If you are going to get the participants in your media project to capture themselves, you'll need to provide them with some guidance on how they should be capturing themselves. It's hard enough producing stylistic continuity when you are capturing all the footage yourself, let alone when you are distributing the task to participants with varying levels of experience. So below you will find some ideas on
You have to be realistic about the amount of information your participants are going to be able to take in, so, in general, a short series of tips or requirements makes more sense than a ten-page manual.
In this series of gifs, Learning Lab Undergraduate Fellow, Sophie Bauder illustrates to top 3 things she wants her participants to think about:
A. Frame yourself with the right amount of headroom, not too far away and not too close, and look straight into the camera
B. Find a quiet place and stay close to the phone so that we can hear you
C. Make sure you are facing your light source (i.e. that you aren't backlit)
Another option is to offer participants a template shot you'd like them to reproduce. In this project, Learning Lab Fellow Jordan Koffman asked her participants to produce a "self-portrait in objects," and offered the following shot as her example.
And her participants sent back the following:
For participants who have never edited a film (probably most of them!) it may not be entirely obvious that you need a wide array of shots to tell a visual story (i.e. you probably don't want just ONE shot of them talking to the camera; you'll also need some shots that help explain who they are, where they are, and what they're doing). Here is an example of a shotlist you might provide participants in a documentary about remote learning.
Sometimes it may be easiest to just film yourself walking through what you want your subjects to do. In this video, Bok Learning Lab Studio Coordinator Casey Cann explains how to record high quality audio using the iPhone's Voice memo app:
Podcasting using the Voice memo app