How to screencast your Skype video interview – Part 2: The Interview

Part 2: Recording the Skype Interview

This is part 2 in the 3-part series.  In part 1, I showed you how I arranged the cameras, the microphone and software settings for the interview.  In this video, we follow up on the settings and proceed with the interview itself via Skype — and we record it with a screencast editor, such as Camtasia or ScreenFlow.

It’s worth keeping in mind that although I used Camtasia for Macintosh to demo the recording of this Skype interview, the set up and process for recording is just as easily conducted using Camtasia Studio (for Windows) and ScreenFlow for Macintosh.

Key highlights

Some of the key points that’ll help you keep things straight in the video above are the following:

  • What did I use the Skype camera angle for?  I used the Skype camera angle to illuminate my profile for the benefit of the interviewee.
  • What did I use the screencast editor’s camera angle for? I used the screencast editor’s camera angle (Camtasia Mac in this case, or also Camtasia Studio or ScreenFlow) to illuminate my profile for the benefit of engaging the audience who later views the interview video online.

image - skype camera angle

image screencast camera angle

More in this Skype interview screencast series

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How to Screencast Your Skype Video Interview – Part 1: The Set Up

Part 1: Screencast Settings For Your Skype Interview

Thumbnail - question about screencasting SkypeSome of the subscribers to our screencasting courses on Udemy asked about how I set up to record video interviews on a platform like Skype.  I love the interest in this because I think interviews — whether video or audio-only — are great ways to create interesting content for your blogsite audience, or otherwise supplement your online course with compelling instructional content from other industry experts in your course’s subject matter.

Three Points Of View

I’ll do this in three parts.  This post is Part 1.  In it, I’ll focus on showing you how I set up the hardware, software and software settings to prepare a Skype interview with 3 points of view:  You (the interviewer), your subject (the interviewee), and a third camera angle that your audience will relate to.

Then, in Part 2, I’ll demo the actual screen recording of a Skype video interview using the settings I show in Part 1.  That will then set us up nicely to compare the recording from Part 2 with the end result that we’ll use for editing and polishing in Part 3.

Strange Bedfellows and Supplemental Screenshots

Just in case you were wondering, I used ScreenFlow as the capture and editing software for the video above.  And I used Camtasia for Mac as the demo platform.  Consequently, the settings I show in the demo uses those from Camtasia for Mac and Skype for Mac. But, as I explain at about the 2:00 point in the video, the same settings are available in both ScreenFlow for Mac, Camtasia Studio version 8.1 (for Windows) and Skype for Windows.  Below are screenshots of the recording configuration window in each of the “Big 3″ screencast editors.

image-camtasia mac recording configuration

Camtasia Mac recording configuration.

image - screenflow configuration

ScreenFlow recording configuration

image - camtasia studio recording configuration

Camtasia Studio (v8.1) recording configuration

Your Turn

Do you tend to edit your online interviews?  What software do you use for capture and editing?

More in this series

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Mel Aclaro – My studio setup for screencasting production

My feature post in Telestream’s The Screening Room blog a couple of days ago generated a few questions about this image of me in one of my studios.

“I like to say I have two studios: my office and my ‘office annex’ locations.  The latter being whatever regional park or coffee house I tend to find myself in…”  ~Mel Aclaro

The one above is obviously from my office studio.  I pulled it from the ScreenFlow article (ref: Meet the ScreenFlow-er: Screencasting Wizard, Mel Aclaro) and decided to visually index it with cross-linked details to help supplement answers I give about the gear I use.  Click any of the markers in the image to learn more.

Your Studio Setup Doesn’t Have to Be Costly

So here’s the thing, although some of the equipment I use in my office is a bit pricey for the home-based screencaster, you can definitely get by with less budget-heavy gear AND still be able to get professional quality production value for your online course or website video/screencast.  I cover some of those in Sections 3 and 4 of the Digital-Know-How course, but I also provide some alternate links above for some of the more cost-effective gear.

Another resource you might want to take a look at, as well, is my previous post on The Poor Man’s Home Video Studio: 3 Must-Watch Techniques.

Your turn: Your recommendations for studio equipment?

What microphones, video, lighting or other hardware/software have you used that is both cost effective and quality enhancing?

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The future of storytelling: Collaboration, quality, engagement

The barriers to entry are much lower… anyone, if they want to, can really be creative and say what they want to say.

A compelling snippet here (at least for me) from the Future of Storytelling’s (FoST) channel.  Some of the points here that resonated with me related to interviewee’s perspective on the importance of collaboration in content creation, quality, intimacy (in public forums), technology’s role in democratization of video content, and engagement.

The interviewee is Lisa Donovan, one of the cofounders of Maker Studios, a collaborative “talent-first media company founded by YouTube artists.”  The network was founded in 2009 to provide the best environment for artists to create, distribute, and monetize their original content on YouTube; the content produced at Maker Studios gets about four billion views each month.

image-reinventing storytellingMy takeaways / Highlights

Collaboration.  Working on one channel… we didn’t know how sustainable that would be and we thought that there’s a bigger opportunity here. If we came together with other like-minded people who were making their living on YouTube and we shared resources and we shared audiences, we could all benefit from that…

Immediacy and Quality.  We can now respond so quickly to something happening in current events…. You have people now getting more viewership and spending less money on the product that they’re making; it’s bringing up the question: What is quality? Just because it costs $100M to make a movie… does that mean it’s quality if I don’t enjoy it? (Nor with) I think is interesting or as engaging as something that’s 15 minutes that costs almost nothing…?

