I'm not what you'd call a "neat and tidy" individual. The Wistia studio often looks like a tornado of camera bodies, lenses, and light stands swept through. Of course, I know where everything is, but it's not always so easy for other folks at Wistia to locate a camera, tripod, and SD card to shoot an impromptu video.
Enter the Wistia video cart.
Democratizing video across Wistia
As a video-centric company, we try to democratize video across everyone on the team. If someone at Wistia has an idea for a video, they should feel empowered to get out there and make it! So far, the camera cart has enabled more people to get going.
Our community manager, Elise, wheeled the cart up to her Mod Minute shoots (you can watch the latest episode in the Community). Customer champion Olivier rolled it downstairs (and then upstairs) to work on his series explaining the inner workings of the Wistia application.
Above all else, what makes the camera cart most valuable is that at any point, anyone from Wistia has a dedicated video setup at their disposal. No need to root around the studio trying to find a spare light stand or tripod. It's not awkward for someone to ask me if they can borrow a camera and lens for the weekend. It's right there on the cart, so have at it!
This is literally what the studio looks like right now.
What's on the video cart?
The camera cart was built to house the essential video gear that any Wistian might need to shoot a video. We invested in purchasing new gear specifically for the camera cart, from light stands to the camera lens.
Wheel the camera cart on over to a shoot and you'll be ready to roll in no time!
- 3 light stands
- Boompole holder
- Canon 5D Mark III
- 50mm f/1.4 lens
- 24-105mm f/4.0 lens with Image Stabilizer
- Sennheiser ME-66 Microphone
- Zoom H5
- XLR Cable
- 2 Cool Lights
- GoPro with adaptors and mounts
To build the cart itself, I picked up a utility cart from ULINE and filled the top shelf with pick and pluck foam. One tricky thing was fitting the two Cool Lights to the cart. I commissioned my dad (#bigraymachine) to bolt up dummy light stand holders to the sides of the cart.
It's worth noting here that if you're going to build your own camera cart, go big or go home. The one we ordered was a bit smaller than I would have liked, and I've been kicking myself for not sending it back for a bigger one.
What's next: where to improve
The camera cart was an experiment, and we have some work to do to make it even better. Some things that I haven't quite figured out yet include:
- How to organize SD cards for multiple people
- Making sure there's always a charged battery
- Adding a wide lens
Most importantly, I can do a much better job being more encouraging for people all around Wistia to experiment with the cart! The whole point of the thing was to get used, so I want it to be in use more and more. Time behind the camera is the best way to learn and get comfortable producing video.
Have you made any efforts to democratize video across your company? How do you handle shared equipment across your team? How the heck do you keep all of your batteries charged?!
Curious about getting started with video? See how Laura, Olivier, and Trevor have already used the camera cart for internal communication at Wistia.