Content Production

Our complete guide to filming and creating videos for Strydal

Whether it’s live classes or on-demand content, there’s plenty to consider. We explain how to prepare and light your filming space, frame your shots, what to wear and more
February 3, 2021
Jamie Beach

So you’ve created your Strydal channel, and you're excited to launch your online business. Great! You'll be joining thousands of other fitness and wellbeing professionals.

When it comes to filming online classes however, there’s plenty to think about. Whether you’re delivering a live class or recording on-demand content, you need to consider how to prepare and light your filming space, how to frame your shots and lots more.

Luckily, all of these things can be learnt by anyone who's willing to invest a bit of time and effort. We’re here to help! Read on…

>>Quick-start guide to Strydal<<

How to prepare your shooting space

We strongly recommend that you shoot indoors: outdoor shoots can be very challenging due to background noise, changeable light conditions, wind and other factors.

Your indoor space should be clean and tidy, with a white background for optimal contrast. Feel free to have some simple styling in the background (e.g. plants, lamps or pictures). 

Remember to test your room for echo! This makes your sound quality bad for your members. A simple way to reduce echo is by adding a carpet or other noise-absorbing fabrics.

Ensure your full body is displayed when filming or streaming (see further advice on framing below). Make sure you find a place where you have enough space to teach (both in height and width).

If you need more help, reach out to our Instructor Specialists (book here) and we can help you pick best place for you to shoot, because every room/location is different.

General tips for filming

The first thing to consider is setting the camera focus. If you're alone for the video shoot then you can use a chair or other large object to help ensure that your camera is focused properly.

Place the chair or object where you will stand on your mat. Set the focus (tap iPhone screen to lock it) then press ‘record’, remove the chair and start your class.

Remember to use a tripod to hold the camera steady – we've got some suggestions here.

In terms of audio, we suggest avoiding background noise and music. Speak clearly and loudly as if you were speaking to someone at the same distance as where your phone is set.

Be careful that your camera doesn’t run out of battery! Plug it into a wall socket before you start.

Check for smudges on your camera lens. Always check and wipe the lens with a cleaning cloth before starting each shoot.

You’ll need to make sure that you have the best possible Internet connection: connect your device to the Internet via Ethernet cable, or place it within 0.5m of your router, if possible.

The equipment you need to film online classes

You don’t need an expensive, complicated set-up to start delivering classes online. You can start with a smartphone!

However, there’s a range of apps, microphones, tripods, lights and other equipment that will dramatically improve your results when used correctly.

>>Read our guide to online teaching equipment<<

Camera settings: Filmic Pro app

(Image: courtesy)

In the article above, we recommend that iPhone owners download and use the Filmic Pro app (currently $14) for recording on-demand videos. 

This is a really powerful yet accessible mobile app that’s been used by the BBC, Hollywood directors and other film professionals.

>>Read our guide to Filmic Pro settings<<

How to frame your video shoots

The correct framing and composition of your video shoots is really important. The more care you take with your framing, the happier you’ll be with your results. So we recommend that you experiment until you find the optimum angle.

Make sure your members can see your full body while you teach. If you’re using a smartphone or tablet, it’s best to place it horizontally.

>>Read our guide to framing your video shoots<<

Advice on lighting

We recommend using daylight whenever possible, as this gives the best results. Ideally, you will set the camera between you and a window, so that natural light comes from in front of you.

If you have a dark room with no daylight, or you want to film classes outside of daylight hours, then we recommend some basic lights:

Basic lights (€70)

Basic lights with color temperature control (€134)

Mid-range lights with color temperature control (€219)

To avoid hard color shifts in the scene, try to balance your lights to the daylight. If you’re unsure what color setting to use, check out this app to balance your color as close to daylight as possible. 

Use reflectors to bounce light off the ceiling or back wall: this will give a more “even” look to your lighting. Check out this video for an explainer.

Streaming music in classes and on-demand videos

Many people want to play music during their live classes and add it to their on-demand videos. 

The challenge they face is that there are heavy fines from performing rights organisations like GEMA in Germany and ASCAP in the USA, if they're caught playing commercial music without paying for a licence.

The answer? Royalty-free music. There are some amazing resources out there on the internet which ask only for attribution in return for using their music. We've written a complete guide to it here:

>>Yoga music: how to get it for free<<

And if you want to know how to actually play it in live classes once you've found it, check out this Help Center article.

What to wear

Next, let’s look at what kind of clothing is best to wear when teaching fitness and wellbeing classes online.

Avoid totally white and totally black clothing. This causes highlights and shadows to not be exposed properly. Solid colours that will “pop” give your video depth and contrast with the background.

Secondly, avoid any patterned clothing (such as stripes or dots). This is because the camera will flicker with patterns and may create like a strobe-like effect, which could get a bit distracting for viewers.

Post-production: cut and compress

Finally, once you’ve recorded your videos, you’ll probably want to do some trimming of the length. Happily, that’s now very easy to do on any smartphone or computer.

>>Our guide to post-production<<

Next steps

Once you're happy with your filming set-up and have created some quality videos, you'll be wanting to upload that on-demand content, and host some live classes. Check out these guides:

>>How to upload videos to Strydal<<
>>Video thumbnails: why they matter [+ examples]<<
>>How to create a live class<<

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