Setting Up a DIY Office Video Studio

January 3, 2013

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Chris Lavigne


Shooting a video in the middle of an office can be pretty tricky… that’s why we recommend filming in a 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).

Set up a backdrop

Shooting your CEO sitting in a chair with some fake plants in the background doesn’t look cool. We prefer to shoot in front of a solid colored 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. In the Wistia studio, we using a roll of grey paper from Savage Paper, but they make just about any color you can think of.

You can use stands for the paper, or just cut and tape it to the wall.

Use studio lights

Filming with the overhead lights from your office tends to create nasty shadows on the face. And since sunlight changes throughout the day, it can be tough to maintain a consistent look. Turn off the overhead lights, block out as much outside light as you can, and bring in your 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.

Check out our guide to lighting your video for more detailed information!

Control the sound

Shooting in an empty room can create echo and reverb. This is not only distracting, but it sounds like you’re filming in a bathroom! To fix this, you need to deaden up the room.

Sound-dampening panels do the trick, but if you’re in a pinch, bring in a couch or hang up blankets. The goal is to stop sound waves from bouncing off of the walls.

Watch out for distracting, noisy heating vents. Make sure you can turn off the ventilation system in the room where you’re filming.

Leave your setup set up!

If at all possible, leave your studio set up all the time. At Wistia, we’ve found that having a dedicated space to film our 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.

Chris Lavigne


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