Given the current state of things, our clients are being asked to create their own content, often having to find somewhere in their house to set things up. It’s a new reality, but often the comforts of home can take you out of your comfort zone and that can feel intimidating.

Whether it’s joining you for a video chat so we can do a location scout for the best space to film in your house or giving you recommendations on the best equipment to make you look and sound great, Hothouse is here to help.

Check out this simple and easy to follow video produced by our in-house video director Roger Okamoto on steps you can take to get the best quality you can out of your home video production. Then use this quick guide below as a cheat sheet the next time you say “action”.

Shooting interviews

1. Keep your phone horizontal: Horizontal video looks the best and gives you flexibility to post the video in any application and platform.
2. Keep your phone steady: Secure your preferably on a tripod to keep it from moving.
3. Framing the interview: Sit up straight and make sure your phone is at eye level. Keep the background simple and not distracting.
4. Attire: Do not wear clothing that is the same color as your chair or the wall behind you.
5. Don’t Stop if You Mess Up: If you make a mistake or want to say it better, don’t stop the camera, just start over or from where you left off. That’s what editing is for.
6. Know where to look: During virtual interviews, set up your computer near your phone. Speak and look at your phone not the interviewer.

Lighting

1. Find the Best Lighting: To get rid of unwanted shadows on your face, find an area with diffused or soft light.
2. Front lighting is Key: Make sure that a window or light source is not directly behind you. The light should be in front of you.
3. Light Kit: If natural light is a problem, invest in a light kit made for filming. Use the email below for assistance.

Audio

1. Eliminate Background Noise: Minimize additional sounds including AC, appliances, open windows and other people talking to get the cleanest sound possible.
2. Walking and Talking: Lavalier microphones allow you to be more active. Be sure to attach the lavalier mic to your collar so that it doesn’t rub against the fabric of your shirt.
3. Check the Sound: Once you’re set up, do a sound test and listen back before rolling to ensure sound quality..

B-roll
B-roll is an industry term for additional footage including action shots, other people and objects either inside or outside. Using these shots create a better visual experience.

1. Shoot Horizontally: Keep your phone horizontal and keep it level as possible.
2. Keep it Steady: Try not to shake your phone, be smooth if you are following an action.
3. Find the Best Light: If you notice the shot is too dark, move positions to see if changing your vantage point improves the quality.

Upload

We recommend uploading your final video files to Dropbox using the app and create a shareable link to pass on to post-production. We can work with you to develop the story, the edit, generate graphics, color correct and deliver the final video with professional sound.

Good Luck!

Don’t be overwhelmed. We’re here to help. For additional shooting questions and guidance on equipment, contact Roger Okamoto at rokamoto@hothouseinc.com