A Half-Dozen Tips For Co-Hosting Your First Screencast

Mauricio and I created a screencast together. For both of us, it was our first time doing this. Here are a handful of things I learned during the recording and editing process.

Test your setup

Yea, we threw away the whole first day of recording. Test your setup at least once before spending time recording bits. Or be very prepared to throw away things. Maybe always be prepared to throw things away.

Screen share

Our screencast was a discussion so we used Google Meet to screenshare and record audio. We then used OBS to record part of the screen by shrinking the terminal. This makes sure your co-host is in sync and gives space for notes.

Create anchors

There are a few ways to handle this:

  • keep notes of filenames, when recordings started, time you want to anchor on
  • have a picture as part of the recording when you are doing a new take (like a clapper)
  • record audio with your video even when you record audio separately

We did none of these.

Had we recorded at least my voice with the video, I could have sped up the syncing process. Since we were recording a lot of my terminal, there was a lot of the same screens to filter through and they were all silent.

Have a storyboard or scene list

We started with a list of points that we wanted to cover and then weaved it together into scenes. Doing this helped uncover missing bits and create links between scenes. For example, setting a secret in Scene One that we later referenced in Scene Four.

Write a script

The best bits of recording we did were scripted. Hands down. We played off the scripts, were able to flow more information with less pauses, and generally sound less like morons in fewer takes. Honestly, take the time to write one.

It always takes way longer than anyone thought it would

This applies to anything that requires a modicum of creativity but I need to hear it everytime.