Most online writers mistakenly believe that creating and editing videos and uploading them to YouTube requires expensive equipment and technical expertise. Nothing can be further from the truth.

All that is needed is a computer with a broadband connection, a web camera and a microphone. You can easily get recording and editing video films from using video editing services, if you are more inventive, free software such as Windows Movie Maker, which is included with Windows XP and later versions. Recording and editing a video using Windows Movie Maker is extremely simple even if you have never shot a video before.

Before recording the video, you should write the script for the video. The simplest approach is to list the main points of the script in a computer file such as Word and to keep it open on the computer screen during the recording.

The second step before recording is to set up the shooting area for the video, which should be set up meticulously because it will have a significant effect on the quality of the video.

The shooting area includes five crucial elements:

Subject of the Video

You should sit in front of the computer and adjust your position to produce a zoomed-in shot of the upper body and face in the center of the screen.

The colors of your clothes should be sufficiently different from the background and other overlapping objects.

The background behind the subject should be uncluttered such as a clear wall or screen.

Video Camera

The web camera should be attached securely on the top of the computer screen above the midline. As explained earlier, this will be helpful if you plan to read the script or an outline on the computer screen.

Video Script

Ideally, the video script or outline of notes should be open on the computer screen so that when you read it, it seems as if you are looking into the camera (which has been placed above the computer screen).

Sit a little distance away from the computer. When you are not reading the script, look directly into the lens of the camera.


The microphone should be kept close to your mouth so that your voice is clear in the video.

However, make sure that the microphone is not in the way during the recording. If it is touched during the recording, it will make a sound, which will affect the audio quality.

If you have to type on the keyboard during the recording, the microphone cord should not touch the keyboard. Also turn off fans, air conditioning system and other machines in the room.

Lighting Arrangement

Sunlight from windows or artificial lights or a combination of both may be used. If the video is being shot at night, more powerful lights may have to be used. Another option is to sit in front of a light-colored wall and use a strong light source from behind to reflect light from the wall or ceiling onto her face.

As far as possible, lights should not shine directly on your face because it may make your face look too white. Also, if the light shines directly into your eyes, it may make you squint.

If the lighting is too bright, direction or angle of the lights could be changed. If it’s not bright enough, the lights can be moved closer. It’s difficult to get the lighting exactly right at first. You may have to experiment. Record a few test videos using different lighting arrangements and select the best arrangement for the final video.


Keep the first video short and simple and focus on learning to get all the elements of the shooting area right. An additional benefit of a short video is that it will be easier and quicker to edit and upload on YouTube.

Shooting the first video is the most difficult. Gradually, as you repeat the process, shooting high-quality videos will become easy. More importantly, you will start to enjoy the whole process of shooting videos because it is such fun!

4 April 2012

Rohi Shetty is a medical doctor, Vipassana meditator, writer, editor, translator and blogger. His short stories and articles have been published online and in print.

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