Preparing for your Remote Video Shoot
Before Your Camera Kit Arrives
Before your camera kit even arrives, there are steps you can take to prepare for your remote video shoot:
1) On the laptop you're going to use to for the video shoot, download Canon Webcam Software. To do this, go to this link and scroll down to "Drivers & Downloads".
2) Select your computer's operating system from the drop down menu (pictured below). It may automatically detect your current operating system. If you're not sure which operating system you have, go to the apple icon in the upper left corner of your laptop and select "About this Mac." Your operating system will appear in the pop-up.
3) Click the red "Download" button and open up the file on your computer (pictured below). Follow your computer's installation instructions-- it will likely require a restart of your computer.
When Your Camera Kit Arrives in the Mail
Your camera kit consists of two FedEx packages: a smaller box with all the camera equipment and a larger box with a light kit. As soon as your kit arrives, do the following:
1) Carefully open the packages while taking note of how it was originally shipped. KEEP ALL THE PACKAGING because you will need to ship it to the next person.
2) There are two camera batteries (one is a Canon brand and the other is a Watson brand-- they are functionally identically). Charge both of them fully using the provided battery charger (pictured below).
3) If you have time, practice what is listed below so you are prepared on taping day. The original camera manual is included, but we have already configured the camera’s settings so please do not change them unless we direct you to.
Preparing Your Setup
Read the tips below to decide where you will tape, what you will wear, etc. We highly advise physically doing as much of a test run as possible without the camera equipment. We’ll help you perfect your setting on taping day, but it helps if you have already done your best so we can take it from there and not start at square one.
Here is a good example of what we're aiming for with your setup:
The camera should be at about eye level.
The top of your head should almost touch the top of the screen, while your belly button should almost touch the bottom of it. You can sit or stand (however you're most comfortable).
Center yourself on the screen. Make sure you have enough space around you to talk with your hands. You will be looking straight at the camera as you talk-- imagine the camera is a person you are talking to.
Sit at least a few feet away from the wall behind you, if possible. The further you can sit away from the wall behind you, the better. This is so the camera can show some depth of field and make your background a little blurry.
Do not have a bright window in your background. Try not to have anything that reflects light behind you (mirrors, glass framed artwork, etc.).
The ring light that comes in the kit should make this part pretty simple. Just place the ring a light about five feet away from you, next to your camera/mini tripod. When we help you set up, we may also have you turn on/off other lights in your home and open/close window blinds, just to help make it perfect. Our goal is to have you brightly lit, but without any harsh shadows.
There are 2 bumpy rings on the camera's lens: the thin one is for focus and the thicker one is for zooming in and out. Adjust both of these as needed.
We have turned peaking on for this camera. Peaking are red dots that appear to show you what is in focus (so it is GOOD if there are red dots on your face, eyes, mouth, etc). The red dots will NOT be recorded even when peaking is on, so you don't need to turn it on or off.
Jewel tones are best (pictured below).
Don’t wear fine patterns.
Stay away from any off-white or very light colored clothing (it can mess up the camera’s white balance).
Sometimes the lighting setup can generate significant heat, so if you are prone to sweating, keep that in mind when choosing your outfit. Some tops are more forgiving of showing sweat than others.
MAKE-UP (yes, you too gentlemen)
With the ring light, shiny spots on faces shouldn’t be a problem. But if you want to be super prepared, have some basic powder on hand that matches your skin tone. It just helps get rid of glare on chins, noses, and foreheads, so don’t be afraid to wipe a little powder on if needed.
If you regularly wear make-up, feel free to just wear it as you normally would, but maybe have your kit nearby in case we need to make any small tweaks around shininess.
Try to film somewhere quiet where you can’t hear passing cars, barking dogs, children playing, etc.
If possible, turn off any background noise like air-conditioning, washer/dryers, etc.
Filming in a room with carpet helps absorb excess noise. If you are in a room with a hardwood floor, consider putting blankets and pillows around you (but out of the frame). This helps cut down on echoes.
Don’t lean in towards the mic at all. It will capture your voice as you normally sit/stand.
No need to shout. Just speak in your normal voice. If anything, slow down (we tend to speak too fast when we are nervous).
