How to Record a Remote Video

How to Record a Remote Video

Even as social distancing restrictions ease up around the world, remote filming continues to evolve as a popular alternative to on-site video production. Creative and internal production teams are thinking outside the box and coming up with solutions to produce quality content despite individuals working remotely.

If you’re interested in discovering how to record videos remotely and create videos without filming; start your free trial with us now so we can jumpstart you on your video success, or continue to read on for a step-by-step guide and tips for mastering remote video recording.

What is Remote Video Production?

Remote video production is simply any video created outside of a studio setting. In the case of professional video production, it often refers to filming on-location, as in the case of breaking news. Now, with the rise of work-from-home culture, remote video production can also mean any video or visual recording undertaken by an employee from their home office.

Creating a remote video doesn't have to a complicated task. Follow these basic tasks to set up your remote video production step-by-step.

  1. Pre-Production: The first step is to fine-tune your plan and logistics before shooting. This includes coming up with a concept, treatment, storyboard, script, and whatever other prep you may need, including location scouting for your video.
  2. Choose a Recording Device: Consider what output quality you will need, what distribution channels, and your goals for the video. We'll go into more detail on recording device choices below.
  3. Choose Accessories: Once you've picked your recording device, you'll want to consider things like lighting, tripods, battery backups, mics, etc. We'll discuss some of these in more detail further down in the article, too.
  4. Choose your layout: How will most audiences be watching your video? If most people will watch on a smartphone, go with a vertical format. If it's more for laptop viewing, horizontal works better. Whatever you choose, be consistent throughout the video.
  5. Prep: No matter where you are shooting, a good filming location will have a large window or light source, a quiet atmosphere, a way to configure the camera at eye-level, and a tidy background with few distractions.
  6. Lighting and Mic Check: Make sure you are getting a clear, bright picture on your camera and clear audio that viewers can easily hear. Do a couple of test runs to check this out.
  7. Look Great and Feel Great: Whoever is starring in your video should practice, practice, practice so that you look great and feel great. Your videos will be more engaging if you dial up the energy a bit and exude confidence and a strong voice.
  8. Action: You're ready to roll! Starting filming and feel free to pause to do redos and adjust as you go.

Remote Recording Equipment

One of the best things about remote video production is that you can do it on a pretty tight budget. The main elements you need to produce high-quality videos are lights, a mic, and a camera.


Depending on the type of video you are making, you may be able to use the webcam built into your laptop or your smartphone. Webcams are great for explainer videos, webinars, and interviews because they don’t require more than one person to operate them.

Most laptops and smartphones now have a pretty decent built-in webcam. However, external webcams offer more space for lenses and other electronics, and they can provide additional features like autofocus.

Whatever camera you use, be sure to raise it to the appropriate height using a tripod, Iphone stand, or even a stack of books or boxes. You want the camera to be above eyeline to offer a good angle of the person being recorded.


Whether you are using light from a window, a lamp in the room, or a professional video lighting kit, it’s important to use it the right way. You want to be facing the light source or turn on the ceiling light in the room if you don’t have a window. Arrange seating so that you’re facing the window or else have a light behind the camera to light your face. Make sure there’s no window or lamp directly behind you or you’ll have a shadow on your face.

Built-in Microphone vs. Lavalier Microphones

Picking out a good mic for remote video recording is critical. If you don’t have good audio, your video will be frustrating to viewers. If you’re using a laptop or smartphone, you can opt to use the built-in mic on your device. They offer an easy way to record audio where you don’t have to worry about syncing the sound with the video as it is incorporated in the same file. However, the audio quality of built-in mics may not be as good as external mics.

Lavalier microphones are the ones that clip onto your shirt or jacket. They’re small and discrete and the mic moves with you while you’re being recorded so you don’t have to worry about the sound fading in and out if you move around a bit. You can also place lavalier mics much closer to the person you’re recording, which helps you capture clear audio.

What Types of Video Can I Produce Remotely?

You can record pretty much any type of video you want remotely. However, there are some formats that lend themselves to remote production more easily.

  1. Demo Videos: Demo videos are easy to record by doing a screen recording.
  2. Recorded Webinars: Lots of software platforms offer screen share tools in which you can record yourself narrating your slides in a webinar.
  3. Customer Testimonials: For testimonials, get your customer to record a simple video of themselves answering a few questions using their webcam or mobile device. After they send it to you, you and your team can edit it down or mix it with stock footage, animation, etc.
  4. Promo Videos: Have someone on your team record themselves discussing the value of a new product, service, event, etc.
  5. Thought Leadership Videos: Use a webcam or smartphone to record yourself or have a team member record themselves sharing insights or advice on a hot topic in your industry.

Remote Video Recording Tips

Follow these tips to make sure that you get the best results from your remote video recording sessions.

Plan Ahead

Just like with any kind of video production, make sure you take time to plan ahead. Talk to everyone involved about what is expected during the filming, any scripts you need to write in advance, where the shoot will take place, what day and time, etc.

Make Sure It’s the Right Method

If you’re planning to do remote video filming, consider whether or not it really makes sense for what you’re planning to record. For instance, if your video really requires multiple people in one shot, you might be better off waiting until everyone can be together in the same location to film it.

Set Up the Space

Remote filming might mean you are more limited in your stage and backdrop options, but you can do all you’re able to do to make the space feel good. Making sure it has good natural light and minimal clutter are two things that go a long way in guaranteeing quality video.

Allow Some Buffer Time

Just as you would with filming on-site, allow yourself more time than you think is necessary to film the video. Plan for unexpected complications or issues just in case they happen. People are always glad when filming ends earlier than expected, but nobody likes it when filming drags on longer than the scheduled time frame.

Are you doing this for your company? Check out our tips for internal communications here.

How Viostream Can Help

Remote video production is a lot like on-site production. But it does require a little more creative thinking and planning than usual. Start your free trial with us today and we will help you succeed with your video goals.

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Stuart Auld
Stuart Auld
Stuart Auld (Head of Infrastructure) is a multi-disciplinary engineer with broad-ranging experience at executive level delivering operational best practice across customer engagement, technology, change management and process improvement.
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