Participate in the 2021 FAS Year in Review Appreciation Video

Know someone who has earned your thanks? Has an individual or a team supported the FAS community or the university in exemplary ways? FAS Communications is working on a FAS Year in Review (YIR) Appreciation Video to show thanks, gratitude and appreciation for individuals and FAS teams. The video will showcase work from the past year. Visit this Qualtrics form for more information on how you can submit a short video, photos or written statement for possible inclusion. The deadline for submitting is Nov. 12, 2021.

To help you create video or photos for submittal, FAS Media Manager Veronica Trevino offers the following tips for shooting video and photos with a smartphone and for recording video using Zoom.

Creating a video with a smartphone
If you want to submit a video using your smartphone, start by identifying the story you want to tell, planning the location, developing a simple storyboard or script and ensuring accessibility.

Trevino offers these considerations for your YIR Appreciation video submittal:

  • Camera lens. Be sure your camera lens is clean.
  • Horizontal. For shooting a YIR appreciation video, position your phone horizontally (landscape). Use this guide when considering whether to select landscape or portrait for other purposes.
  • Length. Short videos are best, especially for social media. For the YIR Appreciation Video, clips should be 30 seconds or less.
  • Sound. Find a quiet place to shoot. Microphones pick up background noise, so find a location where any distracting sounds cannot be heard.
  • Light. Use natural light when possible and watch out for shadows, harsh light and filming in front of a bright light or window.

Taking photos with a smartphone

As with videos shot by phone, Trevino points out that planning, having a clean lens, positioning the phone appropriately and selecting a well-lit location are keys to quality. She adds these tips:

  • Frame. For a selfie or portrait of someone else, frame the photo from just above the chest to slightly above the head, with some space on the sides.
  • Focus. Touch the focal point on the screen (your face or the person whose portrait you are shooting).
  • Background. Ensure nothing appears to be protruding from your head or someone else’s such as a branch or pole.
  • Light. Do not take a selfie or another person’s photo in front of a window or bright light. Avoid direct sunlight, which creates harsh shadows and highlights.
  • Don’t take just one. Shoot several photos so that you have multiples from which to choose.

Recording video with Zoom

Trevino says that the most critical step when recording video with Zoom is to ensure a strong Wi-Fi or internet connection for quality audio and visual. She offers this additional guidance:

  • Quiet. Choose a room away from noise, including heating and air conditioning vents. Carpeted rooms work best. Outside can work if ambient sound is low.
  • Backdrop. Use a university-branded Zoom background for your recording, or make sure your background is not cluttered and does not display sensitive information. Stage with a plant, bookcase, or a poster or sign with UT’s logo.
  • Lighting. In a space with a window, face the window straight on. Use a lamp in front or behind, never from below.
  • Where to look. Look at the computer or phone camera--not the screen--to appear to be speaking with your audience. If using your computer, place it on something such as a stack of books so that the camera is higher than normal.
  • Clothing. Do not wear all white, red or heavy patterns, and avoid colors that blend into the background.
  • Turn off notifications. They lead to unwanted distractions and background noise.
  • Pause and use short sentences. Allow viewers time to absorb what you’ve said.

FAS Communications Resources

Decorative Year in Review graphic
Oct. 28, 2021