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
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.
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.
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.
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:
If you're planning to use your video on a different platform, discuss this with the agency when you brief them.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The volume, measured in decibels, should peak at just below 0 decibels without clipping (indicated by red markers on the volume meter).