#BBCAskThis: Four top tips for filming your question

Louis Smith, James Jordan, backstage at Strictly Come Dancing, 2012

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By Marc Settle, Smartphone trainer, BBC College of Journalism

What would you ask a politician ahead of the General Election?

We are asking you to film your questions and we will put a selection of them to candidates from all political parties.

#BBCAskThis: Get your election questions answered

1. Sound!

We want to know what your question is, so we have to be able to hear it!

Think about the background noise wherever you're recording. Make sure your voice isn't drowned out by the sound around you. The closer you are to the screen, the better you'll be heard - but don't get TOO close!

Wildlife sound-recordist Chris Walton, International Dawn Chorus Day, 2001

Headphones with an in-built microphone can improve the sound: plug them in and attach the mic to your shirt or top near your collarbone. Better still, use a dedicated external microphone if you have access to one.

Watch Marc Settle's guide to smartphone video journalism for the BBC College of Journalism

2. Lights!

Make sure your face is clearly in shot and look at the camera lens rather than the screen as this will help give a good eye-line.

Newsnight debate on home affairs, 2005

Think about the lighting. If you're outside filming, don't have the sun directly behind you. If you're indoors, open the curtains or turn on lights to make the location brighter. Don't stand in front of a window as you may end up in silhouette.

3. Camera!

If you're filming your question on a phone or tablet, hold it horizontally. This will look better on television or a computer screen.

Chelsea Pensioner instructed in the use of a BBC camera, Your Army: Now, 1957

Stability is important: if you're holding your device, lean against something sturdy to keep the picture steady.

Think about the background: is something behind you a distraction or will it add to what you're saying?

4. Action!

Production still, The Office, 2003

There are benefits to being concise and we'll hear what you want to say sooner.

Generally, the shorter a video is, the easier and quicker it will be to upload.


Once you have filmed your clip, you can get it to us in a variety of ways, here's how:

Upload your video clips using #BBCAskThis to any public social media site and we will take it from there.

Message it to us via WhatsApp +44 7525 900971.

Text it to 61124.

Email your videos to us at yourpics@bbc.co.uk remember to put #BBCAskThis in the subject heading.

You can also upload your videos.

Your videos may be used on BBC output on TV, radio, online and on our social media platforms. If they are we will publish your name and location as you provide it, unless you ask us not to.

When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions for sending contributions to the BBC.

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