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Technology / Podcasting and video tips

How to set up a home-office video recording studio

If you create video content for your business, or you’re interested in doing so, a designated studio space will help give your videos a professional look.

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The good thing is – you probably already own everything you need to pull together a quality video recording studio for your small business video, and it can be set up in as little as 15 minutes.

Equipment

Gather your ‘kit’, which might include:

  • Camera (a proper video camera is better, but a phone camera will also do the job)
  • Tripod or something to lean the camera on
  • Lamps – at least three would be ideal
  • Props – pot plants, wall paintings etc. (anything that will ‘set the scene’)
  • Chairs or a lounge to sit on 

Space

Select a space that has room to move and is above all quiet so that you get clean sound. 

Find a nice backdrop that isn’t facing into the sun or a bright light – think ‘window looking onto a pretty garden or cityscape’, or a wall with character, such as red brick or wall decorated with paintings. You might decide to close the blinds or curtains so that the light stays constant. 

"Frame the shot with their face in the top left corner. This is called the ‘rule of thirds’ and will help your video look more professional."

Layout

This is where we get clever. Position the main lamp beside the couch/chair, with other lamps lighting the space (outside the frame). Your subject might be sitting or standing toward the left of the shot.  

Framing

Frame the shot with their face in the top left corner. This is called the ‘rule of thirds’ and will help your video look more professional (see image).

Zoom in or move your camera so that their head and torso take up about a third of the frame. With up-close shots such as these, a little make-up (even on men) creates a better quality look.

Shooting

Carry out a test shot. Don’t trust your eyes! Export the video and check for clean sound with no background noise (humming fans, whistling windows etc.), good lighting and a clearly visible face.

If the subject’s face is too dark, reposition the lamps. Remove the lampshades if necessary and use them to light up the face, but keep them out of the frame. Soft, full light is what you’re going for here.

Look for shadows from any of the lamps – you may have to move the lamps higher, lower, closer or further away in order to avoid casting dark shadows on the walls or under the eyes.

Check your sound levels. They should be clearly audible but never ‘peaking’ (too loud). If your camera has a meter, keep the sound level at around 75 per cent. If you are using the camera’s microphone you may have to move the camera closer or further away, and then refocus. 

Export the video and once again check for quality of sound, lighting and focus. Continue this process until you’re happy with the effect. 

And there you have it! Your studio is set up to look and sound professional. Best of all – it costs you nothing extra. It gets easier every time you set it up and should only take a minute or two to from then on. 

Have you created a video in your home-office video recording studio? Please share a link to it below, and let us know your tips for creating a professional look.

Jerome Rault

is the founder of Jerome Rault Media, a Melbourne-based production company offering TV commercial production, general media services and corporate video filming, as well as web video solutions and music video production services.

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