Zoom!

How to use zoom like a pro and take charge of these meetings.

Yup! As we continue to video connect and communicate with each other, Zoom remains one of the best choices to do so.

A Zoom Tutorial, by Head Brain Michael Rataj of Bulb Brain Creative

Mike’s main reason for his love of the platform is the ability to record each meeting AND give each attendee their own separate mic track, so if you need to cut some feedback from anyone it’s easy enough to do so without interrupting everyone’s feeds.

There are a few different views and it’s easier to see everyone when you’re on a laptop vs mobile phone, where you can only see about 4 people each screen. Gallery view allows you to see all of the attendees on 1 screen (or up to 16 per screen, rather) and speaker view highlights the speaker. This can be set by the host of the meeting, ie if someone is presenting and they want to lock onto spotlight for the presenter.

Zoom allows you to have public meetings up to 100 people (paid..), private meetings, recurring meetings, large events, individual breakout rooms, etc. It’s a way to connect everyone with their laptop or mobile phone to a group of people.

One of the more fun uses from zoom is based on depth, it can provide a virtual green screen over your background. so if you don’t want people to see the room you’re in, you can just add a beautiful picture and it’ll look like you’re hanging out there. It’s giving people a fun experience on how to use green screen. If you have great bandwidth you can even add a video as your backdrop. But keep in mind it will eat up the bandwidth of other attendees that have to view your backdrop, so if it’s an especially big group… maybe use a static photo or none at all.

If you jump to the projects page ‘How to Succeed During a Pandemic’ is created entirely on zoom without the video person in attendance, and then the files are sent to Mike as the video editor, and with notes from the client he’s able to make the cuts so the piece moves.

The video quality obviously isn’t as good as a $3000 camera, but with some decent lighting tips, it can look pretty sharp.

That being said, welcome to being a director. You now have to be in charge of your lighting, composition and sound. Ideally a headphone/microphone combo will help your audio recording.

Yes, trust me. I avoided it for 7 months but it just sounds so much better with an actual microphone. And be wary b/c if you ONLY buy a lavalier microphone and plug it into your 1/4 ” headphone jack, it will most likely remove your speaker audio or ability to hear anyone else, which is why it’s important to get the lavalier AND headphone combo. If you buy a USB lavalier mic the aforementioned isn’t a problem. but…. you need an extra USB port. Do you have that handy? I sure don’t.

Zoom allows you to record on their cloud and record locally. If you’re planning to give access of the meeting to anyone publicly, record to the cloud so you can easily share the link. Otherwise it makes more sense to download it locally to your hard drive, and then just start a folder titled Zoom (actually, zoom does this for you. Just find where it is on your computer. Usually My Documents/Zoom).

Placement of phone or laptop is key. You would want to stack books under your laptop until you’re looking slightly up at the webcam at the top of your laptop screen. That will be what people see, and how you interact.

It’s easy to look at the person you’re talking to, and then you head ends up being directed towards them, but try to stay looking into the camera as much as possible.