Getting Started: Multimedia Planning Guidelines


[1] pre-production = planning

Pre-production is the first (and some would argue most important) step in the video creation process.

Plan ahead and start early. Have a focused message. Keep the audience in mind. Think about what you need to record, where you need to record it, and the types of footage you need to get.

Create a storyboard of your project, which is like a graphic outline, with text and/or images. You'll save countless hours if you do (and get the exact shots you'll need, instead of having to go back after the fact and try to recreate particular scenes-- trust us on this one).

If you're creating a dramatic storyline with actors and props, write the first draft of your script. Otherwise, going in without one is like trying to navigate a boat without a clear sense of where you're going.

Likewise, if you're conducting an interview, jot down a list of questions to ask. You'll feel more prepared if you do, and catch yourself if your mind goes blank (sometimes people get interview fright too!).

books storyboard script
Research | Storyboard | Script
Photo credit: Horia Varlan, Danny Saadia

Helpful resources for pre-production:

  • The Video Project Calculator is a tool that gives approximate completion dates for the different steps of the video production process. You will need to specify the type of project you are working on, the date the project was assigned, and the due date.

  • Ohio State University's Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design provides a good overview of storyboards

  • Virginia Tech’s Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning has a good online tutorial on shooting better video, including helpful suggestions on what to do during the pre-production phase of video production

  • Duke University’s Movie Making Marathon website has excellent resources on directing and screenwriting

  • offers an informative tutorial on how to produce video interviews

  • It may be helpful to do a bit of preliminary research on your topic. Check out the University of Delaware Library’s Research Guides to get you started

Want to purchase your own equipment?

Here are some helpful resources to help you make informed decisions when purchasing multimedia equipment:

  • CNET offers great reviews and information to help you decide what equipment to buy

  • Test Freaks is an aggregate search engine that collects product information and reviews from thousands of sources

  • Digital Photography Review (dpreview) provides news, reviews, and information about digital photography and digital imaging

  • Snap Snort is a site that allows you to compare different digital cameras, depending on the criteria you select

reflect. research. prepare. 

[2] production = gathering

The production phase involves shooting and gathering all of your raw video and audio footage.

To get the best possible footage, make sure you Frame it, Mic it, Light it:

Frame it: Make sure to think about the composition and framing of your shots. Use a tripod if you want a stable, smooth shot. If you don’t have a tripod, stabilize the camera against something stationary.

Mic it: Video cameras have built-in microphones, but consider using an external microphone, like a lavaliere mic or boom mic, instead. A lavaliere mic is a small microphone that can be clipped onto a piece of clothing about six to eight inches below the speaker's chin. A boom mic is a medium sized microphone that can be connected to a pole and placed out of view of the frame.

Light it: Light is a fundamental element in any visual medium. Always keep lighting in mind. Make full use of ambient sunlight or other lighting sources.

All of the equipment you need—such as video cameras, tripods, microphones, lighting kits, and even green screens-- are available for loan at the Student Multimedia Design Center.

Remember to test your equipment beforehand: record a few minutes of your subject talking to test the audio and video recording.

advanced cameratripod boom mic wireless mic light kit
Photo credit: Student Multimedia Design Center

Helpful resources for production:

Video techniques resources

Audio resources

Lighting resources


compose. direct. shoot.

[3] post-production = editing

The final step in the video production process is post-production, where you edit your raw footage to create your finished video.

Make sure you stick with one video editing software program to make things easier. Final Cut Pro and iMovie are Macintosh only movie editing software programs, while Windows Live Movie Maker is Windows only. Adobe Premiere Pro supports both Macintosh and Windows operating systems. If you're interested in motion graphics, Apple Motion 4 works with Macintosh computers, while Adobe After Effects works with both Macintosh and Windows operating systems. When you're ready to share your video, you can burn it to a DVD using programs such as iDVD (Mac), Roxio Creator (Windows), and Toast Titanium (Mac).

Consider data storage and file management. Develop an organization system for archiving and logging your original source material. If you don’t have your own computer, be prepared for moving large multimedia files and projects between locations. Since video files can become very large, it is best to store your files on an external hard drive. A USB flash drive (memory stick) is usable for smaller projects. You can also use the UD Dropbox to store your files, or purchase blank CDs, DVDs, and flash drives at the Student Multimedia Design Center's service desk.

Tutorials: Video

video editing software imovie final cut Premiere pro

Tutorials: Audio

garageband audacity

Tutorials: Screen Recording

camtasia screenflwo

Tutorials: Motion Graphics

AfterEffects Motion

Tutorials: Rip, Burn, Convert, Share

iDVDRoxio Creator Toast Titanium Media Encoder Visual Hub

  • iDVD (Mac)
    Once you've finished editing your video in iMovie, you can create a DVD of it using iDVD

  • Roxio Creator 2010 Pro (Windows)
    Copy, compress, convert and burn DVDs, and more

  • Toast Titanium 10 (Mac)
    Copy, compress, convert and burn DVDs, and more

  • Adobe Media Encoder (.pdf) (Windows and Mac)
    Convert video from one format to another

  • Visual Hub (.pdf) (Mac)
    Convert video from one format to another

  • Blu-ray Disc Burner (.pdf) (Windows and Mac)
    Burn blu-ray videos with a portable blu-ray burner at the Student Multimedia Design Center (in-library use)

General Video, Audio, and Design Tutorials

VTC safari books Adobe TV

    Through University of Delaware Information Technologies, students, faculty, and staff have access to's extensive online training library, which contains over 98,000 video tutorials in over 1000 online courses covering software programs in subjects like 3D, audio, video, photography, graphic design, web and interactive design, business, and development. You can request a user name and password to the VTC library by contacting Information Technologies.

