Duke Chapel standing over campus building

Category: Video

YouTube Publishing Checklist

After you’ve produced a great piece of content, you want as many people as possible to see it. That’s where optimization comes in. The following tips will help people discover and engage with your videos.

Metadata

In just a few minutes, you can make easy adjustments to your titles, tags and descriptions that will help YouTube index your content—and help you show up in search results and suggested videos.

  • Descriptive title: Be sure to use descriptive words at the beginning of your title and keep titles concise. Move branding words (like the name of your department or class) and episode numbers to the end of the title.
  • Description: Get an accurate description of your video in the first few sentences—that’s what will appear in search results. Also, make sure you use some keywords in your description.
  • Channel link: Providing a link to your channel in the description helps drive visitors to your channel page.
  • Playlist link: Including a link to a playlist in your description encourages viewers to stick around longer and try some of your other videos. Create playlists by thinking, “If I was a viewer and loved this video, what other videos on this channel would I love?”
  • Subscribe link: Fans are more likely to subscribe to your channel if you personally suggest it to them through your video description.
  • Social media links: Adding links to your social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) in your description gives fans another way to interact with you.
  • Tags: Make sure your title, description and tags share some keywords to improve searchability. Using a set of standard tags for your channel each time you upload will help with your search engine rankings, too. The standard tags should apply to most of the content you produce. For example, you can tag all videos with “Duke University.”

Annotations

Annotations are clickable links and comments overlaid on your YouTube video. They take a little time to master, but they can drive viewers to more content, increase engagement on your videos and earn you more subscribers.

  • Link to other videos: Be sure to link to at least one other video of yours. You may want to link to related content, other videos in your series or playlists. By having an annotation link to a playlist you are increasing your chances of viewers watching a series of your content. If a viewer watches a playlist, you can get 10 views for the price of one!
  • Make a subscribe button: Viewers are more likely to subscribe to you if you personally suggest it to them through annotations.
  • Set links to open in a new window: By setting your annotation links to open in a new window, you can allow your viewers to come back to your video and hit the Play button again, right where they left off.

More to Consider

There are other things you can do to make your videos more shareable and widely useable.

  • Captioning: By having captions you can reach viewers with hearing loss or those who are watching while at work. You can either use YouTube’s auto-captioning service or write your own captions. (Your own captions are better, but take more time.) Captions also act as additional metadata, which helps your video show up in more places on YouTube.
  • Allow comments and ratings: Allowing “likes” can help your video spread because other YouTube users can share which videos they’ve liked. Comments are a way for your viewers to interact with your videos and can increase engagement.
  • Use the Education tab: You can enter lecturer information, course material and learning objectives if appropriate for your video.

Want more information and a deeper look at YouTube best practices? Check out the YouTube Creator Playbook.

Publicize Your Live Webcast

Communications offices across Duke have begun webcasting their events to reach larger audiences. Although Duke does not have a centralized webcasting service, it does offer a number of resources to help you publicize your online event. Duke University Communications offers the following tips.

General Advice

If you are new to webcasting and have general questions about when it makes sense to use it, and how best to proceed, contact ONC’s Sonja Foust.

Permission

For event participants not employed by Duke, you should get written permission to record the event. Do not record an event against a participant’s wishes. Duke’s Scholarly Communications Officer provides sample releases in his Scholarly Communications Toolkit. For productions that will capture audience members in a significant way, for example a question-and-answer period with a speaker, it is recommended that you announce at the event that it is being webcast.

Technical Support

Your school or unit may have someone with the necessary technical skills to help you set up a webcast, or you can explore the Office of Information Technology’s Audio/Video Consultation services.

Production

If you need help with video production or webcasting, or want to use a professional studio, contact Duke Media Services.

Platforms

Recommended webcasting platforms for events include YouTube Live. Google’s Hangouts on Air can be a good platform for a live, multi-site webcast. (For promotion ideas, see Google’s Public events and events on air.)

