How to remotely collaborate on a video shoot

Technology nowdays made directing a video remotely is firmly within your reach.

By using an HDMI-to-USB converter and your favorite video conferencing software, you can share a video feed from your video camera with anyone, anywhere in the world. With this setup, there are a slew of possibilities to remotely direct a video. No matter where they might be located, you can contribute opinions on subjects like set design, shot framing, and line readings.

Here’s how it all works!

Equipment and setup

First off, you’ll need a camera that has an HDMI output. Ideally, your camera is capable of outputting video over HDMI while still showing up on your camera’s LCD screen. Today, most video cameras and higher-end DSLRs can handle this, but you’ll want to make sure your camera outputs both video and audio over HDMI so that you can see and hear what your camera is shooting.

Next, you’ll need an HDMI-to-USB adaptor. Look for one that has an HDMI loop, such as the USB Capture HDMI Plus adaptor from Magewell, which allows you to still use your HDMI output to hook into a monitor.

I’ve come up with a handy list of some HDMI-to-USB adaptors I’ve tested and used successfully:

With the HDMI adaptor, your video camera feed will essentially show up on your computer as a webcam. From there, you can use a video conferencing or video chat tool to share your camera’s feed with anyone. You can do this via Zoom, but you can use programs like Skype, Google Hangouts,, or even FaceTime. Heck, you could even go live on Facebook if you’d like!

The value of broadcasting your shoot

Recently, we worked for a client that rented a giant video studio outside of Cambridge to film their new front page video. We spent two days in remote production, shooting and setting up the set design to make sure that the video was up to the expectation.

The concept for this particular video hinged on involving our clients and their team who weren’t able to join us in-person during the shoot. Myself, I was working in our HQ in London, and the project’s head manager was working from the studio in Cambridge.

Once on location, I set up a Zoom meeting using the live feed from the Canon 5D in the studio. From about 200  miles away, I was able to help us with the set design and shot framing,shot blocking, on-screen action, and camera settings. It was a seamless way to get more eyes on the shoot and help make it the best it could be.

Why this is the future of Video Production?

The amazing thing about this technology is the fact that can cut cost on production, (i.e travel expenses and time on shooting the video) instead of record and then send the video to us, in order to make the video edit, making the process time consuming, we managed to do this process live, and with Zoom chat we have been able to give direction to our client. Cutting out an amazing 20% from the budget, and if you think about it is a good chunck of money that you can invest in something else like Marketing or Branding.

This feature gives you the opportunity to have a professional at your service, even if is not in the same building as you, who does want to start shooting their own video, without the pressure of spending money on travel but having a professional directing them?


Related Posts

Leave a comment