

Be nice to yourself! Remember you have to edit this:

  • Be strict with what you shoot –stick to your plan.
  • Remember your viewer has to watch it - the Ideal video length (Especially for online sharing) is 2-3 minutes max.

Show, don't just tell

Don’t forget to record cutaways:

  • Gives a better sense of your life at Imperial –show where you hang out, what your class rooms look like, where you live etc.
  • Can help you when you’re editing to cover up cuts.

Enlist some help

You may want to get help with the shoot:

  • If you’re interviewing, get someone else to film so you can focus on the questions and answers.
  • Useful second opinion.

Conducting a video interview

Things to think about when interviewing:

  • Is the interview just one question with one long answer?
  • If you have a series of questions and answers, do you want to hear your questions being asked or will they be cut out as explained above?
  • Would you consider re-asking your questions on camera and editing them in after?
  • Can you record the interview in a quiet location?
  • What’s in the background?
  • Do you want the star looking at the camera?

Briefing your stars

  • Brief your stars on questions – but don’t let them write out full answers.
  • What are people wearing? Check and remove big logos.
  • Remove clothing or backgrounds that  might date-stamp your footage, for example, a poppy.
  • Health and safety – if you are filming on a building site or in a lab the correct clothing must be worn, especially safety googles and lab coats.
  • Make sure you have consent – we have generic form that you can use - contact Martin Sayers.


Support for creating content 

Flip camera Communications and Publics Affairs can provide basic flips cameras - Kodak ZI8s and audio kit  which are available to borrow at no cost.

Contact Martin Sayers  to discuss potential suppliers or borrow kit.

Using your camera

  • Practice before you head out on your shoot.
  • Try and keep the camera steady.
  • Hold the device in such a way as to create a human tripod using both arms to hold to camera steady.
  • Don’t use the electronic zoom but rather move forward to make the person or equipment fit your viewfinder frame.
  • Stay close to people you are filming – just capture head and shoulders to ensure you capture sound.

Editing tips

Plan in advance

To make the editing part easier, always plan your shoot in advance - see filming for further information.

  1. If you are editing footage yourself, keep it simple and short. If you try to be too complicated you may never get it finished in time for it to be used.
  2. Keep shots short and uncomplicated.
  3. Lighting, location and storyboard will all be important in the edit -if you plan these in advance, your edit will be so much easier.
  4. Always think about editing whilst you’re recording your footage. Think how your series of shots will be to be put together and overcome potential editing problems whilst you are shooting.
  5. Whilst you shouldn't shoot too much, make sure you have enough to cover what you intend to achieve as an end result.

Editing your footage

  1. Editing can be time consuming so don’t take that task on unless you know you can complete it. 
  2. Use common editing software, such as;
  • iMovie - available as standard software on Macs - FREE
  • Movie Maker - available as standard software on PCs with Windows - FREE
  • Final Cut Pro - professional editing software for Macs
  • Sony Vegas - for professional audio and video production
  • Adobe Premier Elements - for professional audio and video production

If you don't have access to editing software you are welcome to come along to the Communications Office and use ours. Our office is located on the 5th Floor, Sherfield Building, South Kensington Campus. Contact Martin Sayers to make an appointment.


Due to copyright you cannot use:

  • Commercial music – search for free music libraries or contact Martin Sayers.
  • Other peoples web material.
  • Photos from the web – instead use the College image library.
  • Off-air TV material.

Branding and publishing your content

The College Media Library - iMedia

Log in with your usual College credentials at http://www2.imperial.ac.uk/imedia/.

iMedia Library screenshotStep 1 - upload your video, click select file:

Upload a screen of iMedia

N.B. Video file types accepted: flv, mov, mp4, m4v, avi.
Step 2 - Enter the details of the video, the title, description and tags. These are crucial for your video to be searchable.
Step 3 - Publish media to, you can select the options where you want the video to publish to. You can publish to iMedia (Imperial College Website) and/or ITunesU (recommended).
Step 4 - Create the front slide, this is where you add some branding. You have the choice of using your own image, using your prebranded option or using the default College version.
Step 5 - Upload, accept the terms and conditions and click save.
For more in depth instructions on each step - see the Web guide FAQs uploading a video to iMedia.


 What happens next?

Your video is placed in approval queue that is checked daily (if urgent, contact Martin Sayers), the process includes:

1. Communications review content to check:
  • Branding.
  • Quality of recording –lip synch, audible.
  • Completeness of recording.
  • Collection, tags etc.
Communications cannot check accuracy of academic content or copyright issues.

2. If content meets quality requirements it is also approved for iTunes U (although not immediate publishing).

3. If there are any issues Communications contacts the content uploader.


Publishing academic courses to iTunes U

Any academic can publish their courses on iTunes to enable distribution to students and beyond. Individual academics can decide to share their iTunes course content with named individuals only, or whether they want to publish it to external international audiences via the College's iTunes U account.

Comprehensive step-by-step instructions are available from Apple.  In order to add course material to iTunes, please follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to iTunes course manager (creating an apple ID if necessary)
  2. Create your initial instructor profile
  3. After you save your profile, you'll see your dashboard.
  4. To create a new course, click Create New Course and complete the form provided.
  5. You will need a course cover graphic.  Please contact the Digital and Creative Media team to create this for you using the official branded template.
  6. Add and organise your course content
  7. When you are ready to share your private course you can use the Share Course button to share the course enrol code or shortcut link to your course with students and other users.

By default, all courses created in iTunes U Course Manager are private. To add a course to Imperial's public iTunes U channel and make it available internationally, you must submit a request to Digital and Creative Media

Find out how to request a course be made public.

Before a course can be added to the public iTunes U site, you will need to complete the OER toolkit which covers IPR, copyright, consent and quality assurance.

Best practice advice for public content.

In order for your content to be found and shared, carefully consider all descriptive text associated with your material:

  • Think carefully about your course title and descriptions - consider popular keywords and what individuals outside College might be searching for in order to find your content.
  • Bear in mind that individual items within courses are listed separately in the "Materials" section of iTunes, as well as together as a course.  Therefore, give comprehensive but concise descriptions of each individual item that makes up your course - and include the course name itself.
  • Search existing public iTunes U content to explore what competitors are publishing and how they are describing it.

Read Apple's best practice advice for publishing courses

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