Write a video brief

You start your video preparation by writing a brief. With a video brief you make sure you have thought about various important aspects that should be included in or considered for your video. This will help you make better choices during the filming process. The brief should at least include the following items:

What will the video be about? Try to be specific and short.

(learning) Goal/purpose
What is the goal of this video? What do you want to achieve with the video? And why are you making this video?

Where will this video be published and/or presented? Workshops, Facebook, UM website, Canvas, etc.?

When should the video be done? Is there a set date? If not, set one!

Knowing your audience also helps you decide what the tone of your video should be. Authoritative, informal, friendly, a mixture, etc.?

Who is the intended audience for this video? Who do you want to reach?

Do you have a budget for stock photos, graphic/motion/sound footage, film crew or equipment?

Key takeaways
What should viewers take away from the video? What is your message? Is there a specific call to action?

What will your planning look like? Based on your deadline, when will you do what?

What kind of support will you need? Will you make the video yourself, or call in experts?

Choose a video format

Based on your video brief, you can select a video format that works best for your particular goal or purpose. There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Address your viewer as a person, not as an audience. This makes the video more personal.
  • Content is more important than professional design.
  • Choose the format and technical complexity that best matches your personality, skills and (teaching) style.

The video gives a quick overview of some video formats and how you can use them. Below the video you can find more explanation and examples for each video format. And on this page you can find some apps & tools suggestions that can help you create some of these formats.

Choose a toggle below to get more information on the video format and its characteristics.

In addition, our Video Good Practice Showcase includes some videos of interviews with faculty staff talking about how they use video as a medium in their education, sharing their good practices. Some videos also include examples of the formats explained above.

Furthermore, this website gives some good examples of the formats, and explains how to best choose one and when to use it.


Animated videos are videos created with drawings or illustrations that have been made to move, using any number of artistic styles. They do not require any live action recording to convey an idea or story. Producing animation is time consuming, but the final product is easily adjustable.

This video shows an example of a hand-drawn animation.

Fictional Film

A fictional film is a recording that tells a fictional or fictionalised story or event, played by actors. It can be dramatised or based on true events.

Take a look at this example of a fictional film for education.


With an interview, you generally have a person asking the questions and one or more persons answering the questions. You can choose to have everyone on screen, or have the interviewer stand off-screen (hearing only the voice or seeing the questions in text on screen).

Follow this link for an example of an interview video.

Knowledge clip

A knowledge clip is the general term for a video that has the explanation of a concept, assignment or course in it. It usually follows the start-middle-end structure (explained below). A knowledge clip can take on any of the other formats mentioned here.

Example of a knowledge clip using a talking head.


A live stream is a recording that is broadcasted right at the moment when the action happens. There is no time for editing. You can live stream from one device, filming from a stationary location. Or you can set up multiple camera’s and switch camera angles during your live stream. Many examples of live streams can be found online (for example on YouTube or Instagram).

On location

A video on location is, as the title says, a video that is filmed on location to better demonstrate or illustrate a story, explanation or theory.


A pencast is a video of animated handwriting with audio commentary. Examples are the Khan Academy style (blackboard background with different colour texts) or paper style (writing directly on a paper or whiteboard and recording it).

Watch an example of a Khan Academy style pencast here.

Take a look at this example of a pencast using a LiveScribe pen.

Recorded lecture

Recorded lecture is a video of an actual lecture in a lecture hall or classroom setting, with or without students. It may be the entire lecture or the lecture chopped up into shorter 10 to 30 minute fragments. You can also easily record your lecture or presentation for online use, in our DIY Video Studio.

Here you find an example of a recorded lecture.

Role Play

A role-play video can show actors, students or (teaching) staff performing a reconstruction of a situation. It can be useful in cases where filming the actual situation can be problematic for privacy reasons (think of medical examples).

See an example of a medical role play (bad news delivery).


A roundtable video shows a number of people sitting at a table, discussing one or more topics. Often there is a discussion leader or interviewer, and the participants take speaking turns.

An example of a roundtable interview with actors, from TheHollywoodReporter.


A screencast or screen capture video is a digital recording of the changes over time on a computer screen, enhanced with audio narration. Think of showing steps on a website and recording that.

An example of a screencast (mixed with other footage).

Skills clip

Skills clips are videos that are filmed in a real setting to demonstrate a skill or a (step-by-step) procedure. Think of recording skills in a lab or other professional setting. It could be a recording of the real-life performance of the skill, or one that is staged specifically for the clip.

Here you can see an example of a skills clip for the LAW faculty, showing the recording of a moot court hearing.

Stop motion

Stop motion uses a technique in which an object is physically manipulated (in small increments between individual shots), so that it appears to move on its own. Often dolls, LEGO’s or clay figures are used, but it can also be done with humans, everyday objects or drawings.

This video shows an example of a stop motion using LEGO’s. 

Talking head

A talking head is a video in which the presenter is shown from the waist up. There are different options: using a green screen for different backgrounds, using a whiteboard to write on while presenting, using an object to illustrate the story, with a supporting slide presentation, or with text overlay (words on screen that reinforce the spoken words, edited in after recording). This type of video can easily be recorded in our DIY Video Studio.

Here you see an example of a lecture with a talking head, using a prop.