  • Safari Tech Books Online
    University of Delaware students, faculty, and staff have online access "to over 10,000 books, training videos, rough cuts, short cuts (including Elements and Shorts), technical articles, and more through Safari Books Online... all of the content is vetted, reliable and provided by the world’s leading publishers and authors. You can view the content online or in PDF format from your computer, or on a mobile device like the iPhone/iPod touch. The content can also be downloaded, saved or printed – which ever format is most convenient for you."

  • Adobe TV offers a wide variety of tutorials on different topics, such as photography, video, design, the web, and so on. If you are interested in learning a particular Adobe CS5 product, such as Dreamweaver, InDesign, Illustrator, After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere, and so on, there are step by step tutorials that you can view.


trim. assemble. assess.

student resources

Image and Video| Audio | Storytelling | Release Forms | Copyright | General Resources

Image and Video

  • Film Terms Glossary

  • Free Video and Multimedia Content Sites and Search Engines
    This webliography, which was complied by the University of Delaware Library, offers a listing of streaming media on particular subjects or from individual television channels and represents discrete collections

  • This white paper by LaCie, a company that produces hard drives, explores general technical requirements for High Definition (HD), film, and video projects

  • Search for Creative Commons licensed content through Google, Flickr,, Jamendo, SpinXpress, and Wikimedia Commons

  • Find helpful multimedia related links on our Delicious page

  • The Student Multimedia Design Center has a hard copy of the VideoTraxx 1 Film & Video Library by Digital Juice. You can check it out to use for four hours in the library. The collection of 34 DVDs contains clips including sports, people, landscapes, etc. You can import the clips and use them in your multimedia projects. To check the status of VideoTraxx, take a look at the library catalog record in DelCat


Most of these sites provide free downloads of Creative Commons liscensed music that you can then remix and reuse in your projects.

  • ccMixter is a "community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want."

  • All the clips in dig.ccMixter are liberally licensed under Creative Commons, so "you already have permission" to use them in your projects.

  • The Free Music Archive contains a compilation of high quality legal downloads that you can use in your multimedia projects. All of the musical selections have been hand-picked by established audio curators.

  • The Free Sound Project is a collaborative database of sounds that are licensed under Creative Commons.

  • Jamendo is another collaborative database of songs that are licensed under Creative Commons.

  • Open Source Music contains a compilation of soundtracks from various contributors who make their music available as Public Domain MP3's.


Ira Glass, host of National Public Radio's This American Life, offers suggestions on creating effective narratives:

Release Forms

If you are planning on filming people, it is important to get their signed consent. Here are sample release forms that you can use.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

  • This University of Delaware Library subject guide on copyright offers an extensive list of resources on copyright, intellectual property, and fair use.

  • Creative Commons is a "nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright." They provide free licenses to give creators the freedom to license their creative work how they want, "so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof."

  • American University's Center for Social Media, which is affiliated with their School of Communication, has informative resources on fair use in online video.

  • The Washington College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) works to advance access to information for teachers, students, artists, programmers, bloggers, inventors, scientists, doctors, patients, and others who depend on it to make essential cultural and economic contributions to society.

  • Duke University's Center for the Study of the Public Domain's mission is to "promote research and scholarship on the contributions of the public domain to speech, culture, science and innovation, to promote debate about the balance needed in our intellectual property system and to translate academic research into public policy solutions." The Center has an informative resource in comic form called Bound By Law? You can watch the flash version online, or download the pdf version.

General Student Multimedia Design Center Resources

Other University of Delaware Resources

faculty resources

Multimedia Literacy | Release Forms | Grading Rubrics | Student Spotlight | Copyright | General Resources

Multimedia Literacy: Organizations

  • Institute for Multimedia Literacy
    “Founded in 1998 by the University of Southern California’s Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts Elizabeth Daley in conversation with filmmaker George Lucas, the Institute for Multimedia Literacy is an organized research unit dedicated to developing educational programs and conducting research on the changing nature of literacy in a networked culture.”

  • New Media Consortium
    “The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies.”

    “EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.”

  • American University School of Communication: Center for Social Media
    “The Center for Social Media showcases and analyzes media for public knowledge and action.”

  • Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory
    “HASTAC is a network of individuals and institutions inspired by the possibilities that new technologies offer us for shaping how we learn, teach, communicate, create, and organize our local and global communities.” 

  • Center for Digital Storytelling
    "An international nonprofit training, project development, and research organization that assists youth and adults around the world in using digital media tools to craft and record meaningful stories from their lives and share these stories in ways that enable learning, build community, and inspire justice." The Center for Digital Storytelling Cookbook offers seven steps of digital storytelling along with other helpful suggestions for creating digital narratives.

Release Forms

If your students are planning on filming people, it is important for them to get signed release forms. Here are sample release forms that they can use.

Grading Rubrics

Assessing multimedia projects may be a challenge to those who are not accustomed to it. Here are sample rubrics that you can modify to suit your needs.

Student Spotlight

View examples of University of Delaware student projects created with resources from the Student Multimedia Design Center.

Copyright and Intellectual Property for Instructors

Resources for Understanding Multimedia Information


Image and Video

Digital File Formats

Student Multimedia Design Center Resources for Faculty

  • To reserve a classroom or studio at the Student Multimedia Design Center, go to this form

  • To schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our staff, call 302-831-8832

Other University of Delaware Resources for Faculty

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