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How to Turn Your Office Into a Video Studio

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Chances are, if you're reading this article, you're either a marketer or you have some interest in marketing, and because that's the case, you probably understand that video has become one of the primary ways people consume information and companies market products.

Clearly, marketers need to create engaging, fun videos as part of their marketing efforts. In a previous article, we wrote about how to measure the success of your marketing videos; in this article, we'd like to focus on how to actually create those videos—specifically, where to shoot them.

Some think that you need to buy lots of expensive gear, build a space, and hire a group of people to film your marketing videos. Others think all that is just too much work and end up hiring an outside firm, which can cost a pretty penny.

At Wistia, we make videos not only to market our product, but also to communicate with our customers daily. Since we're a startup, our budget for fancy gear and large film crews is limited. Instead, we've found an in-office setup and process that works for us, and we wanted to share it with you.

Here are five major steps to help you turn your office into a video studio.


1. Shoot in a conference room

Shooting in the middle of your office can be distracting and loud. The first order of business when trying to shoot a video is to find a quiet environment. We recommend using a conference room.

2. Set up a backdrop

Shooting your CEO sitting at a desk with plants in the background just doesn't look cool! On the other hand, shooting a person talking in front of an off-white wall is pretty boring. We recommend using a paper background; you can buy them at any photography supply store. (We use Savage Paper.) Use stands for the background paper or tape it to the wall. These photos show the setup and the result:

3. Don't use overhead lights

Overhead lights can create really nasty shadows on the face, so we recommend that you turn them off. Block out as much outside light as you can and set up lights pointing directly at the subject being filmed, as shown in the following picture below. (For a more detailed description of what type of lights to buy (for under $100) check out the Down and Dirty Lighting Kit.)

4. Deaden up the room to avoid voice echo

Shooting a video in an empty room creates unwanted echoes. To help solve that problem, you need to stop sound waves from bouncing off the walls. We use sound dampening panels from Acoustimac (see our setup below). If you're in a pinch, we recommend simply bringing couches and other furniture into the room you're filming in.

5. Leave your studio set up

Having a dedicated space where you shoot video not only saves you time and makes the process more efficient but also simplifies the entire production a great deal so you can continue making great videos whenever the mood strikes.

* * *

That's all, folks! Go take over the meeting that's going on in your conference room, kick them out and tell them it's time to do something productive: make a video and market some products!


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Dmitry Dragilev consults startups, including Wistia, and more established companies on growth-hacking strategies. Marketer by day and hacker by night, Dmitry loves to develop products and figure out what gets people hooked on using them.

Website: Criminally Prolific

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  • by Fabiola Wed Feb 6, 2013 via web

    What a great resource! I'm definitely saving this article for future reference. I totally agree that video is now becoming a major source of information for consumers. I'm even finding myself naturally being drawn to video reviews when researching a product or company.

  • by Cristina Sierra Wed Feb 6, 2013 via web

    Great article - will certainly use these tips.

  • by Will Smith Wed Feb 6, 2013 via web

    A great article. I've been wondering how to get a professional look on a budget for some time - you've given me the info I need to stop thinking and move on!

  • by @Gardner Wed Feb 6, 2013 via web

    This is useful. I'm the Content Director at Tout.com and in 15 seconds, I show you a similar set-up for $100: http://www.tout.com/m/15sdl2 I have a bunch more 15 second video "Tout Tips" here: http://www.tout.com/hashtags/touttips

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