Location Search Information for Brand Story Videos2018-08-18T22:49:46+00:00

Where Should We Film Your Brand Story Video?

So your Brand Story Video filming date is fast approaching. But where should we film your video?

Before you freak out about it, let’s take a deep breath and try to relax. We promise it’s all going to be okay. And it will all work out perfectly – it ALWAYS does.

To keep you calm and help you feel like everything is under control and totally doable, we’ve prepared a whole page of information to help guide you in the location search, including pictures and videos of places we’ve filmed before that may make the search even easier than you expected.

First, let’s start with the basics of what you need to know…

(Click on the links below to learn more)

When it comes to finding locations for your Brand Story Video shoot, the most important space is the location where we will be filming your sit-down interview. The interview shot will be the main shot that the viewer will see the most of during your video. It’s also typically the most challenging space to find and get right, so we always start first with that location. Also, keep in mind that we always film the interview FIRST thing in the day, and it usually takes up the first half of the filming day – around 4 hours. We typically all arrive on set in the morning, around 9am or 10am, you get your makeup done and your hair professionally touched up while we set up the equipment, decorate the set, and properly frame the shot, and then we film your interview while your makeup is still fresh, and while you are the most alert and able to think clearly.

The interview is always shot in a controlled, indoor setting. Filming outdoors presents way too many issues and distractions that make the filming process even longer and more exhausting for you than it needs to be. So that being said, we are looking for an indoor space that is private, quiet, and where we can control the elements as much as possible. For example, we are looking for a space where we can shut off the phone, the air conditioner, the music, the refrigerator, etc., and where no one else will need to use that space for the time we are there filming the interview. So this is the main location that we are looking for first. A lovely, indoor space that is ON-BRAND for you in terms of colors, style, furniture selection, etc. We want the look and feel of this space to accurately reflect your brand.

We are also looking for a space that is generally quiet, meaning not a house on a super busy street with lots of traffic noise that is rampant at all hours of the day, and not a house right next to an airport, where the sound of large planes is nonstop all the time. Also, not a place where there is currently loud construction going on near the property.

Other things to consider are: what day of the week is trash day, or what day of the week does the gardener come? We always try to avoid filming on those days whenever possible.

The afternoon on our Brand Story Video filming day is spent filming what we refer to as “b-roll shots”. B-roll is the visual footage that tells your story and captures the essence of your brand visually. So this could be shots of you consulting with clients 1-on-1 or in a group scenario, doing your work alone, and even lifestyle shots that represent your brand. These shots are filmed AFTER the interview is finished, in the afternoon on your Brand Story Video filming day. And yes, we need a great location to film these shots as well. However, we typically start first with finding and securing the main interview shot location, and then we build the rest of our filming day around it. Think of your interview setting as our foundation, or home base, and then we will figure out what is nearby to that first location, and try to find other great spots in the area to finish up with the rest of the b-roll shots.

Sometimes one great location, like a large house with a lot of great spaces, will be the only location we will need to accomplish everything. For example, if there’s a great living room that will work well for the interview, and a great backyard plus a bunch of other cool areas in and around a property that will work well for the b-roll shots. Another great all-inclusive location could be a hotel suite, where we are able to use the hotel room for the interview, and the outdoor and public hotel spaces for the b-roll shots. When we don’t have access to one location that has spaces for everything, we often start at one location, like a home setting for the interview part of the day, and then we move on to various other nearby locations to capture the b-roll footage we need.

So now that you understand the gist of what we’re looking for and why, let’s talk about how you find the right location(s).

The best case scenario is that you either already own or rent a home, apartment, office, or home office space that will work well. In case there is any confusion about what type of space “works well”, we’ve provided some sample images and videos below.

If you do not have access to a space that you currently own or rent that will work well for you, then the next best option is to BORROW a space from a friend who has a setting that is on-brand for you. Borrowing is typically free, if you ask nicely. So that’s the second best option if you don’t own or rent the perfect place.

