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How to make a Video Reading

Overview:

If you’ve watched and listened to some of our Video Readings, you may want to record a Video Reading yourself. And when you’ve recorded it, you can send it to Players-Shakespeare.com for us to evaluate if we’ll publish it.

This is what you have to do:

  • Select one or more scenes to record – you can find candidate scenes in our “Let’s Play” menu on Players-Shakespeare.com
  • Record your version of the scene (you might like to try this two or three times) on a microphone – your smartphone, or something smarter.
  • Edit and convert (if necessary) your sound file to mp3 format.
  • Send it to Players-Shakespeare.com using our Video Reading Submission form. We’ll evaluate it, and if we like it, publish it on the web -site

Each of these four steps is explained in more detail below:

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Select a scene to record:

If you want to make a video recording, you first have to decide which scenes from Players-Shakespeare.com plays you want to record. You can find around 75 (at the time of writing) playreading extracts in our “Let’s Play” menu. These extracts are for 1, 2, 3, 4, or more than 4 players, so you should look at the “Let’s Play” page for the number of players who will participate in recording the scene.

Of course, you can record any scene from any play published by Players-Shakespeare.com, but you need to configure the scenes yourself, using the script setup window gearwheel. Our “Let’s Play” scenes are pre-configured for you.

Note that you need to use the Players-Shakespeare.com script because we will display that script in your Video Reading, and it needs to match what you say.

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Record the scene:

You can record the scene in many different ways, depending on the quality you want, and how much you can afford to spend.

The simplest way is to use your smartphone microphone and a voice recording app. In fact, if your smartphone supports multi-tasking, you can record the scene using the voice recording app, whilst you read the text of the scene using the web browser on the same phone. We frequently do this on an Apple iPhone using Safari as the web-browser, and the Rode Rec app as the sound recorder. This is great for monologues, though there are many other sound recording apps available.

When you are recording a scene with more than one or two players, it is helpful if your microphone is on a stand, so you don’t record hand movements. You can get a tripod for your mobile phone, and continue using it to record your readings. For mulit-player scenes we have found it better to use an independent sound recorder on a tripod. We use a Zoom H5 recorder and find it very satisfactory though, again, there are many other sound recorders available.

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Optionally, edit and convert the scene to MP3

Sound recorders record sound in a variety of different formats. The two formats that we have used most, are .WAV and .MP3. .WAV is higher quality, but MP3 is much smaller. Because of the smaller file size, we ask that you submit Video Reading sound files in MP3 format, and that the files are no larger than 5 Megabytes (perhaps 5 minutes in length).

You can record in MP3 format, provided your sound recording app. supports that, in which case you can send the file directly to us, and that file may well be of acceptable quality.

However, we have found you get a higher quality recording if you record the reading in .WAV format, and then edit the file with a Sound Editor to improve the quality and convert the resulting recording to MP3 format/

We use a free sound editor called Audacity on a Windows PC for most of our recordings, and the things we usually do to each sound recording are the following:

  • reduce noise on the file
  • ‘normalise’ the volume of the file
  • convert the file to MP3 format

You can also have enormous fun editing the sound file speeding it up; slowing it down; shifting the pitch up or down; and a host of other effects.

We’d like to emphasise that none of this editing is  necessary, provided your recording in in MP3 format.

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Send the MP3 recording to Players-Shakespeare.com

When you’ve made your recording and it’s ready to send to us, this is what you do:

  • Open a web browser on https://players-shakespeare.com
  • Click on the “Video Readings” menu
  • Select the  “Video Readings Submission” menu option – A Video Readings Submission Form opens up
  • Fill in the form – do make sure the email address you provide is valid, otherwise we will have no way of contacting you.
  • Upload your MP3 file
  • Click on Submit.

Your mp3 file, with the details you’ve provided, will be sent to Players-Shakespeare.com.

We will evaluate your submission, and if we like it, we’ll publish it as a Video Reading. Please note that there is no money involved either way. We do not charge for this service, and by submitting an MP3 you give us the right to publish it for free.

 

 

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