Before you bring in the lights, camera and the action men and women who make the on screen magic happen, it's a good idea to sort out your location for filming.
It is often the small things that matter when it comes to location and at audioclub.ie we always recommend letting us come to your offices so we can assess the filming locations you have in mind for your shoot and if they work. But, if you're in a hurry to get that film to the screen, here are a few things to keep in mind when you're picking a room.
The Art of Noise
When we say noise we mean every kind of noise not just the obvious ones. If there are building works within earshot of your chosen location then there is a good chance we might have to pick another one or at least look another part of the building. More often than not, the dynamic Rode lapel and boom mics we use here at audioclub.ie will keep those pesky noises out but if it can be avoided, we prefer to avoid hearing collapsing walls, drills and hammers when if they are only faint.
Squeaky floorboards outside the room are often a killer too and we'd always try to avoid being near* a canteen when filming so the clattering of cups, the buzzing of fridges and the whistling of kettles don't make their way into the video's soundscapes and distract your viewer.
A series of videos we produced for Leman Solicitors was shot *in their canteen and it produced really nice results. It is often the best place in a medium sized office to consider, even if it can disrupt lunch just a little.
The first thing we always listen for though is air conditioning. Yup, it's safe to say we hate it. That low hum, which most people probably don't even notice, is the scourge of the filmmaker and is an absolute no-no.
Let there be Light but Let it Not Be Bouncy!
We like rooms with light. If you have a room with at least one decent window that lets in sunlight we won't be unhappy. Do keep in mind what time of the day the shoot is at. We much prefer working with natural light when it is coming on to the subjects face from the side. If your window has a blind all the better. It's worth keeping in mind the time of day your shoot is scheduled for and aim for morning or afternoon. We love big rooms and we like them a lot - the more depth the better. All white walls while not a criminal offence are best avoided if possible. Light loves bouncing around those white walls and can result in sending the person behind the camera into existential crisis - mind you, we're a pretty calm lot so don't stress that last one too much.
This recruitment video for Leman Solicitors in Dublin tells the story of this innovative company and explains the many reasons young solicitors are eager to join them. Most of it was shot in the company canteen because it had all the elements we needed including big windows and lots of depth.
What is happening in the Background?
Please be careful where you locate your shoot in terms of distractions. People walking behind the camera and passing down a corridor in front of the interviewee can be very distracting for the person who is ultimately watching your video as they will see your eyes tracking the person outside the office window.
We will usually catch this when filming and we will make you go again so if you can avoid it, do.
The same is true the other way around - try your best not to have your back to an open background through which people might be passing.
Viewers really don't want to see Dave from accounts walking behind you and stopping to poke his nose in to see what's going on.
Backgrounds that suggest busy offices can work very well but they have to be deep in the shot so as not interfere or distract from what should be the focus of the shot. The BBC news room with lots of people walking around might look great but the people in the background are well in the distance and blurred so they do not catch the viewers attention.
If you would like to chat to us about the work we do and how we can help you tell your story, please drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org