We’ve also included a location checklist and a hotel location list for your convenience. The location checklist will give you a few things to keep in mind when scouting locations. The hotel location list includes a list of hotels we have previously filmed in with past clients that may be of interest to you, and it also includes a list of nearby hotels that we haven’t yet filmed in, but look like they have suites and nice areas on the property that could be great for filming. We’ve also included pictures of the spaces we’ve already filmed in, so that you can see what the shot looked like once it was properly setup.

We will continue to add to our location list as we film with more and more clients. So if you find something here that you absolutely love and want to book, then that’s great! And if not, then at least you’ll have an idea of what has worked well for our clients in the past.

Location Checklist
Hotel Location List

OUR BEST RECOMMENDATION – FILM YOUR BRAND STORY VIDEO IN A HOME SETTING:

Below are some Brand Story Videos filmed in our clients’ homes, or in a home setting that they borrowed from a friend. Keep in mind that the space we film in typically doesn’t look exactly like this when we arrive on location. We normally have to move some furniture around, add some plants or flowers to the shot, clean up some clutter, etc. What we’re looking for is a nice wall color (not just a plain white wall with nothing really to look at), nice looking furniture and accessories, etc.

Also, keep in mind that the background should always be relevant to your area of expertise. So if you are a nutritionist or health coach, then it may make sense to film with a kitchen in the background. But if you’re a coach or consultant, then it makes the most sense to film in a nice living room setting.

Take a look at these photos to get a better sense of the types of elements that look nice in a shot.

Pay close attention to the visual details in the images and video sample above.

For example, we normally don’t film right up against a wall – we prefer to have some depth in the background. We also normally don’t film right up against a window, because then the shot can get very bright and appear blown out in the background. So you’ll notice that most of these shots either have no windows, or have just a little bit of window included in the shot, but not directly behind the on-camera talent.

When a home setting is not readily available to you, or if you just don’t know anyone
who has a perfect space for you to borrow, below are 7 ideas to assist in the location search.

IDEA #1 – HOTEL ROOMS & SUITES:

There is always the option of renting a hotel space, but you don’t want it to LOOK like you’re at a hotel, so it would need to be a hotel suite that fits the decor of your brand, or a nice hotel room that has a really nice separate living room setting area.

The best way to search for this is to Google hotels in the specific area you want to stay in, and see what comes up. Then, just go to the websites and look at the pictures of the rooms, suites, conference rooms, common areas, etc.

Keep in mind that when you rent a hotel room or suite, you typically need to rent it for 2 full days, since checkout at a hotel is normally between 10am-12pm, and check-in is usually between 3pm-4pm. So you’ll want to rent the room for the night before the shoot and the night of the shoot, at the minimum.

If you’re coming in from out of town, try to find a space in Orange County, which will make it easier and faster for us to get to the location.

Download to the hotel location PDF to see some actual hotel locations we’ve used in the past, along with pictures of what the shots looked like on camera. If you happen to like any of these, then that could make the search very easy, as you can just call the hotel and make sure you book the right room.

IDEA #2 – OUR GEFFNER PRODUCTIONS HOME STUDIO (ONLY AVAILABLE ON SATURDAYS):

We charge $250 to rent out our unit for the day, which covers the cleaning fee to make sure that our place looks great for your filming date, and the cost of production insurance in case anything were to happen during the day of filming.

We’ve included a photo of what the interview shot looks like to film inside our unit. It’s not a traditional living room setup, but if you like this shot, then you are welcome to film here. We can also rearrange the furniture to your liking. We’ve also included a few extra shots of the studio from a few different angles so you can see the elements we have available.

IDEA #3 – OUR GEFFNER PRODUCTIONS ON SITE CLUBHOUSE: 

Our community property is called Newport Bluffs. There is a clubhouse on site that can be rented for $500/day on a weekday, or $650/day on the weekend. If you know for sure you love this space, and want to book it, let us know as soon as you can, so we can make sure it’s available on your filming date. This property requires non-refundable payment in full at the time of booking.

On the right are several pictures of the room from different angles.

IDEA #4 – AIRBNB.com:

This is another potential place to look for nice home settings. There are thousands of listings on this site, and they usually have a ton of great pictures. It’s easy to search & sort by location, price, etc.

