Lights, Camera, Action! How to Build a Video Studio, Part I
Whether large or small, law firms are looking for ways to incorporate video content in their websites, e-newsletters and social media. For most law firms, producing video content begins with a phone call to a video production company. For Lawyers Mutual, it started with the old supply room. Let’s rewind…
In looking at Lawyers Mutual’s desire to create more video content and the rising trend of law offices using video; Camille Stell, Client Services Vice President had an “aha moment” and the road to building Lawyers Mutual’s in-house video studio was put into motion. How did we go from a supply room to a video studio? Here’s how:
- The most important step in preparing to build your own video studio is RESEARCH. Some members of the Lawyers Mutual Client Services department were able to attend a “How to” session at a legal education conference taught by National Association of Bar Related Insurance Companies (NABRICO) representatives. The presentation included two options: how to build a studio on a big budget as well as with a shoestring budget. The information provided helped guide Lawyers Mutual in the next steps of planning and pricing. The good news was no construction was necessary; the supply room at Lawyers Mutual was the perfect space to convert into a video studio.
- PLANNING – It was great to have the information on how to get started, however, Lawyers Mutual had to decide exactly what we wanted to accomplish with the video studio before beginning the process of pricing equipment. Here are some questions to help guide you in planning for your video studio:
-Am I going to shoot videos in the studio or will I be filming in other locations?
-Is this something I want to offer to people outside of our company? Will there be a fee?
-How much work needs to be done to the designated space?
-What types of video projects will be completed? (Ex. Interviews, tutorials, short films, promotional videos)
-Is there special editing software I need to complete video production?
-What are our sound proofing and lighting needs based on the space?
- VISIT A STUDIO- It’s always great to visit a studio to get ideas about set up and see what other companies are doing. In visiting a video studio, you’ll be able to think through things you didn’t initially consider. An important lesson learned in visiting studios and speaking with video professionals was the importance of considering sound. Sounds such as interviewees moving in adjustable chairs, tapping on armrests or the building sounds such as HVAC, elevators and slamming doors, are easily picked up by the video camera.
- MAKE A PRODUCT LIST-Once you have priced some items and seen for yourself what equipment it takes to set up a successful video studio, make a list of all your needs and compare prices. Be sure to include furniture and backdrops as well as curtain rods and grommets in your product list.
- PRICING- If you are not looking to produce Hollywood blockbusters then you may not need to purchase an expensive hi-tech video camera when a cheaper one will suffice. Your video studio is an investment, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting the most “bang for your buck.” Pricing should include reading product reviews
- PREPARE THE SPACE- Building your own video studio is more than just realizing you have extra space in your office. You have to be sure that the space can be successfully converted into a video studio. Prepping the space involves sound proofing. You have to consider equipment placement and shot angles. It’s always a great idea to have professionals to consult with prior to meeting with contractors to make sure you are making the best decisions.
- TRAIN YOUR STAFF- Although it would be great to have someone who is a skilled videographer on staff in your office, chances are that’s not the case. Lawyers Mutual teamed up with a professional videographer and attended an intensive “video boot camp.” Video boot camp gave staff the chance to learn how to use the equipment, how to edit videos as well as tips and tricks to help with the video production process. A description of video boot camp will follow in a separate blog post. Adequate training is a huge part of the success of your studio. Having a studio is great, but knowing how to use it is imperative.
Once you have a fully equipped studio and trained staff you’re ready to record high quality video from the convenience of your office. These videos can be used to market to clients, educate clients and recruit attorneys. To view our videos completed during boot camp, visit the video profiles of Troy Crawford, Will Graebe and Mark Scruggs.
Monisha Yowell is the Marketing Coordinator for Lawyers Mutual. Monisha connects Lawyers Mutual with our insureds and the legal community through the use of social media. You can reach Monisha at 800.662.8843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.