A   S t r e a m i n g   M e d i a   P r i m e r :  
H O W   D O   I   M A K E   ( G O O D )   S T R E A M I N G   M E D I A ?
If possible, shoot exclusively for streaming
 Video in essence is about light, 
In many situations, video will be shot for a wide variety of uses, and intended for output 
and no matter what quality level 
to several different mediums. But the  keep it simple  rule that works so well for a short 
streaming media project, might yield footage that would translate into a very boring 
you're shooting for, you need 
production for a longer, larger format production. Conversely, if streaming media is not 
to consider how you light your 
the primary objective of the shoot, you might not end up with any footage at all that 
subject. If you're shooting beaches 
will stream well. 
in the Greek islands under the 
So, if you are shooting an event or other production with the intention of creating 
world's most stunning natural 
multiple versions for a variety of uses, and if you have enough budget and peoplepower 
light, you have few worries a 
to do it, you should consider shooting concurrently with multiple cameras and/or crews. 
Have one camera or crew shoot for the best streaming media footage possible, while the 
little sunscreen won't cure. But 
other camera or crew shoots the wider angles, pans and zooms, and gets more of the 
if you shoot a talking head in 
action you'll want for the videotape or DVD version. 
a fl ourescent lit offi ce, or a band 
This is not such an unrealistic notion when you consider that adequate quality DV 
on a stage rigged with a panoply 
camcorders are so well suited to capturing footage for streaming, and that they are so 
of different colors and levels of 
reasonably priced for either purchase or rental.
lamps, you're going to spend 
Keep the lighting as even as possible
thought and effort getting 
While lighting effects such as complex shadows or lens fl are may add interest to the 
good footage. 
composition of many of the movies you admire, streaming is not the place to experi 
 Tim Tully
ment with your tricky lighting repertoire. Those complex shadows, hotspots, and other 
Streaming Media.com
30
forms of contrast just make the footage more diffi cult to compress, leaving unwanted 
artifacts rather than added interest. The more even the light is, the better it will com 
press. Use bounce cards to minimize hard shadows outdoors; indoors, keep your lighting 
soft. Avoid camera mounted lights they generate hotspots unless heavily diffused. 
  remember that the detri 
A standard 3 point lighting kit that can be rigged with umbrellas, bounce cards, 
mental effects of strong colors 
and/or diffusion is a worthwhile investment that will handle most any situation 
and complex patterns will be 
you'll encounter when shooting tight subjects for streaming media.
even more severe than those same 
Action! (just don't move around very much) 
effects on tape.  
The whole point of putting video on the Web, rather than just still images, is the added 
 Logan Kelsey and Jim Feeley
dimension that action brings to the experience. But, when compressed, more action in 
DV Web Video Magazine
31
your video whether that action is due to subject movement, camera movement, or to 
complex transitions equates to a higher data rate in the fi le you want to stream. So, 
in order to successfully stream action packed video, you would need an audience you're 
sure will be connected at a high bandwidth, and/or you would need to make the size of 
  you'll always get the best 
your image frame smaller. Unfortunately, the current limitations of the Internet mean 
results if you start with a clear, 
that streaming a video of an athlete's  talking head  to endorse your footwear product 
will work much better than streaming a video of the team in action on the playing fi eld. 
clean audio recording, preferably 
Video with relatively stationary subjects will produce better streaming media than video 
using a separate microphone that 
with lots of motion or rapid scene changes.
isn't mounted on the camera. 
Consider using  bluescreen  
Keep the audio level as loud 
If you have the equipment and the expertise, bluescreen can be an excellent technique 
as possible without driving the 
for achieving quality streaming video. According to Kelsey and Feeley,  By shooting on 
meter into the red this is 
bluescreen [or greenscreen] dropping the background and compositing your subject 
especially critical in DV, where 
on top of a digital still image you'll have a background that will be noise free and rock 
namic Medianamic Mediay
steady. 
33
 A background that does not change from frame to frame is easier to compress, 
y
too much level can result in some 
and leaves more bits available for what does change your subject. But Kelsey and Feeley 
particularly nasty distortion.  
also warn that lighting and shooting  good  bluescreen takes lots of experience, and the 
 Steve Cunningham
post work required can be time consuming and/or costly. (Although we'd like to note 
obe Dobe D
Streaming Media.com
32
that Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects software provide the tools you need to do 
dd
it yourself with relative ease). 
AA
24
24
30   Shooting Video for the Web: Equipment,  by Tim Tully, Streaming Media.com, http://www.streamingmedia.com/tutorials/view.asp?tutorial_id=35
31   Shooting Video for the Web,  by Logan Kelsey and Jim Feeley, DV Web Video Magazine, May 2000
32   Creating Audio for the Web,  by Steve Cunningham, Streaming Media.com, http://www.streamingmedia.com/tutorials/view.asp?tutorial_id=38
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