To learn more, check out: Airbnb.com

It may take some time to find the right space on Airbnb. Also, just like a hotel, you have to rent for multiple days to be able to have access to the space all day on your day of filming (since check-in is usually 3pm or 4pm, and check out is normally 11am or 12pm).

However, clients of ours have found success with this method. We recently filmed with 2 clients (Rebecca and Marga) at 2 different Airbnb locations that they each rented for our filming day, and also stayed in while they were in town for their video shoots (see screenshots above).

Rebecca (in blue) brought all the flowers/plants and the throw pillows for the couch in her brand colors. Marga (in pink) did not need to bring anything with her, as the place she rented already had everything she needed.

Keep in mind that in both of these instances, it did take them some time to find these spaces – lots of searching. However, in the end, they both loved the locations they chose, and each of their videos came out looking great!

If you happen to love either of the above-pictured Airbnb locations, let us know, and we will share the specific listing with you. If not, then at least you’ll have an idea of what has worked well for some of our clients in the past.

IDEA #5 – LOCAL REAL ESTATE AGENTS:

Another idea that has worked well in the past for a few of our clients is being friends with, or having a connection to, a local real estate agent in an area that you’d like to film in. On occasion, our clients have rented space from a homeowner whose house was up for sale, and nicely staged, just as a way for the homeowner to make a little bit of extra money!

Real estate agents often know what’s going on in a particular area better than anyone else, and they may even have friends or clients who live there currently, who aren’t moving, but wouldn’t mind renting out their home for the day.

See screenshots below of 2 clients of ours who found locations from local real estate agents. One was able to borrow her location (for free), and the other had to pay ($550 for the day).

IDEA #6 – CO-WORK SPACES:

You can always check into co-work spaces in the area(s) you want to film. You just have to research all the rules, guidelines and pricing for what it takes to be able to use both the private and public areas of the location(s) on the days/times you want to have access to them. When we’re filming an on-camera interview or any shots that include talking on-camera, we need an indoor, private, quiet, controlled environment, so that would need to be a private space that no one else has access to at that time. For the b-roll shots, we can do those in common areas or rent/reserve a conference room in the same location to get the shots we need. We can also film some b-roll shots outdoors, as it makes sense for the scenarios we’re filming.

For example, WeWork (http://www.wework.com) is a popular co-work location, and there are a few others we know of as well (i.e. Regus, CTRL Collective, etc.). We filmed recently with a client (Cynthia) who rents an office at the WeWork Gas Tower in downtown Los Angeles. Below is a picture from the interview setting we were able to create in a private conference room there. We were also able to reserve a few different conference room spaces in the afternoon on the same day, using the credits she had accumulated from being a monthly renter there.

When considering WeWork locations, check into that location’s days of availability, as it may not be available for use on the weekends.

Another option we know of for filming b-roll shots only in Los Angeles is a space called CTRL Collective – they have locations in Playa Vista and Downtown Los Angeles. Let’s say for example that you found a great living room setting to film your interview in, at a friend’s house somewhere in Los Angeles, but the house is small, and doesn’t have any other great extra rooms to film b-roll shots in, so you need an additional location to film your b-roll shots with guests. CTRL Collective has a bunch of really cool looking common areas that you can film in, and they only charge $79/month for weekend access to their facility, so technically you could just sign up for 1 month, and film a few b-roll shots there on a Saturday, as a great secondary location option. Their weekday limited access rate is $199/month (for 10 full days of access), so you could just pay that fee, and have all-day access whatever day of the week we are scheduled to film. This is probably not going to work well for the main interview location, as the private conference rooms aren’t the most visually appealing to set up a nice interview shot in, but the common areas are fun, colorful, and roomy, as well as hip and trendy, and could work great as a fantastic b-roll location. To learn more, check out: CTRLCollective.com

IDEA #7 – PEERSPACE.com:

Another fantastic website to search for settings is Peerspace.com. This website has studio spaces and homes that specifically have listings for filming, and there are a lot of really nice looking locations. We just discovered this site recently, so we haven’t had time to really look deeply into it, or rent from there yet, but for most of the locations, you can rent spaces by the hour.

To learn more, check out: Peerspace.com