Skip links

Building Your Home Filming Studio in 2020 (Without Leaving The House)

Currently: Quarantined

Over the past few weeks, our social media feeds have shifted. What was once a leisurely scroll through travel shots, conference footage, and shopping hauls has become a digital surge of news updates, health concerns, and stock market crashes. With widespread cancellations, closures, and postponements, these times are uncertain for everyone. 

One thing, however, is for certain: Coronavirus means social isolation. And social isolation means social media. 

While it’s not entirely business as usual in light of COVID-19, we are actually seeing hundreds of creators post content that underscores what they do best – get creative. And in the spirit of preparing for post-COVID campaign relaunches, we are starting a blog series regarding how influencers, aspiring or experienced, can spend their socially-isolated time to enhance and up level their business. 

Now’s The Time 

In our day-to-day lives, we get busy. We have business goals & creative projects that get stored in the back of our minds, hoping that one day we’ll have the time to see them come to life. However, due to the amount of time we have at home these days, now might be the right time to start those projects that will help you save time once our day-to-days go back to normal. So, have you ever wanted to convert your living space into a YouTube filming studio? If so, we’ve got some tools to help you get you started. 

Photo Credit: Ryan Kao

The benefits of a home filming studio are numerous. For one, it helps maintain consistency in terms of your tone and branding. Uploaded content with your home studio’s background becomes immediately recognizable to your audience as yours – and when a creator is proud of and confident in their space, it shows. Additionally, investing the hours into perfecting your filming space will seriously pay off. Think about it – each time you film in a new spot, it takes quite a bit of time to transport and set up your equipment. 

So we’ve compiled a list of what you might need to get your filming space started. We’ve taken into consideration budget, online availability, and installation time. 

  1. Cameras
  2. Tripods
  3. Lighting
  4. Microphones
  5. Background
  6. Video Editing Software

Cameras 

Ok, this one is a given. Of course, you can film on your smartphone – and if Lady Gaga & Selena Gomez can make stunning music videos shot on smartphones, there’s nothing you can’t create. Some of the best smartphone cameras include the iPhone 11 Pro, Google Pixel 4, and Samsung S10. Plus, if you want to up level your phone’s footage, consider the Moment Lenses ($87.99) – they really help capture wider angles.

However, to shoot more professionally shot content, consider upgrading to a good camera. Here is a list of some of our favorite cameras:

  •   SAULEEO Camcorder Ultra HD 2.7K ($99.99)
This camera is perfect for beginners.
The camera was simple to set up and use.
It has a touch screen, the boom mic on top pics up quality very well.
  •   4K Camcorder Ultra HD 48P ($242.99)
This video camera is specifically designed for filming YouTube videos. It also comes with a whole bunch of useful accessories & tools to get you started in the YouTube space! The camera comes with a wide angle lens, a macro lens, and external LED light, a microphone, 2 batteries, 2 cases, a remote, cables, and an adapter for wall charging. Talk about a deal!
  •   Canon PowerShot G7 ($599.00)
For those wanting to splurge on a camera, whether you’re a beginner or weathered vlogger, this Canon Powershot is an essential. The videos it captures are stunning, and for anyone just getting started, its features are straightforward and incredibly easy to get the hang of.
  •   Sony A6100 ($698.00)
This camera has taken the market by storm, largely because it does all the hard work for you! Reviewers have raved about its fast RAW shooting, 4K video, and eye  detection auto-focus. Though pricey, this camera is revolutionary in terms of live-view shooting and video quality. This is a cult favorite and the go-to camera for some of the most popular content creators that we know and love!

Tripods 

Tripods are essential in terms of stabilizing your camera. Shaky footage can be difficult to watch – so investing in a tripod is worth every penny. Lower angles of tripods get broader perspectives, whereas higher angles are optimal for videos like unboxing.

Some of our faves are:
  •  AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod ($25.99)
This lightweight tripod is perfect for most cameras – it’s amazing that such a versatile tripod is priced so low! It’s useful for many environments, but its strength primarily shows itself when at home. This is a perfect tripod for at-home YouTube content creation, and is great for beginner, intermediate, and advanced vloggers.
  •  Ultimaxx 72” 360 Tripod ($99.00)
This tripod is heavy duty and well built, perfect for all kinds of environments. It pans and tilts with ease, and its lock controls work exceedingly well. The Ultimaxx tripod is seriously professional.
  •  Velbon Videomate 638 ($119.95) 
This tripod is almost a no-brainer purchase for just about anyone, from beginners to professionals. The pan and tilt movements are smooth as can be, and its sturdiness is unparalleled.
  •  JOBY HandyPod Mobile Lock & LED light package ($109.98)
If you’re shooting your videos on your smartphone, this package is for you. It stabilizes your phone, and as a bonus, provides lighting that brings out your best features.