Events@Duke

A quick and easy way to bring your event to the attention of a larger audience is by listing it on Events@Duke, the university’s online calendar (which you should be using anyway, even if the event is not webcast). Be sure to mark your event as belonging to the “Webcast” category, along with any other categories, and include the appropriate URL in the webcast field.

Embed the Webcast on your Site

If you use YouTube Live or Hangouts on Air, you can embed the video player on your website much as you would with a recorded YouTube video. Doing so brings the event to your entire community while also enhancing your site.

Social Media

Use Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools to promote your webcast. Twitter is especially good for last-minute notifications (using the hashtag #dukelive). Of course, you’ll also want to publicize the event on your website, with email lists and by using other familiar tools. For questions about social media, contact University Communications’ Sonja Likness.

Coordinate with University Communications

If your event will be of special interest to a campus-wide, regional or national audience, ONC may be able to help you publicize it. In addition to the people named above, contact Keith Lawrence for assistance with media outreach or Geoffrey Mock for coverage in Duke Today.

Wrap Up

Once your webcast is finished you can post the recording to the Duke YouTube and/or iTunes sites. For assistance with that, contact the YouTube team at ONC.

Plan Ahead!

Do not expect any of these tips to be of much help unless you plan ahead. Please provide several days’ notice to enable University Communications, Duke Media Services or others across campus to provide the assistance you need. Don’t wait until the last minute.

Filming Guidance

Selecting your Background

  • Match the location of the interview with its topic.
  • Shoot in a deep room so the background blurs out.
  • Look for interesting compositions by using dramatic perspectives in the backgrounds. Walls should recede into the background at an angle.
  • Remove visual clutter from the background but leave in objects that are relevant to the interview and/or provide visual interest without being a distraction.

Samples of people in front of different backgorunds

Positioning People and Lights

  • Set up the interviewer to be slightly off to the left or right of the camera, depending on which way you want the interviewee looking.
  • Set up the interviewee using the rule of thirds: divide the screen into thirds vertically and align the interviewee along one of the dividing lines, leaving more room in the direction he is looking.
  • Using a three-point light kit, set the key light to illuminate the side of the face with more breathing room, the fill light on the side closest to the edge, and the rim light behind the interviewee angled down to illuminate their head and shoulders.
  • Make sure the interviewee is the brightest element of the shot.

Lighting diagram

Positioning the Second Camera

When using two cameras, set Camera 2 closer and a little more off-axis than Camera 1. Make sure both cameras are on the same side of the interviewee, either left or right. Don’t put one on each side. This is called breaking the axis and it can be jarring for the viewer.

Selecting your Camera and Settings

  • When possible, shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III or a comparable DSLR camera with nice lenses.
  • Set the camera to shoot 1080p (1920×1080) at 24fps.
  • Set custom white balance equally on both cameras.
  • Shoot with a wide enough aperture to reduce depth of field and blur the background.
  • Set focus to manual. (The 5D automatically shoots with manual focus.)
  • Ensure the depth of field is deep enough to keep the subject in focus if they lean in or out (between F4 and 10, generally).
  • Extra credit: If you own your camera (not renting), download the “flat” cinestyle color profile and shoot neutral. This will give the editor full control over all color correction in post production.

Camera Movement

  • Camera 1 should be set on a fluid head tripod and the operator should utilize a very minimal “floating” technique.
  • Camera 2 should be set on a fluid head tripod and the operator should utilize a very minimal “floating” technique.
  • Alternatively, Camera 2 could be on a shoulder mount with very little movement.

