Instructions for recording and sending us your submission
So you want to make a video and send it to us. Great! Below are some basic instructions for how to do this. To make this a little easier we are going to break this down into very basic instructions and a more thorough walkthrough.
1. Choose from among 4 kinds of videos.
2. Record your video using a computer, smartphone or standalone camera.
3. Edit your video (if you know how).
4. Send it to us by filling out this submission form and (uploading the video with the provided link)
The kind of video you make
For this project we recommend you make a video in one of the following four styles.
Drash or Prayer Video
This is a video where you simply stand/sit in front of the camera and give a drash orrecite a prayer. (See below specific prayers we are looking for). It’s a very simple style. And we recommend if you film this of yourself, don’t hold the camera at a “selfie angle” but rather place it somewhere and stand in front of it.
Think of this as a “How To” video in that it’s lesson based Maybe you have a high holidays themed project to showcase? A cooking class? Art class? Something the community would find meaningful.
Musical Video (a song or prayer in a musical form)
We have all seen these videos circulating around a lot these days. This could be just yourself singing a song/prayer or maybe you can get a few people together and create a split screen video complete with a full band. Either way, this is intended to be a musically themed video.
Round Table Discussion
Can you get a few people together to have a meaningful conversation about an important topic? Great! Pull them together for a Zoom call and most importantly, don’t forget to record it! Our suggestion, have someone be the moderator of the discussion to keep it moving.
We are also looking for people to create a rendition of this list of prayers. You can do this. In conjunction with a video above or this could be your submission. If you are interested in this, great! Pick a prayer and head over to this quick interest form. We made this form as we want to avoid getting 20 renditions of the same prayer.
In our digital age, cameras can be found everywhere. This is great! However it has also convinced everyone that they are the next Spielberg. Please, lower these expectations just a tad before attempting this project. The good news is that with modern camera technology one can pull out some relatively impressive videos with some basic tips. And this next step will aim to help on this.
Before we even think about what camera you film this on, we want to direct your attention to sound. This is actually the one thing we find that differentiates a good video from a bad one. A terrible quality camera is acceptable if the sound is great. So please, think about this.
Three tips for sound.
Tip 1: Use a good mic. We cannot stress this enough. If you can somehow get a hold of a good mic, that is ideal. (A “clip-on lav mic” is perfect.) But we realize you might not have access to this. So read below…
Tip 2: Record in a room without echo or preferably outdoors. And don’t stand 10 feet from the mic. The microphone is simply not as good as the human ear and it will not capture your audio well.
Tip 3: I don’t need anything, my smartphone has a great mic! Yes, it has a great mic that was intended to be 3 inches from your face. As soon as you stand back, it does not hold up so well. Please keep this in mind.
When picking a camera, keep in mind that each has its pros and cons.
Most modern computers have a webcam of some kind built in. However, to use this you need to have a piece of software on your computer to record the video (e.g., Macs come with Photobooth). The problem is that most of the time these cameras are extremely low quality. For this reason except for the “round table discussion,” we do not recommend recording with this if you have another option.
Recently smartphones have grown leaps and bounds with their cameras. No, they do not replace a pro camera, but people are churning out impressive stuff with these small devices. For this project it’s a wonderful option as the quality is not half bad. But please, if you film on a cell phone, turn the phone horizontal not vertical.
If you happen to have a modern point and shoot camera, this is a wonderful option for filming. If you have a DSLR camera, this can also record some very high quality videos. However, make sure that the DSLR you have has an “auto focus” option for video specifically. It is just so often we get a video like this where the subject is very blurry.
Conclusion: for this kind of video we recommend a smartphone or standalone camera (except for a round table discussion).
Before you record
Let’s talk for a moment about setting yourself up. Here are some tips to making things look a little better.
Position your set-up in a way that light is hitting your face. We recommend filming during daylight hours as light is more abundant. One thing to note is that these cameras automatically adjust to the surrounding light. A side effect of this is that if your background is much more bright then you are (maybe there is a large window behind you), the camera will adjust to this light and while the background window will look normal, you will look like a silhouette. This is not a good look.
What to wear
Please don’t wear logos, unless they are Ramah logos. In that case, awesome! Even though camp is a very casual environment, keep in mind this is for high holidays. So maybe dress as you would when going to services at camp. We like to call it “Camp Fancy”.
Remember this: when we see your video we are looking at the background where you film. So maybe dress this background a little. Add some plants, books, colors. Anything that might make an inviting look to it. Or even better… film outdoors! This reminds the viewer of camp (something we all miss this past summer). Of course, if you do film outdoors, please be safe and social distance! If you film indoors, please, avoid the boring “white wall”. It never works out well and the peeling paint is just not a good look.
Sound – We said it before, but we will say it again. Make sure to film in a quiet place without echo. Turn off fans, air conditioners, etc. And if you can, use a clip-on mic or wireless earbuds so you can stand further from the camera and still pick up decent sound.
And then simply record the video!
Sending us your video
To send us your video, simply head on over to this submission form. Fill it out and when you finish the confirmation page, it will supply you with a Dropbox upload link. Use this link to send us the video. Keep in mind that video files are large and might take a while to upload. (Really, it can take a few hours depending on your internet connection.) Don’t close the web browser before this is finished or we won’t receive your video.
Link to submission form: https://forms.gle/X3L1v2tUAK9hc95MA
And that’s it. You're finished! We will review the video, add a few of our own graphics to it and post it soon.
Looking forward to seeing your submissions!