Despite how hard we try, many of our homes aren’t aesthetically pleasing on camera. Even if we have a clean house, brand new furniture, and gorgeous curtains, our homes might have unexpected issues that make it very hard to film on camera. These issues could include distracting decor or poor lighting.
This is why HubSpot Academy made picking the right background a priority in their process. According to Fiske, each presenter that’s filmed from home does a video test with the HubSpot Academy editor. As part of the test, the presenter walks around his or her apartment and sits in a few locations while on a video call with the editor.
After the talent or subject walks around their home, the editor gives feedback on which locations work best and lighting adjustments. This ensures that all videos the editor receive won’t need to be re-shot due to background mishaps.
According to Fiske, a few great background options that you might find in your own home include bookcases, backgrounds with plants, and brick walls. You’ll want to avoid sitting in front of windows without shades which can cause lighting issues, as well as plain white walls which can be dull, might also impact the white balance of your video.
If you don’t have a video editor to help you pick out your own background, it can be a good idea to film yourself in different locations with different amounts of light. As you review each clip, ask yourself questions like, “Is my background distracting?”, “Do I look like a dark shadow due to the lighting?”, and “Do I look overexposed because of too much lighting?”
Aside from sending Academy presenters equipment and testing backgrounds with them, Fiske explains that editors and video managers would try to support their talent in other ways via video call.
For example, if a presenter needs assistance or feedback, Fiske says that “during filming, our video editors can join the shoots remotely, allowing them to direct the talent, and work with them to get the best lighting, framing, and audio.”
Hutchings says his team has also taken steps to enable talent to film themselves for HubSpot’s social channels. To him, one key to this process is using empathy whenever possible.
“I’ve had to direct videos via Zoom and troubleshoot situations for things I didn’t anticipate, like dogs barking in the background, construction noises, or poor cellphone camera angles.” Hutchings shares. “One thing that keeps me on a positive note is empathy. I know that I’m not the only person going through this. I know that we are all in this together. So if a dog barks in the background and a viewer on YouTube notices it, maybe they can relate and appreciate the authenticity behind it.”
“Many folks are going through challenges of filming remotely, and it’s not just the editors that have hurdles. It’s also your talent,” Hutchings says. “They have become more involved in the shooting process than before, which can add another level of complexity. Being patient and providing thoughtful practices goes a long way.”
Every business is different and can vary when it comes to video production budgets and capabilities. Odds are, if another video manager or employee joins your team, they’ll have some questions about how your brand creates videos scalably and remotely. This is why Hutchings and Fiske both made internal video production guides for their teams, talent, and other HubSpot employees.
“I created a short guide and an in-depth video to help our talent navigate the process of filming themselves and how to submit their footage,” Hutchings explains. “This will save you time, so instead of repeating yourself to new talent you can send along a guide and get back to what you do best, creating. Also, in the future if remote work does in-fact become more prevalent, these guides will come in handy.”
Meanwhile, Fiske created a detailed internal guide that highlights every step of HubSpot Academy’s production process from start to finish. He then shared it with the wider company so employees outside of his department can reference and use it as needed.
While the HubSpot Academy and social media teams might have slightly different strategies, they’ve approached remote video with the same goal: create valuable content.
As you continue to build your remote video strategy and test out scalable marketing content, your production process will get smoother and you’ll learn what videos truly engage your audience.
“No matter how fancy or basic your set-up is, content is still king,” Hutchings concludes. “If you still forge great content that provides exceptional value to your customer and audience, viewers won’t mind some lighting issues or audio that’s of lower quality. Equipment is important, but there’s a bit of wiggle room to be creative and find solutions that will still get the job done.”
If these tips have inspired you to create a remote video production process, check out this post on three effective marketing videos you can make from home.
Originally published Jul 1, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated July 01 2020