Audio

  • For stationary interviews, use a wired lavaliere mic. For interviews in which the interviewee is moving, use a wireless lavaliere mic. Hide the wire underneath the interviewee’s clothing.
  • Turn off all devices that beep or buzz.
  • DSLRs don’t record high quality audio, even if you use a nice XLR mic and plug it into the mini mic port on the DSLR. So, make sure that audio is being sent to a separate mixer or recorder like the Zoom H4N or Tascam.
  • Make sure someone is always monitoring audio to make volume adjustments, catch any background noises that are going to be a problem, and to make sure the mic doesn’t drop out (batteries can die, and equipment can malfunction).
  • For outdoor interviews, watch out for wind! It can sound much louder through a mic than to the ear.

Filming on Campus

All commercial, non-news photography or videotaping must be approved in advance by the Duke University Communications or the Medical Center News Office (for medical center activities). Below are the guidelines and policies for commercial filming at Duke.

Commercial Use of Duke Facilities

Duke University protects its name and landmarks from inappropriate commercial use but strives to cooperate with film and video producers desiring to use Duke facilities when it can be demonstrated their activities serve the university’s interest. Priority generally is given to those activities that can help support the educational missions of the university. University Communications will use appropriate means to facilitate such endeavors.

Procedures

  1. All requests for commercial non-news filmmaking, videotaping or photography at Duke University should be directed to the media relations director in University Communications. (Photography and videography for advertising purposes at Duke University Medical Center should be approved by the director of the Medical Center News Office.)
  2. Final approval for any location filming request must come from the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations. Once approval has been granted, University Communications (or, as appropriate, the Medical Center News Office) will be responsible for working with the production company and coordinating its efforts with all appropriate university offices.

Guidelines

The university will consider permitting the making of photographs, films and videotapes on campus for commercial non-news purposes on the basis of the following guidelines:

  1. A production will be considered in terms of its size and complexity and to what degree it might disrupt classes and other normal campus activities. Whenever possible, production should be scheduled for weekends and during breaks in the academic calendar.
  2. The university expects the production to offer educational and/or extracurricular experiences to Duke students. The university strongly encourages the use of students as extras and production assistants for on-campus productions. The university also encourages representatives of production companies to make themselves available for classroom discussion of their work. Duke also requires that upon completion, a copy of the production be donated to the university’s library.
  3. Anyone wishing to film on campus for commercial non-news purposes must submit in writing detailed information about the propose project, including:
    • locations;
    • days and hours of shooting;
    • number of people involved in each day’s shooting;
    • type of activity to be filmed;
    • list of equipment and vehicles used in connection with the filming;
    • sizes and composition of structures involved;
    • security and safety requirements.
  4. This information and a script must be submitted to University Communications for review at least 30 days before the start of filming. This requirement can be waived at the discretion of the university in the case of small productions.
  5. A walk-through of all proposed shooting locations must be conducted with an appropriate Duke representative at least 10 days in advance of the desired dates. After locations are given tentative approval, the production company must take part in an initial meeting with representatives of all the involved university departments.
  6. A commercial general liability insurance certificate with limits of $1 million per occurrence, naming Duke University and its employees and agents as additional insureds, must be filed with University Communications at least 10 days prior to the first set-up day. In addition, if the production company has three or more employees, it must furnish proof of Worker’s Compensation insurance.
  7. The university reserves the right to require production companies to make a damage deposit prior to the arrival of any production vehicles on campus. The damage deposit will be refunded in full when the shooting locations are inspected by university officials and found to be in satisfactory condition. Special arrangements can be made for small productions.
  8. Each production company will be charged a location fee. The standard fee is $10,000.00 per day or portion thereof. Any representation of official Duke logos or seals must be approved in advance of production. In addition, the production company will pay all incurred expenses such as those for electricians, food services, security, janitorial services, etc. Fees for set-up days will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Cancellation of a production within seven days of the start of filming will result in a charge not to exceed $5,000.00.
  9. Duke University will prepare a letter of agreement, to be signed by the appropriate official of the production company and the university’s senior vice president of the Office of Public Affairs. A shoot will be considered confirmed when this contract has been signed by both parties. The contract must contain a hold-harmless clause approved by Duke University Counsel. The production company must provide Duke with an insurance certificate, damage deposit, check for full amount of location fee and signed contract at least 24 hours before set-up begins. At that point, the conditions in the contract become operative.