You will mess up, it's completely normal and expected. Even the most experienced movie stars and politicians mess up. Don’t worry about it. It is our job to make you look flawless when we edit the video. When you mess up: 1) Feel free to naturally recover just as you would if you were giving a live presentation, or 2) Pause, go back to the spot where you left off and re-try it-- we’ll edit out the mistake to the best of our ability.
You will get more comfortable as you go. Don’t let a rough start shake you.
Be yourself. Anything you can do to make yourself feel natural and comfortable is great (smile, laugh, wear an outfit you like, sit/stand however is most comfortable to you, etc.). You have been picked to do this project because you are you :-)
Sometimes it helps if someone sits right behind the camera and actively listens to you so you feel more like it is a natural conversation. So grab a friend if you want, just make sure to keep eye contact with the camera.
If something goes wrong with the equipment or you have a critical question while filming, just give us a call and we’ll help you.
Technical Set-Up Instructions
We recommend that you make an attempt at setting up before we join you via Google Hangouts. We will help you fine-tune your setup-- we can just get a lot more done if you've already tried setting up the camera, mini tripod, and light.
*SETTING UP THE EQUIPMENT*
1) Put the battery and your memory card into the camera: On the bottom of the camera, there is a sliding button with the text "CARD/BATT.OPEN" above it (pictured below). Slide that to the right to open the compartment.
The larger compartment is for the battery and the narrow one is for the memory card. They can only go in one way, so don't force the battery or card if it's not fitting. The memory card needs to have the "cut" corner face down (when you're putting it in the memory card slot) with the branding sticker facing towards the lens.
The battery needs to have the metal on the battery lined up with the metal inside the camera (think metal-to-metal when inserting it).
2) Check your microphone: Make sure the shotgun microphone is plugged into the camera and pointing straight ahead (towards your mouth). The red cable must be inserted into the back of the microphone and the left side of the camera behind the small “MIC” door. See picture below.
3) Attach the camera to the tripod: Screw the tripod into the bottom of the camera. It's easier if you twist the tripod instead of the camera. Place the camera+tripod straight in front of you at eye level, about 5 feet away. You may need to set it on a shelf, chair with books, etc (get creative!). Check that the balance bubble on the tripod is in the middle of the circle-- if it's not, adjust the legs closer/further as needed until the bubble is in the center.
4) Expand the light stand (pictured below): The light stand can be found inside the light kit FedEx package. It is long and metal. Loosen the bottom knob on the light stand enough that you can push the legs all the way down (righty tighty lefty loosey). Once you have pushed the legs all the way down, tighten the knob. The light stand will have three legs that it balances on, sort of like a tripod.
5) Attach the ring light to the light stand: the ring light (it's literally a circle) sits on the neck of the light stand. In order to do this, loosen the screw on the bottom of the ring light enough so that the screw doesn't impede the neck of the light stand. Once the screw on the bottom/neck of the ring light is loose enough, place the light on the stand and tighten the screw on the ring light. The light should be tight and balanced firmly on the stand.
6) Place the light: Place the light+light stand directly behind and above the camera, facing you. To increase the height of the light stand, loosen the top most knob enough that you can easily pull the neck up/higher. Once the stand is at the desired height (see photo below), re-tighten the knob.
7) Plug in the light and turn it on: There is a brown "pizza box" inside the light kit with the power cords. The DC power input is at the bottom of the ring light (see photo below). Plug the DC cable into the light. That cable goes into a small power box that plugs into a standard wall outlet. Once you have the light plugged in, you can turn on the power via the switch at the back of the ring light (also pictured below). The large knob in the upper right corner is a dimmer. 100 is the brightest light and anything less than that is a more dim light.
6) Plug the camera into your laptop: Using the blue cord (and white adapter, if needed, for newer laptops), plug the camera into your laptop. The input on the camera is on the left side (the side opposite the red audio cord). It should insert into the top most input. This is how we will be able to see what your camera is seeing while we help you finish setting up.
