Frustrations with Teaching Videos

Recently, I've been frustrated by the workflow of making videos for my classes. Rather than voice these unconstructive frustrations, I think it might be worthwhile to document the workflow.

  • Step 1: Write the script in a conversational (causal) style in a .txt file. Here is the script from my latest video: Metaphysical Indeterminacy Script. Focus on what you want to say, not spelling, grammar, the look of the file.
  • Step 2: Shoot b-roll and create supplemental graphics. This is the most fun of the process but the hardest to think of and can be time-consuming. In the following, I pretend to be the queen of England (see 3:05).

  • Step 2.5: Find b-roll graphics. The Library of Congress and Pexels are the two primary places I look for royalty free b-roll if I don't shoot the b-roll myself. Archive.org and YouTube are better resources you need to comment on something contemporary or relating to the media. I used Archive.org a great deal to acquire footage relating to cases involving civil asset forfeiture, NBC's Waiting to Explode Case, and the McMartin Preschool trial in my video Should Journalists Care about Ethics?
  • Step 3: Read the script aloud. The worst part of the process is to start recording and realize your script has problems. I've done this too many times. You end up having to rerecord.
  • Step 4: Record the a-roll. I've tried to do this at a location other than my desk and it hasn't worked out (mainly because of sound issues, e.g. cicadas, lawn mowers, people trying to say hello). My process (going forward!) is to record at my desk using my camera and my microphone separately, then sync the clips together. I've had too many strange buffering issues with my camera, microphone, and OBS when I try to link them altogether. For reference, see the first part of my video on metaphysical indeterminacy (below). The video quality is less than ideal when I'm at my desk since I'm recording using Canon's EOS Webcam Utility (not 1080p) and the audio syncs in and out with my speech.

  • Step 5: Edit! First, clean up the audio using Audition (the noise removal feature is much better than Adobe Premiere). I use a lot of text and mats. This changes the color of the screen so the text is more readable.

Responsive image

  • Step 6: Edit again. Add some more text, transitions, visuals, background music if so desired.