How to Design a Cool Video Background (Set)

newdesk.set-1Have you ever looked at a video and something just wasn’t right about it?

Maybe the background was cluttered or there was an object on screen that was distracting, or maybe the setting just didn’t match the subject matter.

Whoever created the video didn’t give any thought to the set or background, and this can be a fatal flaw in a production.

The background or set is just as important as what you say and how you look. It should reinforce the message and at a minimum do nothing to distract from your message.

That means you should pour some time and thought into the background. You wouldn’t record an interview or video of a lawyer at a gym, or a doctor at a swimming pool. Well, maybe you would if the story is about professionals who exercise and enjoy active activities for leisure. You get the point, the setting shouldn’t be an afterthought.

The Production Set

When we were launching Web Video Chefs, I experimented by shooting a couple of videos (pilot episodes) in my actual kitchen. The background worked for the most part, but in the end, I decided that it would be easier to shoot in my home studio. I have video production equipment in my office that I use as props and for demonstrations all the time. It’s more convenient and less complicated.

The desk I’ve been using up until now has served me well. It’s gotten plenty of camera time and all of my equipment fit fine, but it wasn’t designed specifically for editing. It’s time for an upgrade. A friend donated a production desk to my home studio, and I show it off in the video below.

I think it looks official. What do you think?

Here are a few set ideas for you to consider:

Backdrop: This can be a painted wall or a backdrop like a pipe and drape. It’s always best to light the background as well as the speaker separately.

Greenscreen: Chroma key or green screen is an effect that removes all of a certain color or hue which is normally a green or blue back drop. Once the color is removed it can be replaced with another image. This option requires the most postproduction, but shooting a video green screen can work if you need some flexibility with the background. Lighting is important when shooting a green screen. The light should be even and the speaker needs to be lit separately without casting shadows.

Home Office: A home office is an ideal space to use as a set. Be sure to dress it up with books or items that represent your brand. You can shoot on a clutter free desk or in front of a bookcase, or even against a wall. Watch the windows and lighting. Sometimes light will work in your favor, sometimes it won’t.

White Board: White board videos are getting more and more popular. You can use a white board or an easel and have some of your points pre-written or you can write out some of the info as you’re presenting it.

If you’d like to learn more about the equipment that was used or shown in the video click the affiliate links below:
Camera: Canon Vixia HFR30 ($264)
Microphone: Radio Shack Tie Mic ($32)
Tripod: Targus 58 Inch ($22)
Lights: Cowboy Studio Light Kit ($63)
Desk Equipment
Mac Book Pro
USB Mic Audio Technica AT 2005 ($89)
Electro-Voice RE-20 ($450)
Boom Mic Stand ($22)
Studio Monitors: Samson Media ONE ($199)

Have you had a set related challenge or question? Leave it below.

About Amani Channel

Amani Channel is a former news reporter, a vlogger, an award winning video producer, and an adjunct professor. He also helps organizations and companies create visual stories through VisualEyeMedia.

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