In this amalgamated case-study, we describe how we work with agencies, eCommerce, training and other online-focused businesses to deliver some – or all – of the elements of the production they come to film at our green screen studios in London.
Common Production Requirements
In the beginning, Studio 2 was designed for green screen presenter-led productions. In 2010 this often meant film-makers emerging at the beginning of the online video age. Typically, these were marketing creatives, not short on ideas, who knew what they wanted, but didn’t have the knowledge or contacts to approach filming with confidence.
Over the years, we have also filmed many varieties of video for clients including some PG Tips cheeky-monkey Instagram content, comedians telling 20 second pub jokes, plenty of one-on-one interviews and especially training companies, who favour the straight talking against greenscreen approach.
What a lot of these productions have in common is that they will usually feature a presenter or a couple (interviewer and interviewee).
The very minimum requirement is to film them properly which means camera, lens choice, lighting and sound recording. Within even that simple description is a wide range of possibilities: for camera, for lens, for everything mentioned. All of which come with different price points and considerations.
Filming costs quickly add up, from the outsiders’ point of view the business of filming can seem obtuse, confusing and contradictory. The key to understanding costs is to understand the creative decisions. Our approach has always been to ask questions to understand what is being filmed, to offer ideas for how to achieve the required outcomes, but not, unless asked, to question the creative. It is our job to understand the desired creative and help achieve that without blowing the budget.
Full Production Packages from Camberwell Studios
In a typical Studio 2 production package, we will supply a Camera Operator with camera and a Sound recordist with their own kit. Lights will depend on what is being filmed. Fortunately, Studio 2 is pre-lit in a way that suits 70-80% of the productions that come in, and we have additional lights if necessary.
It is possible for the camera operator to also capture the audio. This works for shorter productions, but if there is a full day of filming ahead we would always recommend using a sound-recordist, for the simple reason that it isn’t worth taking the risk by overloading your camera operator just to save some budget.
Another common requirement is for autocue assistance. We have an in-house system that is suitable for short one/two-page scripts whereas for longer, more complicated scripts, where there may be some amends on the fly, we recommend a professional with kit. Again, the rationale is about de-risking the day of filming.
Filming with us
These days we usually shoot in 4K. This can seem OTT when the film is only going to be shown online, where HD quality is usually more than adequate, but our view is that it costs no more and your footage is future-proofed. The only real consequence is that 4K takes up a lot more space on your hard drive and processing power on your computer.
In Studio 2 there are three immediate background options – greenscreen (about 65% of productions), black drape (about 30%) and Colorama (5%). Colorama (also known as photographic background) are long sheets of 2.78m wide coloured paper on a roll that drop down to provide the background – normally good only for head on shots.
Although we have a focus on greenscreen, that doesn’t mean we think filming against green is always the answer. For example, if you plan to show your subjects against a white background you will get a better image filming against a white background. If you want to show your subject in the mountains and then at the sea it would be greenscreen.
At the conclusion of filming we will have backed-up your footage onto your hard-drive for you to take away. We’ll also keep a copy until you confirm you are double backed up and over to you for the editing (which we can help with too if required).
Top Filming Day Considerations!
Planning is always key to a successful filming day. It makes sense when you consider that days and probably weeks of effort have gone into the filming day and then the same again in turning all the film into content. There should not be any surprises when it comes to the filming day. From our experience, the most likely last-minute changes will always be to the script and there is a 99% chance that will be down to the end-client. For this reason alone, we build an hour of ‘cock-up’ time into the day: maybe the presenter is stuck in traffic or the breakfast didn’t arrive on time or a computer freaked out in the middle of the day and had to be cooled down and re-booted. You’ll be grateful for that hour!
And finally …. An army marches on its stomach. Feed and water your crew properly and the day will be a lot better. We can offer catering to you too, read more here.
If you have a project or idea you want filmed and you’re not sure where to start then call us. We’ll ask you enough of the right questions to understand what you are after and how to guide you. No obligation required.