Stay-at-home orders shouldn’t impinge on your creative process. In fact, Unpopcultrd notes how many artists have upgraded their home studio to continue churning out great work. Video producers who are just starting out should consider setting up a home office.
This allows you to get to work straight away and start building your client base! However setting up a video production is much more than getting the right equipment, especially if you are going to make your home the official location of your business.
Setting up an official home office
There are two types of people who work from home. Those who do so for an outside company or office, and those who have made their home the location of their own business.
If you are planning to set up a video production office at home, and make it the official location of your business, you will need to establish it as a legitimate legal entity.
To do this you will need to setup as a structure that allows this. ZenBusiness highlights that when you register as an LLC it is perfectly acceptable to set your home address as your business address.
And not only are you a legitimate operation, you can take advantage of the legal protections that structures like LLCs have, such as separating your personal assets from those of the business.
Once you have registered your video production company, and acquired the necessary video and editing equipment, you will need to consider the actual specifics of creating an ideal production home office.
Find your perfect background
A unique background can give your videos a personal and branded touch. Paper backdrops are a common option as they’re less finicky to deal with versus cloth, and there are lots of colors to choose from.
It’s safe to say that each color carries its own personality, and you might want to veer away from anything too bold like bright yellows and reds. However, there’s still huge room for experimentation even with these considerations!
But if you have the budget for it, your best bet would be to opt for a green screen. Having this background allows you to use the chrome keying technique in post-production, which then enables you to create whatever kind of environment your subject needs.
This way, you won’t have to spend much on changing your entire set. If you really want to pour everything into your studio, though, you may want to consider furnishing and decorating it entirely.
Even if a green screen can do the job, having actual furniture there can be useful for a variety of projects like interviews.
Add furnishings to minimize reverb
Minimizing reverb is a huge problem that comes up in any space. Thankfully, photographer Paul F. P. Pogue points out that soundproofing your home can easily be done on a budget.
Rugs and drapes are great ways to dampen sound, and adding a layer of drywall is another option you can take if that’s available to you.
Of course, you can also opt to have your walls professionally soundproofed if you have the budget for it.
But if you’re going DIY, the key to absorbing sound in a room is to make use of items that have a good weight to them but still allow air to pass through, bounce off a wall, and then pass back.
Aside from the previously mentioned items, you may also want to opt for sound blankets as they’re not only ideal for permanent recording setups, but also for location work.
However, you should be prepared to shell out around $200 for a quality blanket. Another option to consider is acoustic foam, which comes in varying sizes, styles, and price points for dealing with different types of sound. If you’re going down this route, it’s best to do some research to get the results you want.
Have a good lighting setup
Of course, it goes without saying that having a good lighting setup is crucial for creating professional-looking video content. Just like with photography, the better lighting you have, the less your camera will have to work to make up the difference.
When you have impeccable lighting, the quality of your content will be elevated, too. The good news is having a good lighting setup won’t necessarily break the bank.
If you can get some natural light into your home, you can work with that for your project, or you can opt for a wallet-friendly ring light.
It may be inexpensive, but it can often deliver quality results. Just make sure that your subject is facing the direction of the light when you shoot, and that there are no unwanted shadows created by objects between your lighting and subject like your camera or tripod.
Additionally, you should also make it a point to keep lighting consistent.
Working with natural sunlight can be tricky because clouds pass and the sun changes position, so ensure that you’re shooting in a space that is well lit with deflected natural light rather than direct sunlight, or just use your artificial lighting setup.
The last thing you want is to make cutting and editing your video come post-production more difficult.
Use communication software
As mentioned in our post on 7 Steps for Setting Up a Video Production Company Office, communication among your team is an important part of operations. Even if you’re working with a small team, you’ll still need to make sure everyone is aligned despite the distance.
Cloud communication platforms like Slack allow for instantaneous communication and are therefore worth looking into, especially as physical communication is now limited.
After all, communication is imperative in business, and having a reliable hub for all your correspondence is key.
It can encourage healthy dialogues between members of the team, and even clients, contractors, and other parties you work with. While having solid communication skills is vital, Forbes notes that having the proper software in place means there is no excuse for any shortcomings.
You can use the communication tool to talk about just about anything, from planning and budgeting to development and management, and even watercooler small talk within the team.
Invest in good internet coverage
Last but not least, you’ll want to revisit your internet coverage and see if you can improve it. Video production takes a huge toll on your connection, whether it’s uploading files or sending them to clients.
If your connection keeps disconnecting, resulting in delayed work, this will affect not just the quality of your content, but how professional your company appears to clients.
Ideally, your internet should be fast enough to handle video calls, 4K streaming, and a bunch of HD video sessions. This way, you can deliver your work to clients without encountering any trouble.
At the very least, ZDNet recommends having a speed of 100Mbps, as this allows you and your team or family to function together online without compromising download performance. Otherwise, if you drop to, say, 25Mbps, you won’t be able to support video streams. You can also say goodbye to 4K video.
Setting up a home office is a worthwhile investment, so you shouldn’t write it off just yet. Investing in the right home office basics will increase the quality of your work exponentially, which can in turn get the clients and funds rolling in.