Front-facing camera

A recording with a front-facing camera is a video of the presenter filmed with a webcam or “selfie camera” on a phone. This is usually done behind a desk (with laptop) or on location, and is a low-tech solution for any last-minute explanations or feedback. Especially useful when content and timing are more important than a professional-looking video. The quality is often lower.

Take a look at this example of a clip recorded with the front-facing camera.

Social Short

A short video of about 30 seconds that is intended to spike interest or curiosity in the viewer about a certain topic. This type of format is common on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or TikTok.

Find examples of social shorts on the Special Collections Instagram page.

Structure your video

The structure of a video is important, because it helps the viewer follow the flow of your video. If you hop from one subject to the next, it can be very hard for the viewer to keep up with your story.

When building the structure of your video, try to work with a clear start-middle-end. Below in the toggles you can see some suggestions of what could be included in each part. Be aware that the structure of your video largely depends on the type of video that you are making, and the format that you choose to use.


For “traditional” videos: introduce yourself and your function, identify the subject/topic of your video, then explain the (learning) goal or purpose, and what action/output you expect from the viewer at the end of the video.

 For storytelling-style videos: start with an exciting shot, the result of the video, or another shot that triggers people to watch your video. This makes it more exciting.


In the body/main content of your video, you discuss the subject/topic. If you have a lot of content to cover, use sub-topics and present these clearly (for example with different shots, short breaks or transitions).

Relate theory to practice where possible (by giving/showing examples). If you asked a question in your introduction, provide answers/ explanations here.


Provide a concise summary to finish your video, to remind your viewers what they have just seen. Reflect on the (learning) goal(s) mentioned in the introduction. If needed, give/repeat the assignment or action requested from the viewer or refer them to a follow-up.

Write a scenario and script

Good preparation is key! Invest time in planning the details of your video, so the actual recording of your footage will go a lot smoother. This will shorten the time you need to use or borrow filming equipment, use locations, and lower potential costs. Moreover, editing will go a lot quicker.

Writing a scenario and script helps you (and others involved in production, such as a camera crew or editor) to rethink and structure your content before you start filming.

  • With a scenario, the flow of your story becomes clearer. This helps to keep your filming operation efficient (avoid multiple retakes) and reduce the editing time significantly.
  • Your script can make your text flow better and avoid unnecessary “Uh”-s. On top of that, in many programs you can use your script to add to your video as subtitles.

Scenario/script example scheme
A four-column table is easy to use and share if you are working with others. Write down: 1. what you say and hear (sound), 2. what you present and see (image), 3. any other useful notes you want to make, such as equipment needs (remarks), and 4. the timing of your video (optional, but it can help you guide your recording when you have a time limit).

Fill the columns for each scene that you plan to film. Do not to make your scenes too long! A new scene can begin when you switch either sound, topic or image. The more details you provide, the easier it will be to follow the script when filming and editing your video.

Sound Image Remarks Time
Describe any sound; music, narration, dialogue, interview questions, sound effects, or any sound that is important to the content. The more details you add, the easier filming will be. Describe everything that is visible. Put images that are connected together, and make sure they sync with the sound. Also think about a combination of your own video footage, and external resources. This area is for any extra remarks that are important during the recording or editing process. Especially when you get help from others, think about what they need to know when filming. The time (minutes and seconds) in the last column is very important for editing. A stopwatch allows you to time the scenes and make sure the clip does not become too long.
Example: Music fades, narration starts. “Welcome to this video about the flora of Limburg”. Scene 1: Large shot of an entire field in bloom. In time lapse, morning through evening. We need a camera stand for this scene. During editing, the scene needs to be sped up. 00’00” –  01’00”


If you are considering using the UB DIY Video Studio to record your presentation, make sure to add your script (the text you will be saying) to the notes in PowerPoint. This way, the software will pick up your text and convert it to the teleprompter/autocue, so you can easily read your notes from the screen.

Collect visual and auditory resources

In addition to your own image and voice, you can use various visual and auditory resources to add to your video. These include, for example: images, videos, models, PowerPoints, music/tunes, voice-overs, etc. This is called “B-roll footage”.

Be aware that you need to consider copyright and image right when choosing additional resources. More information can be found on the copyright page. A good way to avoid any copyright issues is to use these examples:

  • Look for royalty free music (for example from SkillsCommons (go to Audio/Music Search) or bensound.com)
  • Search for music, video, text and images published under a creative commons license. Vimeo, YouTube, Archive.org, SpinXpress and Flickr all provide information on the copyright license.
  • For images, you can also look at pexels.com or www.unsplash.com
  • Check out ‘YouTube for Education’ for media that can be used in education.
  • Do a Google Search, using the filters about reuse of material.
  • Search for material from the Dutch Institute of Sound and Vision (Beeld & Geluid). This collection includes all kinds of programs and videos that have been broadcast on Dutch television over the years. The UM library has a free license for all UM staff.

When you consider using additional resources, think about where and when you use them in your video. Ask yourself whether extra sound or images are necessary, or if they will distract the viewer’s attention from your message. Keep it simple and use additional resources only when they add value to your video.

Get feedback

Discuss your scenario and materials with others, for example with members of the design or production team (camera crew, editor) or with students, colleagues, didactic support staff or other faculty members. It can also be useful to ask feedback from persons that are part of your target audience. Feedback helps you fill the gaps in your preparation and ensure that the message you want to convey with your video is clear.

When you are done with your preparation, it is time to start filming! For the available options, tips and tricks, video tools and support, continue to the “Film your video” page.