Festival of Ideas: Guidance for Contributors

Thank you for agreeing to contribute to the University’s Festival of Ideas Reimagined. You have kindly agreed to record a 20 minute Think Piece / Reading focusing on either of two areas: the restorative qualities of art and culture sustaining us through periods of crisis, or, thoughts on a post-pandemic future, covering your particular subjects across the range of original festival themes (art, literature, heritage, science, politics).

On this page:

Introduction

We have created these guidelines to help you create good quality video and audio recordings with the equipment you have to hand. You will ideally have one of the following:

  • PC with external webcam
  • Laptop with in-built webcam
  • Tablet or smartphone with in-built

Remember to speak clearly, record in chunks if you find this easier and save your progress at each stage. The University will edit your submission and incorporate Festival of Ideas branding.

If you need any additional support, please email the University's Senior Videographer Freddie Gerrard-Abbott at f.gerrard-abbott6@herts.ac.uk.

Contrubutors are required to complete the below form, providing consent to publish your materials. Please submit this form along with your submission at the bottom of this page.

General tips for recording content from home:

  1. Record in an environment that is tidy and minimalist (in front of a white wall for example)
  2. Remove background noise by closing any doors or windows in the area you are filming in
  3. Switch off any radios, TV or other noise sources. Put your phone on silent
  4. Film in HD 1280x720 or Full HD 1920x1080, although this is not essential
  5. Please ensure your device is positioned at eyeline level, in a stable position. Do not hold the device yourself - rest on a shelf or table to avoid handling noise.
  6. Film with a good light source (lamp/window etc) either in front or to the slight side of you. Do not film with a window or strong light source behind you
  7. Clean the camera lens prior to recording
  8. Sit in the middle or just to the side of the frame, making sure the top of your head is not cut off
  9. Give enough distance from the camera. We recommend further away than you would on a video cal
  10. Avoid using headphones, unless the built-in microphone is of poor quality. If this is the case, use wireless earphones as an alternative
  11. If you are using a computer, ensure all other apps and programmes are closed to avoid alert sounds
  12. Take a few seconds before and after speaking, to allow for any movement to be trimmed out of the video, for example turning your camera on and off
  13. Please test the video and audio quality prior to recording your final submission.

Template for illustrated talks

We have provided a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation template for contributors presenting illustrated talks. For guidance on using this template, please email the University's Studio team at studio@herts.ac.uk.

Recording using a Mac

  1. Download QuickTime
  2. Follow the installation process
  3. Open QuickTime when you are ready to record
  4. Click 'File > New Movie Recording'
  5. If asked 'to allow the app permission to access your webcam and microphone', give all requested permissions
  6. Click the small downward-facing arrow next to the record button. Ensure your video quality is set to ‘high’ to optimise file size
  7. When you are ready, click record
  8. When you are finished with your recording, click stop. We will make adjustments to the start and end of the clips as appropriate. Play it back with audio turned on to check you are happy with the final output looks and sounds
  9. After each recording is complete save the file
  10. For illustrated talks, you should record the video whilst viewing your presentation on screen. We will take your presentation and overlay your video on it
  11. You can either record your presentation as one continuous piece or as separate slides:
    1. If you choose to record this as one continuous piece, you should provide guidance on slide timings to allow us to sync up the visuals and audio
    2. If you choose to record as separate slides, please title your files with the associated slide number.
Step 3

Step 3: Open Quicktime

Step 4

Step 4: Select 'New Movie Recording'

Step 6

Step 6: Adjust your quality settings

Step 10

Step 10: Save your recording

Recording using Windows 10/8.1

  1. Click the 'Start' menu button in the bottom-left corner of the screen
  2. Type 'camera' into the search bar or scroll down the menu until you spot the word 'camera'
  3. The camera app will open on the screen. This should automatically start your webcam. If asked 'to allow the app permission to access your webcam and microphone', give all requested permissions
  4. Click the 'Settings' button; it is a cog symbol in the top-right corner of the screen
  5. Scroll down the right column to the 'Videos' header, and then select your desired resolution from the drop-down menu. The higher the resolution, the better the quality (and the larger the file size).
  6. Click the video icon. It is the outline of a video camera on the right side of the window. This switches the camera to video mode.
  7. Click the video icon to start recording. It is the large white version of the video camera on the left side of the window. The time count in the bottom-centre of the preview screen will increase as you continue to record.
  8. Click the stop button to stop recording. It is the red square on the right side of the window. The video will stop recording immediately. The finished video will be saved to the 'Camera roll' folder inside your 'Photos' folder.
  9. For illustrated talks, you should record the video whilst viewing your presentation on screen. We will take your presentation and overlay your video on it
  10. You can either record your presentation as one continuous piece or as separate slides:
    1. If you choose to record this as one continuous piece, you should provide guidance on slide timings to allow us to sync up the visuals and audio
    2. If you choose to record as separate slides, please title your files with the associated slide number.
Step 1

Step 1: Start menu

Step 2

Step 2: Open the Camera app

Step 4

Step 4: Click 'Settings'

Step 5

Step 5: Adjust your quality settings

Step 7

Step 7: Hit 'Record'

Step 8

Step 8: Stop recording

For previous versions such as Windows 7, please see if your laptop or webcam manufacturer has included a pre-installed software on your device. If there is not an appropriate software installed, please see below for guidance on recording using your smartphone or tablet.

Recording using a Phone/Tablet

  • Please film in horizontal mode with the device on it's side
  • Please ensure your device is positioned at eyeline level, in a stable position. Do not hold the device yourself - rest on a shelf or table to avoid handling noise
  • Avoid using headphones unless the built-in microphone is of poor quality. If this is the case, use wireless earphones as an alternative
  • Use your default camera app to create the video recording
  • Users with the latest Android or Apple smart phones should find that the video capabilities are of a good quality.
Phone Portrait

Don't use your phone in portrait orientation

Phone Landscape

Do use your phone in landscape orientation

Phone Dont

Don't position your device above or below eye level

Phone Do

Do position your device in a stable manner at eye level

Submitting your content

All files, including your completed Consent form, can be submitted through the link below. If you have any additional notes, please upload these as a Word document.

If you have any issues uploading your content, please email the University's Studio team at studio@herts.ac.uk.