Posted by Tim Vidra / January 12, 2012
How To: Turn Your Laptop Computer into an Undercover Video Camera
For those of you interested in how we actually pulled off filming Basil while we went to dinner this past weekend, it was pretty simple and didn't require anything other than a computer. So long as you have a computer with a built in camera, you should be able to start spy filming without any trouble in your own home.
The following set of instructions will be relevant for those with a mac laptop that already has a webcam built into the top of the screen. It shouldn't be that difficult to apply these instructions to other computers though, with comparable photo applications and an attached webcam.
4. Select system preferences from the drop-down menu.
5. Select desktop & screensaver, then click on the screensaver tab (orange arrow below, wait till later for the green arrow).
6. Move the dial at the bottom to never (pictured above).
7. Go back to system preferences screen and select energy saver (green arrow from image before last — I told you to wait for it).
8. Move both dials (computer sleep and display sleep) to never (pictured below).
9. Now that your settings are ready to go, go back to Photobooth and test video taping to ensure you have the right area of coverage.
10. Make sure your computer is hooked up to a charger so it won't die in the middle of your video.
11. Place laptop in area of home you wish you video and let her roll.
12. When finished filming, make sure to revert back to your original settings to save your battery life moving forward.
Now that you've got your raw video footage, hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised with your findings like we were with Basil! If you want to share your findings, you can edit your video using a video editing application — we went with iMovie editor.
....aaaaannndddd once more for laughs?