The Video Production Studio is Closed for the Fall 2020 Term

Please note that the VPS within the CIL is closed for the Fall 2020 term, due to COVID-19 related need to social distance. Note, that the lending library is also closed at this time. Please stay tuned for more information for the Spring semester.

Digging Even Deeper into the VPS

We already looked at much of the equipment and processes for filming in the studio space, and editing in the production space within the VPS–but there are so many potential uses for video capture outside of the studio.  From creating projects to capturing fieldwork to recording labs or project presentations, the Video Production studio has you covered, with a diverse lending library and the production tools to make your vision come alive!  Don’t forget to stay connected to the VPS calendar, to see if there are equipment reserves, or to see when there is staffing for open studio days (the reserve space!)


woman holding camera pointing at viewer

Using Audio/Video Equipment Outside of the VSP

The Video Production studio has a lending library that is available for faculty and students so that you can take a camera outside of the ‘classroom’ and to where the action is!  The lending library contains equipment in kits, which can be mixed or matched, and the checkout process for the kits is through the library–just like books (though there will be a short form to fill out)!  Let’s look at some of the available kits:

  • The Camera kit includes a Canon EOS M50 camera–a great all-around camera for capturing still image and film.  This kit also includes a Rode bullet microphone (which mounts on the camera), a lapel mic, batteries (don’t forget the get them off of the charger!), lens cleaners and a heavy-duty camera bag.  This kit is available for a 3-Day checkout.
  • The 360 camera kit–this small but mighty kit in an easy-to-tote hard case includes a Ricoh Theta V camera, an ambient sound microphone attachment, and a micro USB charger/computer connector.  Note that the 360 camera has the ability to capture 25-minutes worth of video at a time, but you can upload these files to your laptop or Google Drive, and continue filming if you need to (planning is key!). This camera also has an easy-to-navigate moible app (see the description to the right for more info). This kit is available for a 3-Day checkout.
  • The Gimbal Crane Kit–the Zihyun gimbal crane stabilizer kit is a precise instrument, which can be used for shots in motion,  It includes the crane itself in a hard case (assembly is required–and don’t forget the batteries on the charger!), an optional handlebar accessory with mobile/thumb remote, all in a soft-sided tote.  The crane has a mobile app you will need to install to calibrate it (see full description to the right for more info). Because of the complexity of this instrument, the crane is available for a same-day checkout, so you will have to have it back by the time the library closes (but can re-check it out several days in a row).
  • The tripod–we have a great, highly flexible and sturdy tripod available for check out, which is perfectly suited for the Canon.  We look forward to the VPS acquiring a monopod for the 360 camera soon!


Getting to know the Canon EOS M50

The VPS loaning library includes a Canon EOS M50 camera–a light-weight, extremely versatile digital camera that can be used for still photography and film!  This camera kit also comes with a Rode microphone, for filming crisp sound and/or dialog, and a rugged case.  Don’t forget to save your media to your Google Drive, though–because the SD card that is in the camera will likely get recorded over!


Considering 360 Video

360 capture can make any still photograph immediately more engaging–and 360 camera footage creates an immersive experience for your viewer–which is why we are extremely happy to have a Ricoh Theta V 360 camera in our lending library! The 360 camera in the lending library is available for 2-day check-out.  The Theta V is lightweight, easy to use and captures great images (and sound–with the spatial audio mic in the kit)!

Check out these additional helpful resources:

And, on the editing front:

Introducing the Gimbal Crane

An advanced piece of equipment–the gimbal crane, is used to reduce that shakey, point-of-view footage, to give your video capture a smooth way to capture movement.  The gimbal crane that is available for 1-day check out from the VPS, is a Zhiyun Crane, 3-axis Stabilizer. This piece of equipment will require the Zhiyun batteries to be completely charged, as well as devoting some time to downloading the app (below), and calibrating.  The check out Zhiyun kit includes:

  • The crane with accessories, in a hard case
  • Handle bar, with wireless remote

Let’s take a look at what this can do:

Don’t forget to also review these helpful resources:

  1. ZY Play app, to control the crane from your mobile device
  2. A video tutorial on setting up the mobile app
  3. A video tutorial on how to calibrate the Zhiyan crane 
  4. A video tutorial for the remote control (which is installed on the handlebar accessory)


A Tri-pod to Meet Your Needs

Why a tripod? There are a lot of reasons that having the additional stability of a tripod would benefit your project.  The VPS has several tripods in the filming space–holding the camera, lights, mics and so on.  The VPS lending library also has a Manfrotto Tripod and head that is available for 2-day checkout.  Let’s dig a little deeper into the how and why of using a tripod:

Digging Deeper into the Stationary VPS Equipment

When, Why & How Green Screen

A green screen is a great tool to have a virtually limitless number of options for your background.  We have a green screen set up in the recording space at the VPS, and you will note that the lighting positions are designed to make your green screen production as smooth as possible (by highlighting the subject and reducing shadow on the green screen itself). This great video walks you through the process of using a greenscreen to customize your background using Adobe Premier (which we have in the production space):

Editing 360 Video

To upload to Youtube tips:

  1. Start by downloading the Theta Spherical viewer software for your computer from This is where you will convert the video clips into what’s called an equirectangular video.
  2.  Once converted import the clips into your video editor, or Adobe Premiere in the production space. Note–you won’t be able to change the resolution of the video, or crop the image.
  3. After the edit, export the video as an H.264 movie.
  4. Ready to upload? Download this from Google ( open it up, select the video you just saved, inject the metadata info and save it.
  5. Now you’re ready to upload to YouTube and share! 
Stay on Script with a Teleprompter

Utilizing a teleprompter allows you to stay on script, without the awkward missed lines, memorization, or looking at notecards.  The recording space in the VPS has a teleprompter–with an ipad/app to help capture those times that we need to instruct, show, explain or storytell, in a way that is natural and produced looking!  Here is a peek at our teleprompter:

Here are some other helpful tips and accessories that will take your teleprompter use to the next level:

  • Hint: Make sure you charge up the iPad before you start filming!
  • The Elite Remote allows you to control the iPad app with the touch of a button, to slow down, speed up of pause the teleprompter
  • The iPad come loaded with the Teleprompt+ app, you can easily upload already created files and scripts into the app.

Workflows for Success

  1. Never underestimate the power of planning (remember our tips for storyboarding and scripting from the VPS main page?).  Be truly ready to shoot when it is time.
  2. Since you may need to reserve space, check out equipment and access editing, remember that many others do too.  Be purposeful -if you don’t need a piece of equipment, don’t check it out (planning will help you determine what is needed).
  3. Be sure that you use care with storage inside the space, and when checking out kits–this helps all of us utilize the equipment when it is needed.
  4. Make time to learn editing features– don’t underestimate that this will be a learning curve, and procrastination could make learning the tools challenging.

The VPS Adobe Creative Suite: Editing+

The production space computer has other Adobe Creative cloud programs, which can really take your projects and editing to the next level!  Check out Illustrator, to create text, images, and assets that you can edit into the video–or use Photoshop to create a wide range of effects on your still image captures, or to create get backdrops for your talking head videos!  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!


Check out PhotoshopCheck out Illustrator