Videos published on social media should be emotive, spirited, fun and tell a truth about our students, alumni or academics. If you have a creative media proposal please fill out this form.




Camera settings
  • Frame rate: 23.976fps
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080p (minimum)
  • Shutter speed: maximum* speed of 1/50 *in extremely bright situations where this is not possible, a faster shutter speed can be used. These situations should be mitigated by the use of a neutral density filter.
  • ISO: Keep it low to achieve less noise
  • White balance: Pick the setting that matches your lighting scenario.
  • Avoid using AUTO, as the camera may change your white balance in the middle of the shot, which is distracting if uncorrected and nearly impossible to correct.

  • Interviews should take place in a setting that aligns with the story. Examples: In the lab, on the Quad, at the workplace.
  • Capture interviews from two angles if possible.
  • One camera set up: shoot around 50mm
  • Two camera set up: Shoot at 50mm and wider or tighter
  • Focus on the eyes.

  • Capture a diverse range of shots showing off the features of campus whenever possible.
  • Get close-ups of details and wide shots of environments that are relevant to the subject.
  • Use subtle but stable camera movements to add energy to shots.

Lighting techniques

Natural light

  • Shoot in the morning or evening when possible for low, diffused light. Avoid shooting outside in the middle of the day if possible when the sun is high.
  • When subject is back lit, use a reflector or white card to add light to faces.

Artificial light

  • When shooting inside, use artificial lighting to key and fill faces.
  • If access to artificial light is limited, use window light to light the subject.

Opening: Videos for social should open with a 5 to 10 second hook. Use a funny or interesting portion of an interview, an exceptional landscape shot or a flashy montage.

Twitter specialization: Twitter defaults the thumbnails for videos to be the whatever the first frame of your video. Avoid this by cutting in your custom splash (splash image details below) for the first two seconds of your video.

Lower-thirds: Lower-thirds are the text graphic element that is used to identify a subject in a video. Lower-thirds should be consistently designed and sized throughout JMU video content, regardless of output.

  • You can find the downloadable templates with the below presets here.

Information: First line is name (and year of graduation if applicable), Artegra Sans Black, 62pt. Second line is title, Artegra Sans Semibold, 32pt

Layout options

Standard: This is the recommended lower-third for most videos.

  • The Wilson Triangle ‘cursor bar’ should be used on the justified side of the text; 21pts from text
  • Cursor bar should appear the same height of the text

Block: This is recommended for more stylized videos, or for videos where the ‘Standard’ layout option is not effective.

  • A solid block is used behind text, sized 21pts from the outermost edges of text.
  • The Wilson Triangle ‘cursor bar’ should be used on the justified side of the text; 21pts from text.
  • Cursor bar should appear the same height of the block.

Captions: To increase engagement and comply to federal standards of accessibility, captions must be added to videos.

  • Options for YouTube, Vimeo and *Facebook: These platforms allow for closed captions to be added as sidecar files.
    • Use Facebook or YouTube’s auto-captioning feature to create caption files. Make sure to edit these in the provided editor as the captions aren’t typically accurate.
    • Create separate caption documents in the form of .srt files in a .txt document
  • Options for Twitter, Instagram and *Facebook: These platforms do NOT allow for captions to be added as sidecar files, therefore captions should be burned into the video export itself as an overlay.
    • Facebook allows for sidecar files, HOWEVER, burning captions into the file itself cuts down on the number of different exports you’ll need for each video. In addition, it lets you control the branding of those captions (fonts, colors, etc.)

Ending logo: Use the animated ‘JMU Block’ logo at the end of every video.

  • You can find the downloadable ending logo animation here. (link coming soon)
  • White logo over purple version should be used primarily, with a black logo over white used alternatively in special cases.
  • If you cannot gain access to the animated version, a static vertical JMU Block can be used sized at 428px wide. Use a simple fade to introduce the logo.

Audio suggestions:

  • Dialogue levels can be set between -12db and -6db
  • Music can be mixed to -20db in background
  • Master mix can be set between -6db and -3db

Export settings: Videos that are published for social should be exported with the settings below:

  • Video Format = MP4
  • Codec = H.264
  • Frame rate = 23.976fps
  • Bitrate = 10 (target) 12 (maximum)
  • Audio Format AAC

Splash images: There should be custom graphics made for each video that serve as the video thumbnail in newsfeeds and libraries.

  • Screenshot an interesting frame from the video
  • Find one with white space, or an area that is text friendly
  • Add title text overlay using University fonts.
  • Avoid covering the center of the screen as that is where the play head icon will be located.

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