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Video Production Tips


This is a requirement under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Visit the U of T AODA website for more information on the act and the university’s obligations.

  1. All videos need to either be close captioned (CC) OR there must be transcripts available online.
  2. YouTube has an auto-captioning feature, but for various reasons the speech recognition isn’t very good yet and the built-in captioning is not an effective tool by itself.
  3. However, YouTube has very robust tools to make captioning easier, including a full-featured caption editor and uploader.
  4. Watch a short (captioned) video about captioning and why it is important.

Use of music:

You must get permission from the copyright holder(s) or publisher(s) to use their music in your video. Using music without permission is illegal.

Music rights can be quite expensive, and it is often difficult to track down the owners, so it’s a good practice to purchase from a royalty-free music library. Two to consider are: Unique Tracks and iStock. You might also wish to look at “out-of-copyright” sites such as Open Music Archive.

If you are interested in purchasing the rights to music or if you are not sure if a work has entered the public domain in Canada, consult the experts at the Society for reproduction rights of authors, composers and publishers in Canada (SODRAC). The email for the audio licensing department is

To learn more, visit the Copyright Board of Canada’s website. On the site, you will find the full text of the Copyright Act, in addition to all of the Canadian copyright management organizations.


You must obtain written permissions from anyone featured in your video. Crowd shots are typically fine, but if a subject is identifiable, you must get their written consent. See: Photography & Video Releases.

Still images:

You must also have permission from the subject(s) and the photographer to use any still images in your video. Stock images and photography can be purchased online from companies such as iStock. Other images are licensed under the Creative Commons.


While the U of T Visual Identity Guidelines for videos has not been released yet, it is a good practice to incorporate your U of T wordmark at the end of your video. You may also choose to place your logo either as a watermark in the corner, or at full screen resolution at the start of your video.


If you’re not filming in your own space, make sure you get permission to film on campus. Generally shooting outdoors is fine, but do ask before you shoot inside any building.

For more information: