Audio & Video

Sights and sounds bring Mizzou to life.

University of Missouri communications professionals use multimedia for education, marketing, recruitment, event documentation and capturing the Mizzou experience. Digital photo, audio and video projects can be shared on Mizzou websites, in Mizzou social media and even during live presentations.

The university respects privacy rights and intellectual privacy rights. Before embarking on a multimedia project, please review guidelines and policies regarding legal and liability issues, release forms (online form or printable PDF), copyrights and protecting the sanctity of the classroom.

Need help? Contact Marketing & Communications.

Audio Guidelines | Video Guidelines | Self-Filming Guidelines

Audio Guidelines

Mizzou’s sounds are distinctive: the chiming of the bells at Switzler Hall, Marching Mizzou, award-winning vocalists, the booming cheer of M-I-Z!

Audio recordings can enhance University of Missouri communications as stand-alone pieces or as components of larger multimedia projects. With audio, we can archive and share radio interviews, provide narration for photo slideshows and add background music to videos.

Before embarking on a multimedia project, please review our guidelines.

Audio examples

Reasons to use audio

  • Lectures
  • Radio broadcasts and interviews
  • Photo slideshow narration
  • Video voiceovers
  • Background music for multimedia projects
  • Recordings of musical performances

Sound recording

  • Avoid interviews in unreasonably noisy areas.
  • Avoid spaces with prominent echo, if possible.
  • Gather room tone in at least your settings for primary interviews.
  • Use lavalieres for most video recording situations. Position the lavaliere on the interviewees to catch sound in the direction they’re facing.


  • When adding music to an audio project, a video, a photo slideshow or another multimedia undertaking, be sure to choose music that you have the legal right to use.
  • Don’t steal copyrighted music to enhance radio projects or add background sound to videos and photo slideshows. There is no educational exemption for the use of copyrighted music in videos.
  • Options for background music include:
    Original music by an MU student or employee.
    Short music clips created with the help of music-making software.
    Stock audio from websites offering music clips and songs.
    Public domain songs, which are not protected by copyright.
    YouTube Audio Swap, which allows YouTube users to add music selected from a library of songs.


Video Guidelines

Online video is popular. It’s persuasive. It’s globally available in multiple platforms. It can convey the Mizzou experience — the people and the place — in a way that few other communications vehicles can.

Video production — planning, filming, editing — can be surprisingly time-consuming, even when the video is short. Before embarking on a video project, determine whether a video is the most efficient and effective way to send a message or solve a problem. Will photography work just as well? Can written information get the message across faster? Do you have the time, the staff, the equipment, and the software you need to film, edit and produce a video?

If a video is the best medium for your purposes, review these tips to create the best project you can.

Video examples

Reasons to use video

  • Document an event.
  • Provide a visual demonstration or tutorial.
  • Show your program in action.
  • Connect with your viewers in an emotional way, using a mix of music, still photography, narration and video communication.

What you need

  • Camera: You can easily spend thousands of dollars for a video camera, but less expensive flip cams — and even smart phones — are now capable of recording high-definition (HD) video.
  • Tripod: Essential for steady shots. A tripod with a “fluid head” will be necessary for panning the camera across a scene.
  • Microphone: Your sound quality is likely to improve markedly with the use of an external microphone. More about audio.
  • Lights: For shooting indoors, adequate video lighting is essential.


  • Use the university release forms (online form or printable PDF) to obtain permission from the individuals appearing in your video. All subjects should complete and sign a release form.
  • If your video includes photographs, film clips or music, you must comply with copyright laws. Learn more about using music in your video.
  • All audio and video recording in a university classroom must conform the University of Missouri System’s policy regarding protecting the sanctity of the classroom. Carefully read the UM System executive order from the president’s office.
  • You must obtain permission from Licensing and Trademarks to use the university’s copyrighted or protected marks or names in a video for profit. Royalty fees might be incurred.


  • Do not have the interviewee look into the lens.
  • Avoid cutting off the top of the head when framing a wider shot.
  • Do not angle the interviewee too far into profile.
  • Avoid BTFs (Big Talking Face).
  • Avoid low and high angle shots.
  • Avoid using too much headroom.

B-Roll guidelines

  • Prioritize gathering footage that relates to the story.
  • Avoid staying in the same camera position or sight line for too long. Move around the space and present the subject from a variety of vantage points.
  • Vary shot types, camera angle, focal lengths and compositions.
  • Bracket for static shots/camera movement, speed of camera moves, and exposures.
  • Match camera movement and shooting style appropriately to the story’s tone.

Outdoor interview guidelines

  • Keep the sky blue.
  • Position camera and subject with the sun facing the subject.
  • Avoid using the sun as a harsh backlight.
  • Use a reflector to enhance outdoor lighting.

Indoor interview guidelines

  • Avoid plain white walls. Relocate interview to a better-looking location if possible.
  • Avoid mixed light situations where possible. (EX: tungsten interview light w/sunlight in background)
  • Always seek a good composition in relation to your background.

Editing and sharing

  • Much of what will make your video compelling happens through the video and audio editing process. What software you choose will depend on your particular production. The options include:
  • Free programs, such as Movie Maker (from Microsoft) or iMovie (from Apple)
  • Professional programs, such as Final Cut Pro
  • The desired length of a video depends on its purpose. For Web-based video, the accepted industry standard length is 2-3 minutes.
  • University of Missouri videos should close with an MU branded bumper that includes the stacked MU logo, a title, credits and copyright information.
  • If you plan to post the video on a website or in social media, you can first upload the video to YouTube and then use the embed code to embed it in your site.
  • If the video appeals to a broad Mizzou audience, you might want to share it on TheMizzouTube, Mizzou’s official central YouTube channel. Learn more.
  • Consider submitting a copy of your video production to University Archives as a historical record of the university. University Archives collects publications produced by MU offices and departments and makes them available for public research. University Archives accepts any high-quality digital video format. Contact for submission instructions and more information.

Self-Filming Guidelines

View Our Self-Filming Production Guide

Position and Lighting:

  • Consider your background. Your surroundings communicate a lot about you. Simple and clean works well, but a blank wall can be boring. Try adding art or a plant in the background for added interest. Home offices, bookshelves, fireplaces, and/or furniture behind you are all acceptable options. Do not use Zoom backgrounds.
  • Wear what you think would be appropriate for your audience. The audience will probably only be seeing the top half of you but some people feel more professional if they dress as they normally would, meaning fancy pants as well. Avoid all white or anything with strong patterns or thin lines, solid colors are always a safe choice. Remember, this is a presentation – sit up, shoulders back, speak from the diaphragm, talk with your hands if you normally do.
  • Put the device on a stack of books so the camera is slightly higher than your head and then point it down into your eyes. This tends to be a more flattering angle.
  • Sit by a window (best results with white or sheer curtains), OR take a tall lamp and set it next to the device on the side of your face you feel is best. The lamp should be in line with and slightly behind the device so the light falls nicely on your face.
  • Put a piece of white paper or a white tablecloth on the table you are sitting at but make sure it can’t be seen in the frame. It will fill in eye shadows and make your face more evenly lit.

Camera Settings:

  • Use the device’s native camera app (not Zoom, Skype, or other conferencing apps). Check the settings to make sure the quality is the highest possible.
  • If you have a microphone for your device, attach it. For lapel mics, hide the cord by running it under your shirt and attaching the clip to the top of your shirt, tie, or lapel. Be sure no clothing or hair is touching the mic.
  • Record a test clip and make sure it plays back with audio.

Now you’re ready to self-film! You’ll do great!

Working with the Video File:

  • Be sure to play back your video to check for audio or other issues. Watching your own videos will also give you ideas about how to improve for next time.
  • If you want to do a simple trim edit for your video, most devices allow you to do so in their native camera app. Search Google for more info about video editing on your specific device (ex: “ How to edit videos on your iPhone ”).
  • How you share/upload the full quality video file also depends on your device. It is easiest (and ensures quality) to upload the video to Google Drive, then share from there. Search Google for more info about sharing a video on your specific device (ex: “ Share video on Google Pixel 3 ”). If given the choice on upload resolution, always choose the highest resolution.