Filming tips

A few steps to consider before you start filming your video

  1. First things first. Before anything else, do you know what you’re going to do? Your video needs to be visually interesting.
  2. Lighting. This is a tricky one. We want films of light up stuff in the dark, but not so dark we can’t see you!  Turn off the main light if you can but fill the space around you with lights- you can use fairy lights and lamps to add lighting atmosphere.
  3. You will need to light yourself, so as well as your light up costume it might be a good idea to use a desk lamp or angle poise light to shine a light onto yourself from the front. If you are going for the lit up costume in the dark look then make sure you use plenty of lights on yourself and maybe hold torches or use the screen on your phone or tablet with a single colour on to create a light effect? Lights in the background will likely trick your phone into metering for those and not you, the STAR, so a balance is important! We want to see you/what you are doing. Not a silhouette!
  4. Is your chosen space that will be visible in the video free of clutter? Your video has the potential to reach lots of people and will be shared across social media. Please ensure there’s nothing in the frame that you wouldn’t want people to see.
  5. Do you have somewhere you can prop your phone up? Are you lucky enough to have a little tripod for your phone? Or maybe a stack of books that your phone can be put on? Do you have someone who can hold the camera for you if you can’t rest the phone somewhere?
  6. Is the glass directly over the camera’s position in your phone clean? If not, give it a wipe, open the camera app then point your phone at a light source. If you can see glare across the screen then it’s not done the job. Give it another wipe. (if the glass is scratched over the camera then this may not be fixable and we’ll have to make do.)
  7. Film orientation. Footage always looks better in landscape but if you are filming for Tiktok as well then you need to film in portrait. Make sure your phone is secure wherever you rest it. Maybe put a sturdy book on it’s side behind the phone and then add some blu tack at the bottom at the front to stop it from moving. We can’t be held liable for broken phones (and if you’re paranoid like me…a couple of cushions on the floor around it should do the trick and cushion the blow should the worst happen)
  8. Turn off notifications if they will disrupt your film.
  9. Are you filming a shadow show? Will you be in the shot or out of it? Shadow screens need back lighting. A desk lamp is great, but a torch can also work if it is bright enough.
  10. Do a test. Put your phone where you intend to have it while recording then get into position. Count out loud “5, 4, 3 (then in your head) 2, 1”.  Deep breath. Lights. Camera. Action! Once complete go and check the footage. Is it clear? Would you want to sit and watch the video you just made? If not, why? Make changes accordingly.
  11. Have you collected everything you need to do your film in one place? If you are doing a shadow show make sure your puppets are where they are needed.
  12. We won’t use sound on the final projection but you might still want to think about sound, music or a story, as this will be audible when we share on Facebook or Tiktok. Think about background noise and what you are saying!
  13. Keep your footage under 1 minute please- we only have 5 mins for the whole piece and if we have to edit your work down it is less likely to be included as it is more work for us! You can send more than one video though.
  14. If you want your video to be used you must upload it to the website as we can’t download from Tiktok.Make .Upload your footage to us at: If you upload to Tiktok as well please use the hashtag #BFOL2020VirtualParade.

15. We can’t promise to use all the footage we are sent for the final piece, so make your video the best you possibly can, to give it more chance of being selected for the projection. We will release all videos on our Facebook event during the 12-26th November so even if your piece doesn’t make the final cut it will still be used and celebrated.