Is your company getting ready to shoot its next workplace safety video, employee spotlight, onboarding video, company news update, instructional video, web series, or company culture video?
These video shoots can take place in either interior or outdoor spaces, with real backgrounds (offices, living rooms, outdoors) or fake backgrounds (green screens, studio backdrops). Regardless of where your shoot is happening, it’s important to note that beautiful locations don’t just happen. You can help your video producer save setup time by preparing your space prior to the shoot, to ensure that the space looks as good as possible and is ready to be filmed.
In part 1 of this 2-part blog series, we’ll be discussing the steps you can take to prepare your space for an indoor video shoot:
Get Rid of Clutter
If you’re shooting in an office or home, the first and most important thing to do is get rid of any unnecessary clutter in the area that will appear on-camera. Remove anything that is distracting, messy, or doesn’t contribute to the story or message you’re trying to tell. The goal is to create a crisp environment that keeps the audience focused on what’s happening in the video, not on strange looking objects or photos in the background. If needed, take a photo beforehand so you can place things back where they were following the shoot.
Clean the Space
Ensure that anything appearing in your video is wiped down and dusted—this could include desks, computer monitors, keyboards, photo frames, general office supplies, and even the floor (if it’s visible in the camera frame).
Props are an effective and easy way to bring a room to life for a shoot. Here are some different ones you can add (or remove) to prepare your space:
- Flowers: One of the most widely used props in any interior shoots are fresh flowers. Place some nicely arranged flowers on a desk, counter, table or shelf to add a splash of colour to an otherwise neutral-coloured space.
- Artwork: If there is any artwork or photographs in the background (on a desk, wall, computer monitor), know if you have the right to capture it on video. If you’re unsure if you have the right to use the image, have a discussion with your producer. They can help by suggesting a different spot within your space to use as your backdrop. They can also contact artists for you before the shoot date, to ask for the rights.
- Blankets and pillows: If you happen to be shooting in a living room, a beautiful throw or brightly coloured pillow can add a pop to the plain surface of a couch.
- Shelves: If you have a shelf in the background of your video, make sure it is de-cluttered and well-styled. Arrange and diversify any flowers, books, or accessories so that they look authentically scattered but also clean, generic, and visually appealing. Ensure that any recognizable book covers, personal photos, or commercially licensed characters are not visible on the shelves.
- Tables: Particularly for shoots that take place in homes, you’ll usually want to style side or end tables with a bit of colour—either through flowers, a lamp, or other accessories such as vases or globes. Keep all styling minimal—you still want the focus to remain on the subject of your video.
Be Considerate of Mirrors
Although less common in offices than in a house, be aware that mirrors can be tricky for film crews to work around as they need to ensure that the camera, crew and equipment aren’t visible in the reflection.
Communicate with Residents
When shooting in a home, it is best if the home is empty other than the people who are involved in the project. Arrange for someone to take the pets for the day, and someone to take the kids on an outing.
Communicate with Your Team
In the days leading up to the shoot, keep your team in the loop about what is happening. Your producer will give you the estimated length of the shoot, any possible interruptions in day-to-day business, and any impact the shoot may have on employees during the day. If you’re getting candid shots in your office of everyone working, double-check to see if there is anyone (or anything) that does not want to be seen in the video. Your producer will require that everyone on camera sign a “release form” allowing both your company and the video production company the right to use their image. If desks need to be rearranged or removed, let those employees know and give them options for other spaces to work in during the shoot day.
Here at Jillian Irene Lee & Associates, we’re committed to assisting you throughout the entire preparation process of your video(s). If you’d prefer, with early access to the location (such as the office or home), we can prepare the shooting space beforehand and declutter, clean, and add props as needed.
If you are planning to shoot outdoors instead, stay tuned for NEXT WEEK’S blog where we’ll walk you through the preparation of outdoor spaces! In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us and chat – Let’s Talk.