"(Out of) Office Hours" Part 2: Remote Directing Techniques

On the second episode of (Out of) Office Hours, Chris goes behind-the-scenes to show us how he produced a video remotely and covers directing techniques, multi-cam software, and how video producers can still be helpful and relevant while folks are making videos from home. Here’s a recap of what went down and some helpful links so you can dig deeper!

Re-watch the recordings of (Out of) Office Hours with Chris Lavigne all in one place!

Behind-the-scenes of a remote workflow

Recently, our co-founders Chris Savage and Brendan Schwartz wanted to make a video that communicated how we plan to provide help through the COVID-19 crisis. This became a great opportunity for Chris Lavigne to test the constraints that we’re in right now when it comes to video and develop a new workflow for shooting a remote video. He even put together a behind-the-scenes video to show everyone just how he did it! Let’s run through it real quick:

  • Chris started a Zoom teleconference call with Savage and Brendan
  • Savage was recording in his basement with bad lighting so Chris helped him fix it
  • Once things were looking good, they switched audio to their Airpods instead of laptop audio so Chris could be a bug in their ear.
  • Rather than using Zoom to record the call, Chris told them to record their own individual videos using QuickTime for maximum quality.
  • Savage and Brendan took multiple takes working through the message of the video.
  • Once they felt good about the message, they uploaded their video files to Wistia.
  • Chris downloaded their files and popped them into Adobe Premiere to start editing.
  • He had a split screen and full screen angle, individual audio tracks to work with, and a music track and logo at the end.
If you’re using video in the education, healthcare, or nonprofit space to directly combat the spread of COVID-19, here’s how we can help.

Top takeaways from remote directing

Chris said making the video wasn’t too dissimilar from making any other video — in other words, all of the fundamentals still applied. If you’re a video producer out there, you can still be valuable to folks who are trying to create content from home. These are his key takeaways from the remote directing experience:

  • Video producers are uniquely good at making shots look great, so schedule enough time before the shoot to do production design, mess around with the camera angle, and set the person on camera up for success.
  • Start a teleconference call (we used Zoom) and provide direction this way
  • Most importantly, record multiple streams at once (we used QuickTime) so you’re not hinged to one teleconference call for editing.
  • Have the people on camera do multiple takes to loosen up, get the right tone, and coach them through flubbed lines as you would have if they were in the room.

Q&A Time

In this installment of (Out of) Office Hours, folks out there had a number of interesting questions for Chris. Scrub to these timestamps to hear his responses to the following questions:

19:04 — What editing software do you use for multicam shoots?

21:13 — What’s your favorite lapel mic recommendation?

22:01 — What do you recommend for a desk setup that’s less overkill?

23:27 — Do you have feedback for video team organization?

25:17 — How should we address the pandemic in our videos?

27:05 — Any tips on hacks/ideas for seeing myself in framing?

How can we help?

That about wraps up this episode recap! Enjoying the topics we’re covering? We want to know how we can be genuinely helpful moving forward. Let us know what challenges you’re struggling with when it comes to video lately by hitting up Chris on Twitter @crlvideo or emailing him at crl@wistia.com. You can also reach out to Wistia directly on Twitter @wistia. We hope to hear from you soon! See you next time.

Lisa Marinelli


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