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The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered SolidLine Media’s standard operating procedures around marketing video production. With quarantine measures keeping customers out of our studios, we’ve implemented several solutions and informational resources, such as our Stay Home Video Guide, that clients can use to get involved in the video creation process. Using the raw material from our clients’ efforts, our production team can then work to finalize and distribute with our SolidLive tool.

But what equipment should clients use to shoot their own video? Are there essentials they can’t do without? In this discussion, we’re going to help our clients to gather together the right gear so they can follow the steps laid out in our Stay Home Video Guide in order to produce the highest quality raw video product possible.  

The Right Tools for Building Visual Collateral 

While you could use a hand-held phone or web camera to capture footage, you’ll get more traction out of high-quality raw video footage captured with the proper caliber camera. You’ll do even better with the right set up. At a minimum, the following list is the gear you’ll need to shoot solid video footage usable later by our post-production team. 

1. Portable Camera Paired with a Highly Flexible Tripod

Handheld camera shots can provide that live feeling as if you’re a part of the action, but this approach doesn’t always come across as professional, so it’s important that you choose an affordable camera that can deliver the level of image quality necessary for high definition recording. 

For stability and to allow video participants to focus on the performance or discussion at hand, a sturdy and expandable tripod is in order. You’ll want a tripod that is compatible with the mounting for your camera and that allows itself to be set to different heights and angles. 

2. (External) Microphone

One of the most helpful things you can do for our production team is ensure that the video you capture for submission to our SolidLive service has a solid auditory track. To accomplish this, you’ll need to acquire an external microphone that connects to your recording setup. The external microphone will need additional calibration and up-front testing to ensure that it’s properly capturing sound in a way that doesn’t echo or introduce feedback into the video track. Clear and calibrated sound provides the production team with a clear path through the video content they can use to anchor and restructure visuals along. 

3. Gimbal Rig

For more dynamic content, you’ll want gear that makes it easy to reposition the camera and that’s where the stabilizing gimbal rig comes in handy. You’ll be able to create smooth motion between shots without shaking and keep the raw footage clean and usable in the editing process. 

4. Lighting

Video quality is highly dependent upon the ambient lighting in the space where your shooting. The internal mechanics of your camera can compensate somewhat to even out lighting in the video you’re shooting, but it’s more effective to secure lighting that can be attached to your camera as well as free-standing lighting solutions that can be used in the space where you’re shooting to even out lighting and clear up the visual quality of your video. 

Purchased or Rentals, You Have Options for Getting the Right Gear in Place to Shoot 

Even with the pandemic restrictions in place, you have options for acquiring the right gear to shoot your video footage. If you want to keep it local to small businesses in order to support the community, there are a number of video gear rental solutions throughout the Chicago metropolitan area that also offer purchase options, depending on what side of the city you operate out of. 

Shoot Your Video, and Let SolidLine Media Give it a Polish

SolidLine Media understands the importance of continuing to provide our clients with video production services throughout the pandemic in order to help them leverage one of the most impactful forms of marketing. Since they can’t come into our studios and use our gear, we’ve broken down above the gear our clients will need to shoot their own footage. Once they’ve done that, our crew is standing by to help put the finishing touches on it and help to distribute through our SolidLive platform. Grab your cameras and get rolling!