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Checklist: The Gear You Need to Start an In-House Video Studio

You know that increasing video content is the next lucrative step in your marketing strategy. And outsourcing videos can get a tad expensive and inconvenient. So, if you’d like to build an in-house video production studio and increase your video content x10, read on.

We’ve created a list of all the essential gear required to start this journey.

Lighting

Overhead lights can give you raccoon eyes and often sunlight isn’t very dependable.

A good lighting setup is crucial for an in-house video studio that plans to produce more than the occasional video. You can build your perfect lighting setup over time, but there are a few essentials you need to invest in right away.

For best possible results, you need a 2 or 3 point lighting: key light, fill light, and back light.

 
 

And we’re not talking about lights worth thousands of dollars. You can create an excellent DIY setup for a mere $100, too.

Here’s an excellent video (and guide) by Wistia explaining how to build lightning setup for under $100.

If you’re not into DIY and still want to save some money, go for the super-flattering $329 lighting kit, a favorite of YouTubers. Or another great choice is StudioFX’s lighting kit for $126.99.

A diffusion panel is also a handy tool to have around as it softens harsh shadows and makes the light set up far more flattering. It’s inexpensive, portable and versatile as it’ll work with any light set you have.

In the example below, left is with direct LED lights and right is with diffused, softer light.

Audio

You’ve shot a great video, but the audio is echo-y and too sharp. Will your audience watch your video all the way to the end? No.

A lot of people think that a DSLR’s audio is good enough to start. Not true. It’s generally of poor quality and captures every sound around you - even air - and that’s a big no-no for pro quality videos.

Here’s the difference between using an external microphone and an inbuilt one.

If you want to shoot great, watchable videos you need to invest in a microphone. Blue Yeti is a favorite among YouTubers and brands creating in-house videos. It’s excellent for recording voice overs for your videos or even podcasts.

You might also need a lavalier microphone if you’re shooting in a busy area (like offices for internal videos, etc.), conducting interviews, or doing event videography. For a beginner who’s tight on budget, Wired: PowerDeWise Lavalier Microphone is a great option. It provides pro-level sound quality and is super-easy to use as it connects with all your devices - smartphone, tablets, and camera.

If you have a bigger budget and can afford a pro-level lav mic, then Sennheiser G3 Camera Mount Wireless Microphones are an excellent investment.

Teleprompter

If you’re thinking of scaling up your video content, you need all hands on deck. This might also mean asking John (who has stage fright and forgets all his lines when he’s in front of the camera) and Mark (who’s under a lot of work burden and does not have time to memorise a whole lot of lines) to participate. There are many times when you'll be working with customers, company executives, employees and other people who’re not trained actors and might need a little help in delivering flawlessly.

This is where a teleprompter comes in.

Background

A complimentary background is an essential part of a video. You don’t want to shoot a professional brand video with a messy desk or a dirty wall behind you. You also don’t want any distracting elements in the background that shift focus from the subject.

You can opt for a free background, where you dedicate a room or a small portion of a room to video production. You can decorate it with brand objects, colours, or anything that looks nice on camera. OR you could simply get a white, black, green, or patterned sheet and put it on your wall as your background.

If you’d like a fancier backdrop, you can invest in backdrops available on Amazon in different colours, patterns, fabrics, and price ranges.

Tripod

No one likes shaky, nausea-inducing videos. While you can create a makeshift tripod, using a proper tripod to shoot videos is ideal.

There are a plethora of cheap tripods available for purchase, but I’d advise you to buy a mid-ranged one. This is because low quality tripod’s parts generally get worn after a few uses and you don’t want to keep replacing your tripod.

Go for the sturdy Magnus VT-4000 Tripod System with Fluid Head or Manfrotto MVH502A,546BK-1 Professional Fluid Video System if you can splurge.

Camera

A camera is, of course, the most important thing an in-house video studio needs. We’ve written a whole guide on which camera you should buy based on your video needs and budget. If you’re short on budget, you can also look into buying a second hand camera.

Start off with one camera, any that falls within your budget. And then you can add cameras to your video arsenal when you’re scaling up video content. Multiple cameras come in handy when you’re shooting behind-the-scene’s videos, instructional, on-boarding videos, and the likes. But, when you’re just starting out, you don’t need to blow off your whole budget on buying a couple of high-end cameras.

Video Specialist

If your goal is to scale up video content in the near future without increasing your team, you’ll need other employees to give you a hand with creating video content. This is where a video specialist comes in handy. Somebody who knows the ins and outs of video processes - pre-production, production, and post-production - can be a huge asset for your team in the initial few months.

Software

Time to spruce up your video in post-production and make the entire process as smooth as possible.

Editing software

You can’t just shoot a video and put it up on your social media as it is. You’ll need to trim some parts of it, add effects to others, add voice-overs where audio is crap, and edit it to make it look amazing.

For that you need a video editing software.

If you’re a Mac user iMovie is every beginners best friend, and Apple Final Cut Pro is for advanced video editors. For everyone else, Adobe Premiere Pro is the perfect choice. There might be a little learning curve with this software, but there are amazing online courses that will make you a pro editor in no time.

We’ve previously collated the best online courses to teach yourself how to produce and edit video; from beginners just starting out, to experts brushing up on their skills.

Here’s also some easy-to-use cheap or free online tools to create short social media video clips.

Media asset management software

To avoid chaos in post-production, especially when you’re scaling up video content, MAM software like Wipster can be a lifesaver. They save you time, money, resources, and make post-production a breeze. With amazing review and approval features, they also allow you to collaborate with team members seamlessly. And with Wipster’s video analytics option, you can find out what your audience thinks about your video content and how many video marketing goals you’re meeting.

Graphic design software

To jazz up your videos, add brand images and text, you need a graphic design software. While Adobe Photoshop is one of the best out there, it has a huge learning curve. A much easier alternative is Canva.

 
 

Get the basics and start shooting

Your equipment is only as good as your skills. So along with investing in pro-quality equipment, also invest in learning better video skills.

Want to know exactly what gear Wipster uses in our own in-house studio?

Enter your details below to download the PDF cheatsheet on all the video gear Wipster uses and add them all to your Amazon cart right away!

 
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