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A Near-Zero Budget Video Studio: The Concept

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Near Zero-Budget Video Studio Project

When I got my 5D mark 3 a year ago, it wasn’t for the video capabilities, however having them and the challenge of a new undertaking planted the seed to do something with video. A lot of that has been a learning process trying to find and adapt to what the camera is best at doing. VDSLRs can bring tremendous advantages to low budget videographer in terms of portability and image quality, but they do have drawbacks.

The biggest trick I’ve found to effectively leveraging a VDSLR is playing to its strengths—and perhaps more importantly planning around your own limitations. VDSLRs aren’t setup to be camcorders, most don’t have autofocus, and on the ones that do, the performance is far from desirable. Within a manual focus, manual exposure, pretty much manual everything, environment many things can be difficult to shoot, especially without any production aids like a follow focus or an EVF.

That said, the story isn’t no crew, no gear, no video.

The impetus of this whole project is to try and get some video content up on this site to go along with the text reviews. Don’t get me wrong, I like text, it’s far easier to skim text than it is to skim through a video, however I’ve found numerous concepts that can be explained in 30 seconds of video that can’t be clearly or concisely articulated though text alone.

Moreover, I’m aiming to do this with a limited budget and equipment investment. That said, this isn’t a zero-budget project, some money will need to be spent, though my goal is to keep the costs as low as possible.

For this series, I’m going to focus on putting together a basic studio you can use for shooting news or review segments with 1 to 2 people in front of a static camera. Moreover most of what I’m list applies to shooting interviews with 1 or 2 people in a prepared environment.

I’ll be starting with the basic considerations of location, space required, and what to do about a set. I’ll move from there into lights and lighting. Finally, I’ll spend some time talking about sound, shooting, and some pre- and post-production thoughts. For each section, my goal is to cover the general pros and cons of various technologies and techniques, then how I’ve applied them to my own project as a demonstration.

The next part of this discussion is on location, space, and setting the stage for your set.

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