After running and gunning for all of my first YouTube videos I started to feel the need for my own mini studio. Making vlogs for my company became a lesson in how noisy the world is and how hard it was to find good light to use. “If only I had a nice looking, well lit, and quiet place I could shoot videos…” I thought.
After building my own studio, I can now confirm those thoughts. Building a studio was worth the time and effort (they don’t even really cost that much). I’ll cover how I built my own DIY Video Studio in a future post, but today here are all the reasons why you should consider building one yourself.
1. Greater Control of Light
“Lights, camera, action” was the traditional phrase directors used to begin a new take. Of all the things going on on the set, lights came first. The visual is the more important part of a video and without good light, the video will be less effective.
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After running around with my Canon DSLR to shoot videos for my employer, it became more and more apparent that good lighting was lesson common than I had previously thought. Inside was too dark, outside was too light during the workday, and there were only a few rooms out of the entire campus I worked on that had good window light where the room itself made for an OK backdrop.
Having greater control of light is the primary reason why you should build your own studio. A dedicated studio means dedicated lights that you can spec for the space. That way, all you have to do to get ideal light each time is to walk in the room and flick on the lights, turn on the camera, and if you’re feeling dramatic, yell action. (ok, so maybe there are a few more steps in there, but you know what I mean)
2. Better Audio (ish)
Most people, however, can forgive mediocre to poor lighting if the content of the video is good. What few can stand though is bad audio. It’s just more distracting than poor lighting. We are easily distracted by the hissss of a bad microphone, unexpected noises, or when we can’t quite hear the dialog.
The problem is that it is noisy everywhere. If you record outside, the sound of lawnmowers, cars, helicopters, planes, and people yelling create constant interruptions and become a cause for more takes. When you travel inside, the noise continues from the work happening or kids playing (if you are recording at home).
A studio (mostly) fixes this problem. Having a dedicated room where you can shut the door, does eliminate most noise. Unless you soundproof your room though, some noise from other rooms, neighbors, or the air conditioner will still create noise.
Having a dedicated studio space also makes it easier to adjust the room with sound dampeners to eliminate echo and reverb to capture better audio. So, while it may not make for perfect audio with a lot of additional work of soundproofing, having a dedicated space can eliminate most audio problems.
3. A More Formal & Professional Look
It’s important to understand that low-quality video does not mean the video can’t be great. Low-quality videos can still get massive attention because they can still be highly entertaining, inspirational, informative, or just plain useful. Still, you increase the odds of that video performing well if a little extra time is taken to light the video and ensuring the audio is crisp. Also known as a professional appeal.
All the obstacles I’ve already listed above hindered many of my videos. I may get the shot, but it was too dark. I may get a great take of for an interview only to discover the air conditioner sound ruined the audio.
Studios up the professional quality to increase the likelihood that people will continue watching your video and share it. A more professional appeal gives it credibility.
4. Faster Turn Times
It can take a lot of valuable time to hunt for locations that have favorable recording conditions. You have to plan, prep the space, set up your gear, , take down the gear, clean up, and then spend more time correcting unavoidable problems in post-production. The problems are inconsistent too, so I found I am always spending extra time learning how to adjust for problems in post-production in Adobe Premiere during my editing to overcome the issues.
Recording with a studio helps you avoid many of those issues listed above and creates a more streamlined editing process ensuring you can produce videos faster.
What you can spend that extra time on instead:
- Spend extra time thinking about and planning the actual content.
- Spend time adding the extra details into a video you normally don’t have time for (maybe some folly, subtitles for social media, or more intricate transitions).
- Spend time improving the process for even faster results.
- Spend time improving your skills in a way that adds value you videos rather than simply correcting mistakes.
- Spend time promoting the video on YouTube and other social media sites.
- Lastly, the best bullet point deserved its own heading below.
5. Ability to Produce More Videos
If you can turn out videos faster, you can produce more videos! This is a huge benefit in a digital age where speed and volume (in addition to quality). A studio not only saves you time and increases the quality, but it can also earn you more money just based on your ability to produce more.
Here’s an idea of how producing more videos can help you earn more money:
- Freelance videographer: you can take on more clients.
- YouTube creator: you can produce more high-value content more consistently, getting more attention from YouTube’s algorithm, building more loyalty with an audience, and increasing the chances you will have a hit video.
- In-house videographer: you can increase the odds of success that your employer wins which makes for a compelling argument for a raise, a promotion, or an invitation to get a higher paying job at another company.
6. Easier to Reshoot
It’s inevitable. Without or without a studio, you will have to reshoot video. It may be from a mistake or you just may need to add a few extra lines to tie the project together.
A video studio also makes that process easier because you had control of the environment from the beginning. You can reshoot the same shoot with the same conditions you had before.
7. Visual Consistency
When you start to grow an audience it becomes important to have some consistency. Consistency doesn’t necessarily need to come visually, but it is certainly the most relied upon tactic to ensure there is some continuity from video to video.
Brands do the same thing with graphic design. They create a “visual identity” that is used across the whole product line so that their customers know how to identify their products in the sea of options. It creates familiarity and familiarity builds trust.
Again, you wouldn’t want to be consistent in every way, but having a consistent visual aesthetic for your studio while you explore other creative ways to intrigue the audience is a great strategy to ensure your audience remains loyal.
8. Increased Credibility
Over time, poor quality video reflects on your brand. Don’t misread me though. I know poor quality can win if the content is remarkable. Just take look at the legendary TEDx Talk from Simon Sinek. It’s a horribly produced video, yet is one of the most successful TED Talks of all time and has over 5 million views.
Though, if you watch any recent videos from Simon (like the one below), you may notice improved video quality.
It’s not that people won’t like low-quality videos, it’s that high-quality videos have an extra edge to them that increases the odds of success. High-quality videos still fail miserably all the time. Content is still king, but a polished king has an advantage.
What equipment is needed for a DIY video studio? Beyond a video camera and microphone, video studios are usually equipped with dedicated lighting, soundproofing/dampening devices, and backdrops for creating interesting backgrounds for videos. Equipment can range from a single halo light in your bedroom to a dedicated room full of professional and semi-professional equipment.
How much does a DIY Video studio cost? You can rig a studio together in your closet with items laying around your house for free, buy a simple $300 kit from Amazon, or build out a custom $10,000 studio at your place of employment. Or, any combination of the those three.