Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
There are a number of factors to consider when you are planning to film your podcast series.
What equipment do you have available to you?
Ideally, you will need two cameras if you are recording a host and guest.
DSLR cameras are ideal if you have some budget. Canon, Sony or Nikon are some of the best brands. The quality will vary on your budget.
TOP TIP: Make sure you’ve invested in a good memory card with enough space to store your footage. You should be able to store at least 30 minutes of HD video. Itʼs always best to get the maximum memory card size that your camera will allow. A 64 GB memory card is usually the golden number.
If you are only starting out in the podcasting world, then some of the newer model smart phones are ideal as long as you have a tripod to steady your shot. If you are shooting remotely, invest in a high quality webcam. This way you’ll be getting the best quality shots and the least amount of lag.
You will also need:
- a tripod to position your camera
- an external mic (this is a must!)
- good lighting – a ring light is perfect if you are filming using one camera, or a phone or photography lights if you have at least two cameras set up
Location, location, location
The ideal location to shoot in is a studio where the lighting and sound quality are easily controlled.
However, if this option is unavailable to you we suggest investing in a colorama, which is perfect for white-balancing your camera and making your shots look professional. Or, if you are filming at home and donʼt have the budget for one of these, try and shoot somewhere where you can control the lighting, such as at your computer desk.
To get the best shot, stand against a background that has a similar light level to your subject. So, in front of a window is a no, no.
Background noise is also something you need to consider. Make sure you shoot in the quietest place possible and always check your audio levels on headphones that are linked to your main camera, so you can pick up any external sound. And don’t forget to use an external mic – that’s a must for podcasters!
Make sure you are wearing plain clothing. Stripy or intricate patterns can cause interference when filming. Wear clothes that are suitable for the role – doing a business podcast in your pajamas probably isn’t a wise idea.
If you are using a colorama, make sure your clothes aren’t the same colour. So, for example, a green screen doesn’t work with green clothing.
Make sure your camera is facing your subject and they are framed properly with some space above their heads. You also want them to be nicely centred (slightly left or right is okay).
Most of the time, podcasts are a friendly chat, and your camera should be capturing this sort of atmosphere. If a group of you are involved in the podcast, make sure the cameras are set up at different angles. Ensure that each person is visible – nobody likes to be watching a personʼs back or just a view of their head while they are talking.
A medium shot with torso and shoulders is ideal if you have one camera and are filming one or two subjects. If you have a second camera you could get a side angle close up of your guest, or a wider angle shot that captures the full subject in frame if you have more than one guest. The wider angle would work better in a studio environment or in front of a colourama.
If youʼre filming on a smartphone, remember to hold the phone landscape (sideways). Vertical videos donʼt work on certain platforms. Think of your TV screen, computer screen or YouTube format: all landscape. The same rules apply here.
Make sure your camera is well focused and on the correct settings. If you are using a DSLR you will need to make sure your ISO, shutter speed and exposure are all set correctly. Otherwise, your shots will be overexposed, too dark or grainy. Remember all settings are related to lighting, and make sure you adjust accordingly.
The final thing you need to do is test your shots. Give yourself some time before filming your podcast to make sure everything is working as planned. Once you are happy, you are good to start shooting.
Now that you have the knowledge to start shooting your podcast, there’s one more thing to remember: go have fun! Remember, multiple takes are always an option so donʼt take things too seriously and feel free to experiment.