Production Tips

Best practices for capturing a live-stream or pre-recording your event. A PDF-version of this guide is available to share with your speakers.

Filming Options

 Option 1: Smartphone or Tablet

Use a smartphone. Many cameras in the latest smartphones have great image quality as long as the lighting is appropriate. This option is preferable because of the consistency in imagery, as smartphones are so readily available.

Option 2: Laptop/Desktop

Use a computer equipped with a webcam. Both Windows and Mac-based computers have built-in recording options as long as a webcam is installed. This option may be preferable for speakers requesting or requiring a prompted speech. Speakers can have their scripts available on their screens and can read without affecting eyeline too much. This option may also be preferable for longer speeches as computer space is generally more forgiving than cell phone storage.

Option 3: Web Meeting

Join a web meeting with recording options (Blue Jeans). This option is least preferable because of the inconsistency of connection quality, and would likely result in video pauses, clipped audio, etc., but is available if the other options are not available.

Production Setup


Sit in a well-lit, quiet room with no harsh lights in the background. Any light should come from behind the recording device. Below are some at-home lighting options that you could purchase to enhance your set-up, depending on the scope of your project.

  1. Broadcast lighting kit for larger scale project.
  2. Phone selfie ring light.
  3. Computer LED light
  4. Standing LED ring


Avoid background noise (such as fans, street noise, dishwashers, etc.)

Background Visuals:

Think about what is displayed behind you. Choose a neutral, uncluttered background. A solid- colored wall works well, as would a clean office setting. There should be no visible branding or logos outside of Penn/Wharton logos. Avoid all black, all white, or green.


Some tips on dressing for camera:

  • Clothing should not have small, “busy” prints (polka dot, paisley, etc. — this tends to look blurry on camera)
  • Think about your outfit choice against the backdrop that will be in the video. Avoid wearing the same color as the
  • Clothing should not have any visible branding or logos (outside of approved Penn/Wharton logos)

Camera Setup

  • Keep the recording device horizontal and rest it on a solid, flat surface (rather than holding it)
  • Position the camera so that your head is slightly above the center of the frame; avoid any part of your head moving out of the top of the
  • Speak to the camera as much as possible, instead of your eyes (this will help with eyeline).
  • Check that your sound is not muted and the volume is captured at an appropriate level
  • Familiarize yourself with how to turn the recording function on/off
  • If using a smartphone/tablet: turn off your notifications before recording so you are not interrupted/distracting
  • If using a laptop: turn off any notification settings and close any open browser windows that may cause pop-ups or distracting

Recording Advice

MAC: For details of how to record on a MAC

PC: For details of how to record on a PC

Other Tips

  • Take a five second pause after starting the recording and before stopping a recording to allow for editing between
  • Remember to smile, use your hands, and talk naturally as you would for an in-person