how to create a video

user guidelines

Thank you for volunteering to tell your personal mental health success story. The mission of There is Hope is to share information, empower and connect people with mental health issues. 


The purpose of your video is to demonstrate that there is a pathway towards recovery and provide viewers with hope and information for their journey.  Below are the guidelines to follow regarding how to make your video. 


Instructions on How to Video

First, figure out which video camera you’re going to use. You probably have a few options: your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Most of these devices come equipped with video cameras and video recording software.  You can also use a still camera that shoots video. Below you will find some great tips on how to take a good selfie video by using these video shooting basics.


There are four main steps to making your video:

1)        Choose a good place to film.

2)        Make sure the area is well lit.

3)        Rehearse what you want to say.

4)        Record your message and follow the guidelines.


Remember: It doesn’t have to be perfect! Do it a number of times if you are unhappy with the results, but we can fix any flubs or mistakes in editing. If you stumble over a word or lose your train of thought, don’t worry. No reason to do the whole thing again. Just back up to the beginning of the sentence and start again. The important thing is to keep going!  The duration of your story should be between 4 and 5 minutes.  

Some things to keep in mind:

·       An open space behind you is best. Seeing depth in the background is better than up against a wall or in a corner.

·       Choose a place that is fairly quiet so we can hear you. Also, no music should be playing in the background.

·       Be conscious of what’s in the background. There should be no company logos and the space should be clean and tidy.






Face the light. Avoid a place with strong light in back of you. A big bright window in the background will make you look dark and shadowy. Light should be hitting you in the face. 

Fill the frame. You should be close enough so that we see you from the waist or chest up. Avoid a super close composition where your face fills the whole frame. 





Camera at eye level. Try to get the camera at eye level (or as close to it) if possible. Putting the camera on a table pointing up while you look down is an odd unflattering angle. If you are sitting, raise the camera up on a stack of books, a box or something similar. 


If using a phone or tablet, shoot with your camera placed horizontally so that your screen looks like a widescreen TV - not vertically like a selfie.



If you are using a phone, find something to use as a stand to hold it in place. You may have to get creative.

·       Cheat sheets are ok! A short list of bullet points held out of frame in your lap will help if you need to reference or if you are afraid you           are going to miss an important point you want to make. 

·       Be yourself. Dress nicely, but don’t over-do it.  We want you to see the real you.

·       Speak slowly and clearly. If you’re nervous, try to slow down a little bit. This usually helps.

·       If you know how, set your camera’s resolution to the highest quality possible. The higher the number, the better the picture!

·       If you are using a phone, make sure you use the camera on the back (the one you use to take a picture of something), not the one on

        the front that you would use for a FaceTime or Skype chat. This is a little counterintuitive because you might want to see what you                 look like while you film, but the back camera usually is a better quality.

·       Look at the camera lens, not the picture of you! When you talk directly into the lens of the camera you are looking directly at the                  people you are delivering your message to. This makes for a more personal experience, and the viewer feels like you are speaking

        directly to them.


Your Story Structure

Remember you are telling a story.  Below is a list of content items that you should include in your story.


  • Start your video by saying, "Hi, my name is ____"  (first name only)

  • Tell us about a time where you realized your mental health was suffering.

  • How did you find resources and other people who could support you?

  • What struggles and roadblocks did you encounter, and most importantly, how did you feel when you hit them?

  • What did you do to overcome any roadblocks (what led to your success) and how does it feel now?

  • Be positive! Remember that others are struggling and that there is a community available to support them. Let them know that they are not alone, that there can be success, and that it can work out for them.


Discuss your diagnosis, be as specific as possible

Mention if you were in Partial Hospitalization,  Inpatient, Outpatient or all

Discuss therapy (CBT, DBT, individual, group, support)

Discuss medication used, what worked and what didn’t work mention all the factors that led you on a path towards recovery

The duration of the video is 4 to 5 minutes

End with a message that will give hope to the viewer. Let them know that their persistence will result in success, then “I’m _(Name)___, and there is hope.”  

Don’t go to a negative place, this is an uplifting journey


Don’t mention names of therapists

Don’t discuss dosage amounts

Don’t volunteer your last name

Thank you for helping us build awareness and spread the message of hope and success to the mental health community.

Review the Video Release Form using the button below.

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