Sometimes you need to shoot something that at first sight seems fairly simple – one talking subject, plain background and a few variations of filming angles. You have your own basic lighting, filming and sound recording kit lying at home. Why not just shoot in your own living room, right?
While I’m sure you could make it work in your living room, here are a few points to consider before you send out that call sheet.
If you’re sharing a flat or a house with your friends make sure you pick the right times to shoot. You really don’t want them passing your set in their PJs and scrambling eggs in the kitchen next door. Also make sure there are no construction workers drilling the walls in your neighbours flat on the day of your shoot. This brings us to the next point:
With all the other things to prepare like lighting set ups, props, camera and set design sound may be easily forgotten. Don’t forget to take into consideration loud neighbours, a highway nearby or how echoey your place is. You can try using clip-on radio mics to avoid background noise, but make sure you test everything properly before putting someone in front of the camera.
This is an obvious one, but make sure you account for your team, lights and camera equipment.
Unless you already have all the lights at home remember that they can be hard to transport. It’s usually not just the lights themselves, but also the accessories that make them work. Stands, cables, rigging, sandbags, extensions, etc can be heavy and space consuming. Studio could offer you their in-house lighting equipment that would already be there, this means no hassle dragging them in public transport or no expenses for hiring a van. Some studios will offer you basic lighting set ups for no extra cost and offer a helping hand setting them up and maybe even help on your shoot.
Just telling someone that you’re shooting in a studio sounds pretty cool. Person in front of the camera will feel like he’s working with pros and doing a better and more important job. You will feel better about yourself and the final result is more likely to look more professional (depends how well you can handle shooting in your living room).
Shooting for a day or a few hours in a small studio won’t cost you the moon and will definitely offer benefits. But if your budget doesn’t allow it and you think you can pull it off at home then go ahead! Just make sure you’re ready and considered the points above.
Tip: Ask around fellow filmmakers if they know any cool and friendly studios around town that could give you good rates. If they shot there before, ask them to introduce you to the studio manager via email, phone or in person. When you film in the studio make sure you catch the names of people who work there, be nice and they may offer you even better deals in the future.
You can find more studios around UK on Quicklocs main page.
If you know any other cool, budget-friendly studios please share with us in the comments below.