Lighting 

Lighting is one of the most important components of pro filming. The right lighting can transform content from good to great. It is important to have a spotlight, for backlight, as well as a key light, for fore light. Backlights help to add dimension to your footage, while key lights give you a fuller picture when recording.

Some great backlights are:
  •   Viltrox VL-500T ($85.99)
This “pancake light” is a vlogger favorite due to its adjustable brightness and accurate color temperature. It can be easily mounted on a tripod, light stand, handgrip, and even some types of cameras. Plus, its circular design gives off a softer and more even light, less heat, and – the best part – is environmental and durable!
  •   Andycine 360 RGB Light ($149.00)
Don’t let its size fool you – this little light is powerful! This light can shift color temperature from 2600 to 8500K with the twist of a dial and can go from 0 to 100% brightness just as easily. This little giant will give you some incredible lighting effects, like colored backlight and strobe effects.

As for key lights:
  •  Neewer Octagon Softbox (28.99)
Killer price & softest lights – what’s not to love? This softbox is incredibly easy to set up and looks really professional when shooting. Plus, if (in the future) you do need to take it somewhere, it folds up like an umbrella, making it easily transportable!
  •   ESDDI 900W LED Softbox ($69.99)
This is perhaps the biggest key to YouTube filming. Softboxes provide nice, soft, and even lighting – and this one immediately gives off a bright & clear light. The soft white diffuser is perfect for almost any project – and it’s affordable!

An important side note is that natural light can be troublesome in terms of video quality, as it changes so drastically during the day. A good option to prevent natural light from affecting your footage is to install a blackout curtain so that when it’s filming time, the only players will be your spot and key lights.

Microphones
Many vloggers want the best camera, mainly focusing on which camera they should use while not realizing that 50% of each video is audio. Sound plays a hugely important role in your videos! And while, yes, a high-quality camera is important, you also need a good vlogging mic to create exceptional videos.

Some of the best are:
  •   Rode VideoMic GO ($89.00)
This easy-to-use mic delivers clear, crisp, and directional audio that outperforms any microphone comparable in price. It is a vlogger go-to, both due to its quality and its affordability. As long as the microphone is pointed in your general direction, it will pick up your voice amazingly, and rejects objects in the distance, like passing cars and singing birds.
  •   Deity V-MIC D3 ($99.00)
This camera works perfectly for vlogging. Producing broadcast-quality sound, YouTubers cannot rave about this mic enough. Watch any review – you’ll be sold.

Background

Oftentimes, content creators will invest in wallpaper so as to surround their filming space in their personal brand’s colors. Solid colors help prevent dull backgrounds, and as mentioned earlier, can help with the immediate recognition of your content.

If you either don’t have or don’t want to use colors specific to your social brand, some great options are blue and orange. Numerous color studies have shown that these colors assist in giving your skin tone the best natural appearance on film.

Another element to consider when creating your filming space is the placement of objects in your background. Having some odds and ends in the picture can add a surprising amount of dimension to your video. If you are a beauty vlogger, consider arranging your makeup aesthetically on a surface behind you. If you are a lifestyle vlogger, consider the placement of your day-to-day essentials on a surface nearby. When incorporating objects into your shot, try to stay as consistent with your messaging as possible.

Video Editing Software

  •  Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro is a highly-recommended video editing program that is popular among content creators of all sizes. If you take a look at the features it offers, you’ll see that it covers nearly all editing functions you could possibly need, from basic to professional editing. It uses advanced metadata for fast and simple editing, allows you to attach B-roll, sound effects, music, and closed captions, as well as edit multi-camera projects, deal with 360° equirectangular videos, 4K, and 5K videos, and so much more.
  •   Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is a professional video editor that has even been used to edit a handful of commercial movies, like Gone Girl and Deadpool. No matter what you want to do with your videos, you can realize it with Adobe Premiere Pro. Despite how professional it is, it also makes it so easy to edit your videos. 

As you can see, brainstorming, ordering, and assembling your in-house YouTube studio is not going to be an overnight process – though it will be a worthwhile one! The need for social interaction will continue to heighten as the days go on, so by converting a space to filming now, you’ll be able to connect and engage with your audiences at a time when everyone is craving  interpersonal connection. Now is the time – improve your online relationships by creating some stunning videos in your brand new home studio!