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University of Bath

Requesting video and audio content from external agencies

What you need to do when you hire an agency to record video or audio content for University use.

Planning your video or audio recording

When planning and briefing your video or audio recording, make sure you're going to give an accurate representation of life at Bath. The style and shots should be as natural and authentic as possible to give people a clear idea of what it's like at the University.

If you're making a series of videos, they should have consistent branding. Make sure that logo placement and fonts remain the same throughout the series. Read more information about our Visual Identity Standards.

Use release forms and assess risk

Before filming or recording people, you might need to ask them to sign a consent or release form.

You can contact the Data Protection team if you have any questions about this.

You should also do a risk assessment if you're recording events.

Make your content accessible

You must make sure that all videos and audio recordings used on our website are accessible to as many people as possible.

This is a legal requirement so that the University complies with The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Apps) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations.

You can make videos accessible by adding subtitles or captions wherever they're uploaded. You also need to create a transcript of all video and audio content as an alternative format in case someone requests it.

Request the correct video specifications

When you brief an external agency, it's important to ask for the correct specifications for your video content.

Accessibility

As part of your brief, ask the agency to provide subtitles or captions, as well as a transcript, with your video.

The agency might be able to add open captions to your video, which means the subtitles or captions are part of the video and can't be switched off. This is the simplest option for you, especially if you plan to use your video on different platforms, like Vimeo and Facebook.

Alternatively, the agency might be able to give you a closed-caption file with the subtitles or captions which you can upload to Vimeo or YouTube with your video.

You can also create closed-caption subtitles or captions yourself and upload them with your video.

Resolution

The image resolution is the level of detail in an image. If the resolution is too low, the video will look blurry or pixellated.

Ask the agency to record in high definition (HD) at 1080p, Quad HD (2560 x 1440), or 4K.

Format

Ask the agency to provide your video in a format you can use. One of the most widely-used formats is MPEG-4 (.mp4). You can use an MPEG-4 video on many platforms, including:

  • Vimeo
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Powerpoint

If you're planning to use your video on a different platform, discuss this with the agency when you brief them.

Aspect ratio

The aspect ratio is the ratio between the width and the height of an image, screen, or video. Talk to the agency about how you want to use your video to make sure they create it in the best aspect ratio for that platform.

Using 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio

You should ask the agency to record or crop your video to an aspect ratio of 16:9 if you plan to post your video on:

  • Vimeo
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Using 1:1 (square) aspect ratio

If you're only posting your video on social media, you can also ask for an aspect ratio of 1:1.

Using 9:16 (vertical) aspect ratio

If you want to post your video as an Instagram story or on Facebook, you can ask for an aspect ratio of 9:16.

Music

If you plan to use music in your video, you must make sure the recording and publishing rights are signed off or owned solely by the University.

Ownership

When you request a video for University use, the University of Bath should be the sole copyright owner.

Ask the agency to deliver your video in its entirety, including all raw footage and graphics as well as the Final Cut Pro or Avid video session file.

Specification for recording audio

It's important to make sure that your content follows the correct specifications.

Sample rate

The sample rate is the number of samples of audio carried per second, measured in Hz or kHz. You should have your audio recorded at a minimum sample rate of 44.1khz. Find out more information about audio sample rates.

Bit depth

The bit depth is the number of bits used for encoding each sample in memory. You should make sure you record your audio at a bit depth of either 16 or 24.

Ambience

Make sure any recorded audio is free from room ambience and background noise. Lecture theatres containing sound panels with carpets, sofas or other absorbent material will help minimise acoustic reflection and improve your results.

Volume

The volume, measured in decibels, should peak at just below 0 decibels without clipping (indicated by red markers on the volume meter).