So your video filming date is fast approaching. But where should we film?
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…
We always shoot the talking parts of your videos 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.
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.
So now that you understand the gist of what we’re looking for, and why, let’s talk about options for finding the right location.
OPTION #1 – WHITE SCREEN BACKGROUND:
The cleanest look, and the easiest to coordinate for your day of filming – this look can be achieved almost anywhere!
A great choice for filming an online course is to film your videos in front of a stark, white background. The reason this is a great idea is because the background will not clash with anything, ever. When you update your website or your course page, it will still always look amazing.
We have a portable white screen that we can bring with us to your chosen filming location. If you are coming in from out of town and will be booking a hotel for your stay, then make it a roomy hotel suite so we have plenty of space to set up our equipment and to accommodate everyone’s needs who will be on set. Talk to us about the hotels you’re considering, or ask us for a local recommendation. Preferably, we’ll have you stay as close as possible to Irvine, CA, which is where we live. But for sure somewhere in Orange County, if we have the choice!
Below you will see some samples of direct-to-camera videos that have been filmed in front of a white screen background.
OPTION #2 – HOME, OFFICE, OR HOTEL SUITE:
Our best recommendation, but also potentially the most challenging to find, as it needs to be on-brand for you.
The easiest way to make sure that the filming location we use is both on-brand and unique to you is to use a home, office, hotel, or other setting.
If you live locally and love your own living room or home office then that can be a great set. Or perhaps you have a friend who has your dream home that’s totally on brand for you, and you can borrow that space for the day. Or maybe you have a separate office space that clients often come to that is totally representative of what your company stands for. If so, then that could be a great place to film.
In any case, we’d love to see pictures of the spaces you’re considering, so we can help choose the one that will be best for your video shoot.
Below you will see several suggestions of how to find the right filming location, if you don’t already have the perfect space in mind, including some samples of direct-to-camera videos that have been filmed in a home, office, hotel suite, or other setting.
OPTION #1 – WHITE SCREEN BACKGROUND:
We love the white screen for videos where you either want to teach something or sell something. It’s very simple, clean, and classy looking (when done right). It goes with anything and everything, so you never need to worry about clashing. A white screen video looks good on just about any website. Also, the focus is entirely on YOU. There is nothing else to look at, or be distracted by. And when you wear a nice solid, rich color on camera, it looks amazing against that stark white background!
We have a portable white seamless background that we can bring and set up at your home, office, hotel, or other chosen location.
One thing to keep in mind when filming in front of a white screen is that while we can do this at almost any quiet location, if it’s in a hotel room, then we will probably need a larger than normal/standard room – like a suite. We’ll need plenty of space to account for the white screen background and our camera & lighting equipment. Just trying to set up everything on the side of a large bed that can’t be moved in a hotel room, may be problematic.
The same thing goes for a very small office setting. The room needs to be big enough to accommodate the white screen and our camera & lighting equipment – at least a space that’s 10 feet x 10 feet, with movable furniture in the room. Larger is even better, but that’s the minimum space requirement.
OPTION #2 – FILM YOUR VIDEOS IN A HOME, OFFICE, HOTEL, OR OTHER SETTING:
The best case scenario is that you either already own or rent a home, apartment, office, or home office space that will work well for your video shoot. 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 your video shoot, 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 already own or rent the perfect place.
Below are some sample images and 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.
We’ve also included a location checklist below for your convenience. The location checklist will give you a few things to keep in mind when scouting locations.
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 5 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, in or near Irvine, CA, which will make it easier and faster for us to get to the location. Newport Beach is also very close by and has a lot of nice hotels that work well.
We’ve included a hotel location list below, for your convenience. 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 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.
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.
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 4 clients (Kim, Rebecca, Marga, and Jerome) at 4 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. Jerome (yellow), brought several “healing” props with him for the shoot. Kim (in red) brought some props and asked us to bring what we had as well!
Keep in mind that in all of these instances, it did take them some time to find these spaces – lots of searching. However, in the end, they all loved the locations they chose, and each of their videos came out looking great!
If you happen to love any 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 #3 – 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 #4 – 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 example, WeWork (http://www.wework.com) is a popular co-work location, and there are several others we know of as well (i.e. Regus, CTRL Collective, Hera Hub, El Camp, Work Well, etc.). We filmed recently with a client (Cynthia, in pink jacket below) 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.
Another example is Hera Hub (www.herahub.com/irvine/). We filmed recently with a client (Leslie, in blue below) who rents an office at the Hera Hub in Irvine. Below is a picture from the interview setting we were able to create in a private conference room there.
When considering co-working locations, check into that location’s days of availability, as it may not be available for use on the weekends.
IDEA #5 – 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. For most of the locations, you can rent spaces by the hour. It can be a little bit pricey, but may be worth it if you find the PERFECT location that’s totally on-brand for you.