Help with filming

Imperial Resource

The Communications Division produces films of major Imperial news and events, student recruitment activities and research. If you have a project that you think may be of interest, get in touch with Martin Sayers, Digital Media Producer.

The Events and Hospitality team has a team of technicians who can record and edit events in lecture theatres across Imperial (at cost to you). You can contact the team via email.

ICTV is the student-run television network and 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 ICTV team directly.

External production companies

The Communications Division works with a range of external video and animation production agencies. For advice on working with an agency please email Martin Sayers, Digital Media Producer. Equally, if you have worked with an excellent agency that you would like to recommend, please do get in touch so that we can add it to our database.

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

Plan in advance

Start with your end requirement:

  • Who is the audience for your video?
  • How long do you want the video to be?
  • 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 - a plan for what the video will feature. This will help you think through your project and will make the shoot more efficient:

  • Consider what you want to cover and how you can cover it.
  • Note down the messages you want to get across, e.g. a bullet point script.
  • Write a list of the shots you need and locations.

Gather consent

Consent and permissions are handled in a variety of ways depending upon what you are filming. Please consult our Photography pages for more information about gathering consent for a shoot.

Don't shoot too much

Be nice to yourself - don't overshoot! Remember that you or someone else will have to review the footage and edit the video: 

  • Be strict with what you shoot - stick to your storyboard.
  • Remember your viewer has to watch it - the ideal video length for web and social media use is 2-3 minutes.

Show, don't just tell

Don’t forget to record cutaways - shots of something related to but outside the main action of a scene:

  • Cutaways give a better sense of location and life at Imperial - show where you work, study, etc.
  • Cutaways are useful in the editing process to help cover-up cuts

Enlist some help

You may want to get help with the shoot:

  • If you’re interviewing, get someone else to manage the camera so you can focus on asking the questions and listening to the answers.
  • A second person can provide helpful second opinions on ideas, shots and content. 

When planning a video interview, consider the following:

  • 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? Avoid busy locations that could be distracting. 
  • Does the interviewee have experience being interviewed on camera? If not, what can you do to make them feel comfortable? 
  • Do you want the interviewee looking directly at the camera or an off-screen presence? 
  • Send your interviewee the questions in advance, but don't let them write out full answers - this can often lead to them getting flustered, trying to remember exactly what they've written. 
  • Advise your interviewees on what to wear: avoid clothing with big logos or busy patterns. 
  • Avoid clothing or backgrounds that may date your footage, e.g. a poppy
  • If you are filming on a building site or in a lab the correct clothing and PPE must be worn, especially safety googles and lab coats. Consult the PPE guidelines for more information. 

Due to copyright laws you cannot use:

  • Commercial music: Contact Martin Sayers, Digital Media Producer, for advice on free music libraries and paid stock libraries available. 
  • Other people's web material: Unless you secure permission from the content creator or are using Creative Commons material, you cannot use photos, video or other content you find on the internet.
  • Photos from the web: Instead, use the College image library.
  • Clips from broadcast television: Do not 'rip' video footage from YouTube, BBC iPlayer or any other broadcast/streaming service.