A Filmmakers Zoom Guide
Filmmakers Guide To Zoom.png

Do you remember the good old days The days you would travel to a meeting or a film class? The world has changed. Meetings now take place in a variety of different online apps like Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and many others. I spend hours with Zoom every week. I found it best to create a zoom guide for filmmakers.

Sure, there are times when filmmakers can correspond with text. However, in the creative industry, you often need face-to-face meetings. And in the current COVID crises, that means face-to-screen.

Since regular meetings have minutes, online meetings also apply. And you want to look and sound really good, don't you? Here are my suggestions on how to maximize your next Zoom call compiled from Zoom's own website as good as other sources. These tips are designed to help you stay productive, feel connected, and look and sound great.

You can use these tips to maximize production meetings, creative meetings, and casting calls.

1. Turn on your camera

People love to see the person they are talking to. If you are the person initiating the call or in Zoom language when you are hosting the call, you really need to have your camera on.

I do a lot of raindance courses on Zoom. It's always great to see the faces of the participants. Empty rectangles are particularly difficult for presenters. Moderators always find it better to be able to see the participants. It enables them to measure their impact.

This will allow people to see you and confirm that you are not a sophisticated AI voice. This is especially important when you're the one hosting the meeting or a speaker, and a little less when you're attending.

When I go to an online event it's great to see the others too. I would only turn off my camera when I was in a messy and messy place, or when I was terribly neglected.

2. Prepare for the spotlight

Every meeting is an event. And you as a filmmaker are judged by how you look online. When you have your next Zoom meeting reminder to clean up! Don't wear a dressing gown. Make an effort to enchant your appearance: Your physical appearance, your wardrobe is a barometer by which people judge your personal branding.

3. The whole world is a stage

You not only see the people attending your meeting, but also the background from which you are speaking. Is your camera in the laundry room or in the kitchen? I would recommend keeping the camera away from the dirty dishes and unfolded laundry.

If you want, you can opt for a virtual background. Although sometimes they don't type correctly. You can then attend your next production meeting from anywhere. Make your choice! Join a Turkish palace, or what the hell, the moon!

Shutterstock offers a collection of royalty-free images that you can download and add to your online software. Katherine Boyarsky wrote a great blog post about how to make your own virtual background. She has a collection of 31 pre-made zoom backgrounds to choose from.

4. Lights, cameras, action!

Bring out the filmmaker in you. Make sure you are well lit and not backlit. With a window or light behind you, your face will look dark. I'm trying to put a light slightly to the left of my face.

Light tech doesn't have to be expensive. Here is a Vloggers Light Stand that I found on Amazon for £ 20.00. It's a great light. It has a clip that you can attach your phone to. And yes, Raindance makes about £ 0.60 if you buy by clicking the picture!

5. Don't forget the sound

Like movies, your Zoom presence will look like garbage when your sound is bad. Make sure you get a good microphone. Although you can use the built-in microphone on your computer, an external microphone will produce far better sound results.

I use the Neti Nano, which has served me well. It costs £ 100.00. You can check it out on Amazon HERE

6. Camera

Zoom works well with attachments like microphones, lights, and cameras.
I got a really good camera: The Razor Kiyo. At £ 125.00 it isn't cheap, but it also comes with a built-in ring light. You can Amazon it HEREand Raindance gets about £ 2!

7. Eye line

Try to look directly at the camera while presenting. It appears to the viewer that you are making direct eye contact. Do not try to think how badly you need a haircut.

8 Max headroom

One of the biggest faux pas people make is when they don't adjust their camera and only have the top or bottom of their face in the camera. Make sure that your face is fully visible. For better results, slide your camera back so we can have an intermediate shot.

Filmmaker Zoom Guide

How to look ridiculous on zoom

9. Self Tech Support

Provide technical support before starting your meeting or presentation. Make sure you know how to adjust the audio, lighting, and camera settings to get the most out of you.

For example, Zoom has a feature that lets you test your settings before your meetings begin: just walk to zoom.us/test.

10. The mute button

The nice thing about online meeting services like Zoom is the mute button. Nobody needs to hear your background noise or background noise. Use it!

11. Zoom label

This part of the Zoom Filmmaker's Guide covers some of the basic pros and cons based on my 100 zoom calls. I've seen some zoom horror shows!

  • Please do not eat in front of the camera. Seeing people chew on camera is pretty gross. When you need to eat, turn off the camera (and audio)
  • Please do not do any private things during a video conference. I got people to peck their nose, go to the bathroom and get dressed because they thought their camera and audio were off. IMPRESSIVE!

Do not become a statistic and part of Zoom folklore. Note that your online persona can be edited using the mute and camera buttons.

12. Is this a meeting or a webinar?

Most video conferencing tools allow you to specify that some members are only for the audience. This means that only certain people can participate with video and audio. If you're giving a presentation rather than a discussion, a webinar might be a better format than allowing everyone to tune in.

If you are open to discussion and questions and answers, I use a meeting format. You can adjust the settings so that you only see the speakers. This is what Collab Writers did with an in-depth conversation with media attorney Tony Morris that I attended:

13. Manage your attendees

There are many useful features that you should become familiar with. S.B. Screen sharing, locking the meeting for current participants, removing or holding participants, transferring files, and managing chat options. Don't be like me and try to find out these things in a live meeting – do your research before the meeting starts.

14. The host is the last to leave

If you are the host and close the meeting, the meeting is over. But there is still some cleanup work to be done. You need to save and archive the meeting if it was recorded. Sometimes you need to write and share a follow-up email.

As a host, doing an outro is a really good idea. Make sure everyone knows how the chat is saved. Answer all last minute questions. and make sure everyone knows what's going to happen next. When announcing the end, wait a few minutes until everyone else closes. It's just good manners.

Why not set up a 1: 1 with the Raindance Film School?

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