If your company is in the business of video production or makes its own videos, a dedicated space in your office where videos can be produced is an asset worth investing the time and money into. Think of the time which you will save on traveling to an outside studio, not to mention the ease of transitioning clients or staff from an office meeting into a video session. Here are some top tips for setting up your own in-office video studio.
Find a Quiet Space
A conference room or empty room in an office block is usually the best place. If it is for short-term use, a conference room will be adequate. If you are attempting to set up a permanent in-office video studio, then an empty room where you will not be disturbed during filming and the equipment can be left in place is preferred.
At Pronto, we have a semi-permanent setup in one of our conference rooms. In just a few minutes, it can be transformed from a place for meetings to a video studio ready for shooting.
Designate Your Space
Make sure you have a sign outside the door stating when you are filming, and that people are absolutely not to enter. If you can lock the door, that works well too. Interruptions can otherwise be one of the most frustrating parts of doing in-office video filming. For a permanent video studio, consider a light in the hallway which is only turned on when filming is happening.
The stereotypical CEO in a chair behind a desk or next to a fireplace with fake plants is very amateur. Standing in front of the company logo may work, but generally it makes for a boring shot. A solid-colored background will provide a more professional image.
Off-white is boring and of course glare will be an issue, so try a different color (preferably not overpowering the subject). Bright colors such as yellow, orange, red can reflect lights and also be very unflattering to most subjects. Grey can be a good neutral if your background does not need to be changing.
Stick your backdrop against the wall you will have the subject in front of. You can even use a pole and hang it from the roll out of sight of the video camera. Then when the background gets used looking, pull more 'paper' down and cut the used off. This does not need to be costly; you can find 'seamless' paper from a photography store. If you want to get fancy, make stands for your paper background and have multiple choices.
Using your actual office setting, with people going about their business in the background can be an interesting visual choice. Your video photographer can blur the people in the background to focus upon the subject, a gentle unfocus which does not detract from the main narrator of your video. Whiteboard is also interesting but does offer some lighting challenges.
Natural lighting is not your friend in video filming in an office space. The overhead office lights are equally bad for a number of reasons - pale skin, shadows across the face, glare off any metal accessories. Try to block out sunlight and turn off the overhead lights. Find a decent quality video lighting setup, either at your photography supply store or hardware if you know what sort of watts and lux you are looking for. A three light setup is good.
Or if you'd prefer not to buy professional lighting equipment, here are some great tips for DIY lighting solutions from Wista.
Empty rooms can echo or have a reverb sound on video. To avoid the hollow or 'tin can' effect, you will need to use some sort of sound blocking material. Sound panels are one way to go; other DIY options include hanging up blankets to dampen sound or even bringing in a couch or chair (fabric) to absorb the sound.
Do what you need to until the sound is no longer bouncing around or echoing off walls. Don't forget heating and air cooling noises, and turn those off when possible.
If you are leaving your office studio as a set up and dedicate a room, make sure everyone knows that this is not to be used for extra workspace, casual meetings, lunchtime, or especially as an extra storage room. Keep only what you need for the job in this room to avoid clutter and extra noise and furniture.
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