Intimacy.  What we’re seeing a lot more now is people being a lot more open with their life and sharing their life… there is sort of an intimacy that is created between the audience and the person creating the content.  I think structure and format and experience are all incredibly important when it comes to quality…

New Technology.  Technology has changed the landscape drastically. This is a huge moment in entertainment because you can’t have one studio or one person define what quality is. Now you have audiences defining, for themselves, what quality is…

Engagement and democratization of content.  Anybody who is successful in creating quality online content is a master at engaging with their audience…. The barriers to entry are much lower… anyone if they want to can really be creative and say what they want to say.  And that’s exciting…

Your turn: Maybe it’s time to give collaboration a second look?

The points around collaboration really resonated with me here.  In the dialog I have with others in my courses and professional networks, it’s not uncommon for me to find folks with truly great ideas for courses or other content that shouldneed–to get online, but that, all too often, never see the light of day because of perceived barriers to content creation and work effort.   Are there ideas you have that could benefit from collaboration with a like-minded content creator?

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How to close timeline gaps using Ripple Delete in ScreenFlow and Camtasia

I stumbled upon the problem below.  It was shared in this tweet asking how to close gaps in the ScreenFlow timeline.

timeline-gaps

Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert In the Big 3 Screencast Editors

The feature we’re looking for here is called “ripple delete.”  The trick is to quickly close those gaps without:

  • having to perform a “select all” or multiple-clip-select (because that’s a pain in the ass when you’re in the middle of a long, complex project with many clips and multiple tracks)
  • and while keeping all clips on all tracks to the right of the gap in sync with each other as the gap closes (because audio that doesn’t sync with video doesn’t make for compelling tutorials)

And, while we’re at it, let’s go ahead and address the sibling of ripple deleteripple insert.  That may become helpful when you want to add new media clips into the middle of a ScreenFlow or Camtasia screencasting project.

Each of the “Big 3″ screencasting editors handles ripple delete/ripple insert differently

ScreenFlow, Camtasia Ripple Delete Cheat Sheet

(Click to enlarge.)

In the video below, I’ll walk ya through how to close/insert those gaps quickly in each of the big 3 screencast editors:  ScreenFlow, Camtasia Studio (for Windows) and Camtasia For Mac.  Meanwhile, I’ve also made the cheat sheet on the right available for you to download.  (Click it to enlarge.  Then, right-click and “save as…”)

Below are the video timecodes so you can fast forward to the parts that interest you the most

  • 0:00 to 4:00 - Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert: ScreenFlow
  • 4:00 - Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert: Camtasia Studio
  • 7:28 - Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert: Camtasia For Mac

Did this help?  Let me know!

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[New course announcement] Beyond PowerPoint – Teach Online Now With ScreenFlow For Mac

We recently launched the third in my “Big 3″ series of screencasting courses.

image screenflow endorsed

The new course (Beyond PowerPoint: Teach Online Now With ScreenFlow For Mac) is based on Telestream’s ScreenFlow product which, incidentally, gets mentioned a lot in the group of aspiring course creators in Udemy’s “Studio” group.  (Ssshhh… It’s owing to that frequency-of-mention is one of the reasons I was compelled to immediately follow up the other two courses with another based on ScreenFlow.)

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Q&A – Why Picture-in-Picture Is Effective for Video Tutorials

Picture-in-Picture Can Be Effective For Video Tutorials

It’s not necessary, but when used effectively, picture-in-picture can help enhance the learning context by giving non-verbal cues to online learners.

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Transcript

My thoughts about this is in constant evolution.  Just asI try different techniques every time I teach a live class or workshop, I try different techniques also in my online video presentations.  No one technique, however, is definitive.  Like many presentation styles, there are a variety of approaches that can be effective.  The main thing is that we keep trying different techniques AND keep reflecting on feedback from our network so that we can refine our technique for the next iteration.

Also, my choices about how I include picture-in-picture in my screencasts is also influenced by a desire to make each presentation as much like the “feel” of a classroom environment as possible.  In a classroom, the teacher/facilitator is always visible.  The teacher doesn’t have the luxury of visually fading out… although I know some lectures you and I have attended can certainly feel like that would be a benefit.

But my point is that, more often than not, there’s a benefit to seeing the instructor.  You and I, as students in a live classroom, often take our visual cues from the non-verbal mannerisms and gestures of the facilitator as much as we would from the verbal.  But, the question of how best to translate that same live classroom atmosphere to a video context is an ever evolving challenge — one that I think too many online teachers actually DON’T do well.

For example, too many online facilitators, I think, go too far the other way.  That is, they display NO PIP (picture-in-picture) overlays at all and rely exclusively on voiceover and screen recordings of PowerPoint slides.  Now, I’m not saying that’s wrong.  Because, you only have to go as far as a site like Lynda.com to see how effective pure voiceover instructional content can be.

But, my experience, too, is that in far too many pure-voicover style instructional videos–especially from folks who are trying this for the first time–is that the facilitator relies almost exclusively on PowerPoint and voiceover and ends up becoming too far removed from the learner.  And, in a way, I think that ends up sort of robbing the learner of non-verbal cues and facial expressions that can otherwise enhance the learning environment.

Now, I have some thoughts about what makes for an effective Picture-in-Picture overlay that I’ll follow up with later. But, for those of you in any of my online courses now, you can catch my thoughts about that in the introductory lecture about the Picture-in-Picture overlay in my Digital-Know-How course.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. For videos you’ve seen that use a picture-in-picture of the teacher, what is it that you did or didn’t like about them in general.  And, if you like the pure voiceover type videos (with PIP overlays), is there something specific you can point to that makes them particularly effective?

Posted in best practices, Digital-Know-How, Q&A, Tips and Tricks, Training | 1 Comment