Quick Start Guide to WordCamp Videos

TL;DR: Don’t Panic! TL;DR: Don’t Panic!

Capturing great videos of your WordCamp presentations should be one of your higher priorities. Video is how your event’s message will live on and be shared with the world.

It’s also easier than you think so don’t panic; read below for resources on how to record quality video of your WordCamp.


Planning: Getting Gear and wrangling volunteers Planning: Getting Gear and wrangling volunteers

  • Get help — Start publicizing your call for volunteers to be in charge of video as soon as you’ve nailed down your venue.
  • Need equipment? — If you’re in the US, Western Europe or Canada, email WordCamp Central and we will ship you camera kits (with everything you need). If you’re outside North America and Western Europe, try talking to your local university’s film school.
  • Don’t hire your help — Hiring a firm (and adding to your budget) to capture video should be a last resort. Give your local community the chance to contribute to WordCamp by donating these services instead.
  • No logos/sponsors in video — Please don’t include sponsor or production company logos in the final videos; WordPress.tv is a non-commercial community site and not a place for advertising.

Learn more about video planning for your WordCamp →


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Setup: What to do before the Camp starts Setup: What to do before the Camp starts

  1. Camera placement — Scope the room for a place to set up. Avoid setting up in the back of the room, and place your camera about 30 feet (10 meters) from the speaker. Ask if the venue has a riser or other platform that will allow you to shoot over attendees’ heads.
  2. Sound check — Ask if you can patch into the venue’s sound board, or set up the provided wireless microphone, and test to make sure that you are getting good sound.
  3. Frame the presenter in your shot — Frame your camera so you can see the presenter from the waist up. Don’t try to get both the presenter and the projection screen in your shot; it will only give you the worst of both!
  4. Erase memory cards — Get your memory cards cleared out before the event, so that you have plenty of space available for filming
  5. Find a power source — The camera battery doesn’t provide enough power for a full day of shooting, so be sure you locate an available power source at the venue and get plugged in.
  6. Clear disk space — Be sure that you have extra space on your computer to transfer files from your card when it is full, in case you need to empty the card and use it again. Plan on about 2GB of space per hour of video.
  7. Do a trial run — Have another volunteer get on-stage, and do a quick trial run. Play back the video to be sure that you have no issues with the sound or picture.

Learn how to set up your camera for recording →


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During the event: Keeping things running smoothly During the event: Keeping things running smoothly

  1. Press “Pause” between presentations — Because of the way the camera stores video on the memory card, pressing the “pause” button on the video camera between each presentation helps make sure they are stored as separate clips, rather than together in one large file. Please do not skip this important step!
  2. Monitor the sound during recordings — Use headphones to listen to the sound as it is being recorded to the camera. This allows you to monitor any problems so you can clear them up early in the event.
  3. Swap memory cards often — The 32 GB memory cards that are supplied with your kit are good for about 3 hours before they will need to be changed. Make sure you have enough available space on your card for the talk(s) you are recording, or even swap them out early if you can, to make sure you have no issues.
  4. Check your video as you go — When the first card comes out of the camera, take a minute to play it back on your laptop as a final check to make sure everything sounds and looks good.

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After the event: Many hands make light work After the event: Many hands make light work

  1. Involve the community — If your WordCamp has a Contributor Day, this is a great opportunity to invite non-coders (or anyone who loves video) to help with processing, trimming, naming, and uploading files to wordpress.tv. Mention it in your opening/closing remarks!
  2. Call in the Mod Squad — The video moderator squad at WordPress.tv can also help with post-production to get your videos online. Email WordCamp Central for more info.
  3. Label all your files — Before you upload your files to wordpress.tv, make sure that each file name include the name of your WordCamp, and the name of the presenter for that talk, so nothing gets lost when it is uploaded to WordPress.tv.
  4. Get links to slides — Slides are an important part of making sure that videos get on to wordpress.tv. Make sure to get links to slides from all the presenters, so that you can include them with your videos when you upload them.

Learn more about getting your videos ready to publish online →