Video Resources

We’ve pulled together a list of the best resources available for Duke’s video community below. Take a look!

Guidelines, Policies, Best Practices

Hardware & Software

Training

  • HR Special Development Programs – Offers numerous professional development workshops, including ones on certain multimedia tools.
  • Lynda online training tutorials – Duke students, faculty and staff can access the entire lynda.com online training library through a university-wide site license. Topics include graphics, video editing and training on specific video editing software like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro.
  • ProComm – Professional development program for communications professionals at Duke.
  • OIT training – Both in-person and online training to support Duke students, staff and faculty.
  • OIT Tech Tutors – Looking for dedicated help getting started or completing a multimedia (audio/video), graphics or web design project you are working on? OIT is here for you!
  • Center for Documentary Studies – Offers continuing education courses on film/video and multimedia.
  • YouTube help center – Getting started guide and searchable help index.

Peer-to-Peer Learning

Consulting

  • Center for Instructional Technology – Helps instructors and students find innovative ways to use technology.
  • Duke Media Services – Provides a full range of professional media production services.
  • OIT Consultations – Expertise to assist with audio/video purchasing or integration projects, consultation on available audio/video rentals and resources in the area.
  • Office of News and Communications – Works with the news media and others to highlight the activities of Duke’s faculty, students and staff.
  • StoryHunter – Hire freelance journalists and videographers through Public Affairs and Government Relations’ subscription. Contact Laura Brinn for details.

Producing Video

Music Resources

Footage Resources

Public Domain Images

DSLR Camera

Video Production at Duke

Video is one of our most powerful tools for telling stories and reaching university audiences. Navigating the possibilities of video takes many kinds of skills and tools. We’ve outlined some best practices and solutions below.

Production

Process

Video production can be a long sequence with many phases. These guides can help you and your video subjects through the process.

  • Video Production Timeline
  • Filming Guidelines
  • Interview Guidelines
  • What to Wear on Camera
  • Release Form

Tools & Software

Discounted licenses of some video-editing programs may be purchased through Duke, and many tools are available from various offices and initiatives. Learn more about available video tools & software.

For ease-of-use, we’ve also produced Duke-branded video project templates for Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Final Cut X and iMovie, which are available in the Video Graphics Package.

Distribution

Online Hosting with YouTube

With 1 billion regular users and an estimated 1 trillion hours of uploaded footage, YouTube is our preferred hosting solution for online, public video content. By hosting your videos on YouTube, you will be tapping a source that’s highly preferred in Google’s search results. Using a Duke-affiliated channel allows institutional channels to share and amplify videos from your organization.

Sharing & Native Hosting on Social Media

Though videos hosted on sites like YouTube can often be shared on social media, some platforms boost the visibility of videos that are natively uploaded over posts that link externally-hosted videos. Other platforms, such as Instagram, only allow native video uploads. In cases where you would like to use native video, consult the target social media platform’s documentation for specific instructions and guidelines.

Graphics Package

The Duke Video Graphics Package is accessible to members of the Duke community through WebDAM. A pre-packaged, editable graphics kit is available for Premiere Pro users along with the individual assets for use with other video editing software. See the Video Graphics Instructions document in the folder for additional information and examples.

Download the Duke Video Graphics Package

Campus Footage

A B-roll library containing a variety of footage from across campus is available to the Duke community in via Duke’s WebDAM. A NETID is required for access.

Duke B-roll Library

Filming Locations

From meeting spaces to theaters to natural areas, a variety of venues are available for capturing video across campus. We’ve compiled a list of these locations along with notes about the area and contact details for reserving the space. A NETID is required for access.

Filming Locations at Duke

11 Music Resources for Your Storytelling Needs

Free Resources

Cheap Resources

Not Cheap…

Another list of resources from Columbia

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