7) Setup your cell phone for back-up audio: Have your cell phone as close to your setup as possible without being in the frame. We're going to have you record back-up audio using your phone. iPhone users can reference how to use Voice Memos here. Samsung users can reference how to use a Voice Recorder here. When you're done recording, we'll have you place your back-up phone audio files in this Google Drive folder (but the data from the camera's memory card will be backed up on an external hard drive and just the card will be shipped to us).
8) Remove the foam RODE microphone covering: carefully slide off the "RODE" foam covering on the microphone. Since you are recording indoors, you don't need it. If you accidentally leave it on, extra noise may be recorded.
***At this point, call Molly at (720) 609-9111 and we’ll help you get connected via Google Hangouts. Once we're connected via Google Hangouts, we'll work with you to make sure you get a nice visual.***
1) Unplug laptop from camera: before you record, unplug the laptop from the camera. Make sure the cords are disconnected from both your computer and the camera.
2) Press Record: Press the red record button on top of the camera (it is NOT the large black button). It's okay if it takes you a few moments to return to the front of the camera and get settled.
3) Record your presentation: It can be helpful if a friend watches the camera monitor to make sure the camera doesn't turn off, etc. If you mess up (common), just start where you left off before you made the mistake.
4) Stop Recording: When you are finished, press the red record button on the camera again to stop recording. Stop the back-up recording on your cell phone as well.
5) Review your camera recording: press the blue playback button on the back of the camera. Then press the +/- button on the dial to display the video playback panel. Press the center "Q" button to play the video. To return to the live camera view, press the blue playback button again. Make sure the audio sounds clear (no "clicking" sounds, etc). If you like your recording, go to the next step. If not, re-record and check it again. You may have to switch out camera batteries.
6) Turn off the camera: switch the lever on top of the camera to the "OFF" position.
7) Turn off the light and take down the equipment: Turn off the light using the switch. Undo the equipment going in reverse order of how you put it together.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER RECORDING: BACK-UP THE FOOTAGE
Plug the card reader into your computer.
Remove the memory card from the camera and plug the SD card into the card reader. Be careful with the memory card-- any tiny bit of electric shock or water will destroy the data completely.
Plug the external hard drive into your computer.
Copy ALL the data from the memory card to the external hard drive (place it in the folder already created with your name on it). You should be able to select all the contents and copy and paste it-- or drag it the hard drive folder. Call us if you have any issues.
Keep the data on the memory card-- the card will be shipped back to Molly Dunn (address below). The external hard drive is meant to be a backup-- this drive will remain in the box to be shipped to the next curator.
Safely eject the card reader and the external hard drive.
Remove the memory card from the reader and place the card back into the Pelican case with your name on it.
Carefully place your memory card back in the small Pelican case that has your name on it. This will be shipped back to Molly Dunn at 3236 Beech Dr, Decatur, GA 30032-2410.
Place the rest of the contents back in the two packages (the camera kit and the light kit), exactly how they were shipped to you. These will be shipped to the next curator.
Take the three shipments (Memory Card, Camera Kit, and Light Kit) to FedEx. Reference the shipping tree below to see who you should ship the Camera and Light Kits to. The used memory card goes to Molly Dunn.
Send your receipt to Cantor so you can be reimbursed for the shipment as soon as possible.
CAMERA & LIGHT KIT SHIPPING TREE
Camera & Light Kit #1: Aleesa Alexander --> Patrick Crowley --> Kate Holohan --> Cantor Arts Center
Camera & Light Kit #2: Maggie Dethloff --> Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell --> Cantor Arts Center
ALL ADDRESSES ARE BELOW:
Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander
1325 Indiana St, Unit 207
San Francisco CA 94107
Phone: (805) 636 9561
1571 W El Camino Real, Apt 64
Mountain View, CA 94040
Phone: (734) 417 1997
Patrick R. Crowley
501 Grove St., Apt. 8
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (917) 952 1205
Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell
C/O Rebecca Senf
821 E Camino de los Padres
Tucson, AZ 85718
Phone: (281) 797 7449
1489 Fruitdale Ave, Apt. 3
San Jose, CA 95128
Phone: (845) 430 8108
Cantor Arts Center
Heidi Sigua Campbell
328 Lomita Dr
Stanford, CA 94305
Phone: (650) 723 4177
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