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Shooting Video in a Classroom

This is an article on how to shoot video successfully in a classroom.  Classrooms are a difficult shooting environment because the goal is to record what is going on there without effecting the outcome.

To ensure gathering footage of both the instructor and students a two camera shoot is recommended. For a typical lecture, one  camera is placed in the back of the classroom filming the instructor. The second camera is in the front of the classroom and off to one side. This camera persons objective is to both get general footage of the students (e.g. wideshots of classroom, close-ups and two shots). In addition, this camera should attempt to film any responses or questions from the students. This can be difficult as you are typically filming thirty or more people, so anticipation is key factor. This camera can also move to pick up slides or images that are projected during a lecture.

For recording audio of the instructor, use a wireless lav on the instructor camera. The second camera can use it's internal mic or a external shotgun mic if you have one. Shotgun mics are extremely useful during small group discussions, they primarily pick up what ever they are aimed at, provided you are close enough (4-10 ft). The internal mic on the camera will pick up sound from the whole room, so while recording a small group discussion, it will be hard to hear what the group is saying, do to all the room noise. 

Lock white balance and exposure, then adjust as needed

Get a variety of shots

Connecting with the class helps put them at ease

Explain the purpose of your shooting and then tell them to igore you.

Keep a low profile - stay out of direct eyelines and move slowly

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