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 video production help

College Resource

The Communications and Public Affairs Division produces films of major College news and events, student recruitment activities and College 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 the College (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 and Public Affairs 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.

Top tips for planning a film shoot

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. 

Conducting a video interview

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. 


Support for creating content 

The Communications and Public Affairs Division has two basic camera kits, which staff can borrow at no cost. If more professional equipment is needed, we can advise on suppliers. 

Contact Martin Sayers, Digital Media Producer, to discuss potential suppliers or borrow kit.

Editing tips

Plan in advance

To make the editing part easier, always plan your shoot in advance - see our filming advice 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 significantly 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 footage to cover your 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 Commuincations team video studio and use ours. The studio is located on the 5th Floor, Sherfield Building, South Kensington Campus. Contact Martin Sayers, Digital Media Producer, to make an appointment.


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.

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.


  • Don't forget to get the URL and add the video to your website.
  • Share video on YouTube or elsewhere on social media.

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

Need more help?