Making your videos for our Virtual Singers’ Nights

First of all… In the interests of keeping the Thursday evening sessions as close to a real club night as possible, we would prefer to have ‘live’ recorded videos, ‘warts and all’ rather than super polished, edited and multi-tracked studio productions. By all means, shoot a few and send in the best take.

How many…? Well up to now we have been managing to fit in around 40 songs (much the same as on a real club night). We will always strive to include at least one each from our regulars. Send in up to two and any that are not included will be held over to the following week.

How to Send them

  • Upload them to our Facebook page (You’ll get a message saying “awaiting admin approval”
  • Or from a PC, send your videos via WeTransfer to chris@ ruthinallstyles.co.uk.
  • Other Services you can use include TransferNowFileMail etc., or any of the cloud services that you might already have such as iCloud, OneDrive or Google Drive.

Please note, we are unable to download directly from YouTube.

How to Get the best video from your Smartphone

  1. Horizontal is best. The fact is video always works best in the horizontal mode. Remember that almost every platform that displays video is horizontal, from cinema screens to your TV, to your Facebook feed. The only real exception is Instagram which is square (1:1). The problem is, when we use our phones for their primary function – to make phone calls – we hold them upright and unfortunately, this becomes a habit that can carry through when filming a video.
  2. Keep it clean. I’m not talking about whatever it is you are filming. I am referring to the camera lens. Dust, grease, steam etc in the lens will cause a blurry image and will accentuate any flare from a bright light source, even if it is to the side and not in the actual frame. Get into the habit of cleaning the lens every time you are about to shoot (videos or still photos). Ideally, use a lens cloth like the ones that came with your glasses, or a disposable Optical Lens Wipe, or failing that, use your tee shirt (or whatever cotton garment you happen to be wearing. Just avoid stripping off in public otherwise you’ll have everybody else’s smartphone pointing at you!
  3. Good lighting. If you are filming in natural light make sure the light source is in front of you. Outdoors, this means the sun (if it’s shining) or if you’re filming indoors, this means the window (or your lights if you are using artificial light). If you film with a window in the background. The subject will end up too dark and you could get an unwanted glare.
  4. Steady on! Keep the camera steady. If you are filming somebody performing, jiggling to the beat will result in footage that will make your viewers dizzy or, even worse, seasick. If you are filing yourself, just prop your smartphone up with books anything else to hand, or by using a specially designed smartphone holder/tripod.
  5. Up close and personal. Make sure the subject, you, or whoever you are filming, is prominent in the frame. It’s nice to have a little bit of the environment included but not acres of blank wall floor or ceiling.
  6. Never mind the quality feel the width. Well almost. Yes, you want decent quality, but you can save storage space and on bandwidth whilst uploading. If your video is only destined to be viewed on social media, you don’t need to record it in super-duper mega-K resolution. When you upload to Facebook, for instance, your footage is compressed to within an inch of its life, so unless you need the footage in super high resolution for YouTube it makes more sense to create the video at a lower resolution in the first place. Go into your camera settings (front or rear camera as appropriate) and select either FHD 1920×1080, or HD 1280×720. If there is a choice between 60 fps and 30 fps, go for 30.
  7. Sending your video. For us to use your film on the live stream, we need to temporarily have it here on our computer. We can download it from Facebook or you can send the file from your PC via the free facilities provided by the likes of WeTransfer. It’s easy to upload and when prompted for the recipient’s email address, enter chris@ruthinallstyles.co.uk

I hope this helps.
Happy filming, keep making music and above all, stay safe.