Headroom matters on your video - And how you audience feels
Admit that this is a thing… It will make a difference!
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HEADROOM AND HOW TO GET IT RIGHT
Hey, everybody; it’s Craig with Clipscribe today; we’re talking about something called headroom and how to ensure your video content has max headroom. We’re not talking about the 80’s character max headroom.
What is headroom, and why does it matter when creating social media content?
Well, specifically in this post, we’re talking about figuring out what your headroom should be for these types of videos; for talking head-type videos, it's just a person’s head talking on the screen.
We’re not making a movie here. We’re not blocking and trying to get people in certain positions or do crazy exciting camera angles. This is like being interviewed for a job on Zoom. That’s what we’re talking about.
But what is headroom, anyway? Well, you might be able to just figure it out by listening to the word itself. Headroom talks about how much space there is between your head and the top of the frame, and it’s essential when it comes to video, cinematography, and photography. There are a lot of factors that go into shooting a scene or taking a photo that makes people comfortable with that video or that photo. The way it’s composed, the angles, the distance, the depth of field. Headroom is one of these factors that are involved in making your audience comfortable with your video.
Headroom Is Art
Will it break the world if your headroom is not perfect or you’re not doing it correctly? This is because you should not be afraid to make video content. Still, we’re trying to improve our videos to make ourselves better and better and more professional.
The first step in understanding headroom is simply admitting that headroom is a thing. Realizing this is the first step and being willing to say, "It does kind of matter where my head is positioned in the frame when I’m making my video content." Once you agree to that matter, then we can solve the problem.
How do we determine the right amount of headroom? It’s relatively simple. This isn’t super complex. You’re not going to get a ruler out and measure the precise amount.
Unbreakable Rules For Headroom
You do need to kind of feel it a little bit. One thing is sure, and one effortless thing is that cutting your head off is not ideal headroom. There are cameras, and video shots where cutting a little bit of somebody’s head off is okay, but in this case, I would say no, so anything where your head is above the frame, is a No-no.
Secondly, if your head is what I like to call "jammed up against" the frame, that’s not enough headroom. This gives your audience a perception that you’re pushing up against a wall here, and therefore there is no room there, making the shot look uncomfortable. Psychologically this is not ideal.
So let’s take it down now; this is where it’s too much headroom. This is too much headroom, and anything below this – it’s too much headroom. Obviously, this looks extra weird because my table is not low, but even if my table was down, you just ask yourself, "Why is there so much space above the person’s head?".
Okay, so what is the ideal headroom? I would say about right here, and I’m looking over my monitor here, anywhere from about here to about here. So I would say that’s probably like 5-8% of your frame. As I said, you’ll have to feel it a little. There are two things. But I see so many creators make this mistake. Most of the time, they just leave too much headroom. That’s the one that I see more than anything else: there’s just a lot of space between it. It would almost be better to be pushed up against the top of the frame than to just have this ample gaping space between your head in the frame. Ideally, you want to get as much of your body into the frame as possible. You want it to cut off kind of right here at your midsection.
Again, this depends on the length, the distance of the camera, but assuming your camera is at a distance about like this, that should be usually ideal for this type of video content. Don’t chop your head off, and don’t be so low that you’ve got almost half the screen of space up above you.
Give yourself just about, like I said, 5 to 10% max of the frame in between your head and the top of the frame, and you’re going to be good to go. Very simple, very quick, admit the headroom is a thing and then just make some simple adjustments – do it on all your video stuff, do it on your zoom calls – adjust your camera just a little bit. You’ll make yourself a little bit better every day and make your audience a little more comfortable with your video content daily.