At the onset of the pandemic, the Sorrentino Media team needed to change our entire workflow into a remote setting. We designed remote video production kits that allowed us to create beautiful, high-res video content while remaining safe and socially distanced.
After more than a year of producing content remotely, Mike Sorrentino wanted to share his tips on lighting, camera placement and sound for anyone who needs help with remote production or who could use some advice on their home office set-up.
The first thing to be mindful of when setting up your camera for remote production is the room that you are in. How is the lighting? What is the internet connectivity like?
If you’re working with us using your smart phone, you want to be mindful of a room that has good cellular service, but also good Wi-Fi.
Take into consideration the depth and texture of the room. We don’t want to hear an echo, and at the same time we want to ensure there’s some color to look out.
You want to set up your camera so that your head isn’t cropped off. We’ve also found that when sitting down, energy levels can decrease. It’s uncomfortable to look down at the camera and lean in. That’s not how a real conversation works. In a real conversation, people are sitting back, they’re relaxed, and they give each other some space. Remember, your microphone is strong enough to pick your voice up, so sit back a little. It’s also imperative that you keep the camera at eye-level, which means that the camera on your laptop or smartphone is at the level of your eyes so that it’s almost as if you’re meeting the eyes of your viewers.
If you don’t have a standing desk, I recommend some books or boxes. If you can’t stand or need to be in a seated position, you want to have the ability to raise your camera so that it’s at eye-level. When you’re standing, you aren’t leaning in and you have the capability to be a little bit more animated in your shot.
When you have natural lighting coming through a window, your webcam will typically try to compensate for the strong light from the window and the other natural dark spots in the room. This tends to result in an uneven, washed out look on your face. You can use an inexpensive ring light to fill in those gaps, become more evenly lit and provide a better shot.
Don’t worry about everything being perfect come the day of the shoot. Not every background or lighting is going to be perfect, and we don’t expect it to be. We want to make sure you focus on what’s important, which is getting your message across. Leave the rest to our team.
If you’re interested in learning more about our remote production kits, please contact our team at Sorrentino Media. We are a boutique production company with studios in Manhattan, and we’ve worked on many remote production projects with companies such as IBM, Google, Microsoft and Dell. There is no project or budget too big or small for our crew. We look forward to hearing from you!