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11, Nov 2019

Seattle Videographer Blog

How Not To Choose A Location For Your Video

Why should you care about location when you can have your hired videographer figure this out for you. Time and money. Not having a location set at the beginning of a shoot has, in my experience, effectively double the time of the shoot costing clients money that could be better used elsewhere. I can promise you will save more money doing proper preparation for a shoot then from haggling down on a rate. Tricks like this will either save your bottom line or open up the capabilities of hiring better freelancers.In the world of video there is really no standard set of rules for how a video “should” be made, but rather a set of sins that are to be avoided at all costs. In the spirit of hollywood I’m going to lay out all the Don'ts for picking a location for your video.

  1. No noisy locations
  2. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING... is worse than bad audio. It is often underestimated, but in truth, nothing will ruin your video faster than bad audio. Your video could be taken with a flip phone from the early 2000s with great audio, and it will still get the job done far better than a 4K video with a leaf blower in the background. This is an extreme example but quite often interviews and dialogue are ruined from being recorded in a room with a noisy AC, a humm from a refrigerator and or ambient sound from people talking outside the door. Modern microphones can pick up an incredible amount of sound from any space. Therefore it's recommended to stop and listen for 10 -30 seconds for the sounds you can hear from a room. There's never a perfect situation, but it's advisable to avoid places near vending machines, drinking fountains that have a cooling unit, kitchens, and places that have heavy foot traffic or are hubs for conversation.

  3. Don’t choose a boring location ie. no white wall
  4. About 99% of the videos I shoot take place in an office or a conference room, and these locations are often quite boring and droll. Cool backgrounds involve visual texture and style; depth, cool colors, weird art pieces, moving parts, odd materials, style. I can also tell you what an interesting background is not: a plain, white wall. Unless you’re trying to produce an apple commercial a standard white wall looks very bad on camera. The lack of depth and color makes everything appear boring which is the worst sin of all. Keep things interesting!

  5. No Extreme light
  6. Any location that is very dark or very bright, by conventional standards, is going to be a bad choice unless your videographer has lights. Anyone who has dabbled in Airbnb knows that natural lighting is always looks the best and this is not necessarily wrong. However, using light from a window can be a double-edged sword because the light from outside can change constantly. One moment you could have a flawless image, then the clouds part and all of a sudden the shot is completely blown out. Because of this it’s smart to check weather conditions. Cloudy skies actually make the best light.

    fluorescent lightsmixed light situation

    Additionally you want to avoid a location that has multiple light sources. I won;t go too deep into it but places with many sources of light can throw off the way a camera sees color cause a less than flattering “instagram filter” for lack of a simpler term. Rule of thumb fluorescent lights looks the worst. To keep things simple: Cloudy day = daylight good, sunny day= pick a room with one type of light.

    Following these 3 “no-no’s” you are well on your way to producing a beautiful video and create a situation that will allow your videographer to do their best work or alternatively saving you a considerable ammount of time/money.

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