Recording a Video | Questions to Ask | Uploading your Video

Recording a Video


Gathering good quality video will be much easier if you have a clear idea of what information you want to gather before you go out and collect it.

Therefore planning what information you want is an important first step. This will mean:

  • Make a checklist of questions and shots that you need for your project.
  • Make sure you check your camera or cellphone and make sure the battery is charged.
  • Organize a time with a family member or support worker to plan and shoot the video.

As a general rule keep your ideas simple. Complexity often leads to frustration and consumes large quantities of time.


Keeping the camera steady

When shooting video it is important to try to keep the video as still as possible. If the camera is shaking, it will be difficult for the camera to focus and the image will be blurred and shaky, as a result audience might find it difficult to focus on the message of the film.

There are two ways to try to stop the camera from shaking.

1. Tripod

Using a tripod is a very useful way to hold a video camera still. However it is also difficult to move the camera around once it is fixed on top of the tripod. Therefore the tripod should best be used when you are not going to have to move around much.

2. Handholding

The second technique is called handholding; this is when you capture your video footage while holding the video camera in your hands.

It is difficult to shoot good video footage while holding the video camera in your hands because it is hard to hold the camera perfectly still. However, it does greatly increase mobility of the camera.

When holding the camera in your hands try to keep perfectly stable and balanced. This is called ‘smooth handholding’. Whenever possible it is best to try to lean or rest your upper body on something, such as the top of a wall, table or on the ground.

If you cannot rest your upper body on something try to tuck your elbows into your chest. In addition, you can try to lean your back against something, such as a wall, the back of a chair or some other solid vertical surface. Position your feet apart and bend your knees a little. Most importantly make sure that you are comfortable.

Handholding the camera is particularly difficult when you are walking. The camera will bob up and down as you take steps. Professional cameramen can overcome this by walking in a way that does not mean that their body bobs up and down with every step that they take.


When shooting video, it is important to remember about the audio. Often audio will either make or break the quality of a video.

Good quality sound means that the sound is clean (in other words there are not too many background noises) and clear (meaning the voices recorded are not muffled and low).

The following tips can help you improve the quality of sound in your video.

  1. Get the video camera and microphone close to the person being interviewed (around 2 meters). If other noises make the voices hard to understand, the microphone is probably too far away.
  2. Try to cut down environmental noises (such as passing traffic or dogs barking) as much as possible. If the noise cannot be stopped, try to put as much distance and or a wall between the noise and the microphone. This might mean, when possible, choosing a location for an interview that is known to be quiet and if you are inside making sure that windows and doors are shut.
  3. Be careful about hum from a computer or television. If possible, turn any computers off. A background hum can be very distracting for the audience.

Tips on presenting yourself during an interview

  • Speak loudly and clearly.
  • Don’t wear sunglasses
  • Try not to fidget, move your head back and forth or wiggle around.
  • Answer questions with a full sentence. For example, if you are asked, “What is your favourite color?” it is more helpful to have you respond “My favourite color is blue,” rather than just saying “Blue.” This way the interviewer’s voice doesn’t need to be included in the final edited video and it sounds more natural to the viewer.
  • Keep the interview on track, follow your plans.
  • Do not be afraid to pause or stop the interview half way through if there is some sort of disturbance, such as a vehicle passing. You can start again and edit out the pause.
  • Relax. If you don’t say something exactly like you want it, just tell the interviewer you want to rephrase your sentence or start again, this can be edited out later.
  • Listen carefully to questions and answers so that you can respond and follow up on important points. Give the person being interviewed time to talk, try not to interrupt them when they are talking.

Questions to Ask

Bearing in mind that the project want to share examples of positive experiences with employment, the following are possible questions you might like to address when creating materials for the online mapping project.

Questions for self-advocates

What do you like about your job? What makes your job a good experience?

You might want to ask probing questions about:

  • Co-workers
  • Pay
  • Work hours
  • Responsibilities (the things you do at work)
  • Opportunities for different tasks
  • Training
  • Supportive supervisor or employer

Questions for service providers

From your perspective, what makes for successful employment experiences for self advocates?

In particular, what do you feel contributed to the individual’s positive experience at her/his place of employment?

You might want to ask probing questions about:

  • Finding a job
  • Matching self advocates and employers
  • Varying levels of support during different times of the work experience

Questions for family members

From your perspective, what has made for successful employment experiences for your family member?

You might want to ask probing questions about:

  • Co-workers
  • Work hours
  • Job conditions
  • Pay
  • Independence
  • Different support during different times of the work experience

Questions for employers 

  • How did it come to be that you hired a self advocate (a person with a developmental disability)?
  • What has made this a positive experience?
  • How has it changed the way that you go about your business?
  • What have you and other employees learned from working with this individual?

Questions for co-workers

  • What has made working with a self-advocate (a person with a developmental disability) a positive experience?
  • How has it changed the way that you go about your day-today business?
  • What have you learned from working with self-advocates?

Uploading a Video