Updated: Oct 4
I’ve been shooting vidoes in the middle of my office for years now. It can be pretty tricky. I know many of my readers want to do this, so I’ve put together a blog of the equipment you need to buy and some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
WHERE TO SHOOT
I have 3 places I shoot in
Conference Room: Shooting in a conference room will not only give you control over lighting and ambient noise, but it will keep you from distracting the entire office (and keep the entire office from distracting you).
Desk: I love my setup by my desk because it’s convenient. I can be up and shooting in no time. You definitely need to have a desk setup!
Office Shot: I love my “Office Point Of View” shot. This is where you see the entire background of my office and it gives the viewer proof that I actually have a space where I do business.
SETTING YOUR BACKDROP
Each of the spaces above can have a specific background that you want people to see. There’s a cool way of setting up a backdrop, and there’s a cheesy way. Shotting yourself sitting in a chair with some fake plants in the background doesn’t look cool….not anymore at least. It’s better to shoot in front of a solid colored background.
WARNING: Please stay away from computer-generated backdrops…like shooting in front of a green screen and then the video editor replaces the green screen with a scene from the beach. This is very 1990’s news reporter style.
In my office backdrop shot, I make sure I grab an angle that you can see the best parts of my office. I clean up, make sure everything is nice. I angle the camera so that the room is centered.
If I am going to film with no background, filming against an off-white wall looks pretty boring, and can lead to nasty glare and reflections. Instead, use a roll of seamless paper from a photography supply store.
I use studio lights. The overhead lights in my office create nasty shadows on my face and glare on the top of my head. And since sunlight changes throughout the day in my office, it can be tough to maintain a consistent look. So I cover or turn off the overhead lights, I block out as much outside light as I can, and I bring in my own video lighting.
You don’t need fancy lights to get a good image. 3 well-placed lights should get you just the amount of light that you need.
Here’s a link to the lights I use: Neewer 1600W Photo Studio Video Softbox Lighting Kit (copy and paste this into Amazon).
SOUND LIKE A PRO
In my office, recording sound creates echo and reverb. This is not only distracting, but it sounds like you’re filming in a bathroom! To fix this, you need great recording equipment.
First, I recommend you get the Blue Microphones Snowball iCE Black Microphone with Knox Studio Boom Arm & Pop Filter. You’ll need this for podcasting and filming from your desk.
If you’re not filming from your desk, you’ll want a way to capture your sound that is NOT directly the sound your camera captures. You’ll need the Zoom H1n Digital Handy Portable Recorder. Get the entire kit that comes with the memory card, etc. You’ll need it all.
WARNING: Watch out for distracting, noisy heating vents. Make sure you can turn off the ventilation system in the room where you’re filming.
LEAVE (OR REMEMBER) YOUR SETUP
If at all possible, leave your studio set up all the time. At my office, I’ve found that having a dedicated space to film my videos has allowed for greater spontaneity and simplified the production of new videos. If you’re planning on filming multiple videos, and if you can sell it to your team, having a dedicated space can save you a ton of time.
So there you go! Now go shut down that meeting in your company’s conference room and get your studio set up! Just don’t tell them we told you to do it.
This is my own personal setup that I have at my office.
Professional Camera Kit – Panasonic Lumix G7 (link to entire kit)
Get the kit that comes with a memory card, battery, etc. You’ll need it all.
Tripod – AmazonBasics 60 Inch Lightweight TripodThe camera kit above has a tripod, but if you’re buying things separately, get this tripod.
Additional SD card – SanDisk Ultra UHS I Memory 64GThe camera kit above comes with a 32GB. You’ll want an additional 64GB.
Extra BatteriesThe camera kit above has extra batteries, but if you’re buying things separately, you’ll need extra batteries.
Desktop Web Camera – Logitech Widescreen Calling Recording
I do all of my quick recordings, zoom calls, social media LIVES with this camera.
Buy this entire kit. It comes with bulbs. It’s ready to go.
You need this. Don’t think about it. Just buy it.
External Recorder – Zoom Portable Recorder
If you really want your video sound to be on point, you need to record your audio separately with this.
Camera Mounted – Rode Video Mic Fuzzy Windjammer Kit
This is if you’re in the car or outside and someone is recording you.
Teleprompter Remote – Satechi Bluetooth Multi Media Remote
IPad or Phone – I’m assuming you have a phone or ipad mini or android tablet you can use. You’ll need to download a teleprompter app.
Teleprompter Tripod (heavy duty) – Mactrem Travel 11lb load