CS Ball self-filming instructions

Hi! Please follow these 3 steps for clean audio & video that features you at your best.


  • Find a quiet room with natural daylight.
  • Turn off your lights. Only natural light should fall on your face. Don’t mix artificial and natural light.
  • Place yourself opposite a window so natural light falls on your face. Never place a window or bright light behind you.
  • If possible, stand at least 6 feet away from your background to provide visual separation.
  • Turn off all fans (heat, air conditioning, ceiling fans, etc.)
  • Close windows to reduce noise.
  • No handheld video. If you film handheld, I will ask you to re-record. Remember, this will be projected onto a large screen at the Ball.
  • Using a tripod, place your phone 3-4 feet in front of you for clean audio and a well-framed shot. See the example image for good framing. (More great examples here)
  • Film with your phone’s primary/back camera. Do NOT use the selfie camera and please don’t use a laptop/desktop camera, they’re terrible.
  • Repeat:
  • Do NOT use the selfie camera. Do NOT film handheld. If you do, you will have to re-record.
    • Since you can’t see the phone’s screen, have a partner frame the shot or make test recordings until you and the camera are set.
  • Use HORIZONTAL/LANDSCAPE/SIDEWAYS orientation, like a film or TV show.
  • If you film vertically, I will ask you to reshoot.
  • If you know how to manually set focus and exposure, and have a partner to help with this, please do so! (On iPhones, press and hold over the subject until “AE/AF Lock” appears.)
  • Preferred camera settings: 4K at 30fps (frames-per-second). 1080p at 30fps is also great (don’t sweat this too much).
  • Instructions for changing camera settings at these links:

Shooting Video with an iPhone (Wistia blog)

Recording Videos on Your Galaxy/Android (just don’t film vertically!)


  • Clean the camera lens with a soft towel
  • Breathe, Smile, and press Record.
  • Keep the camera rolling and record as many takes as you want.
  • Feel free to record one sentence, then look at your script if you have one, then record the next one, and so on.
  • Don’t worry about “dead air” or flubs. Just take a moment to breathe, smile, and begin your thought again.
  • Please don’t edit your video(s), I’ll take care of you! 🙂
  • Most of all, have fun!


Upload to DROPBOX (preferred)
Follow that link on your phone (or computer). Your web browser will open and allow you to choose the video file(s) from your photo or media library. You shouldn’t need the Dropbox app.

(alternate methods):
(recipient: dbelden@chicagosinfonietta.org)

Google Drive, iCloud, Box, etc., are also good, just send me a download link.
Do NOT email or text me the video file. It will compress and look terrible.

Please feel free to contact me with questions/concerns and tech issues.

— Dave