Help me get a video studio set up =)

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    • #40549

      Hey, guys, brand new here. I’ve read a zillion articles on this site. Up until now I’ve been shooting video with a Sony TRV-22 MiniDV camcorder. I would like to get into more serious video production to post HD videos on YouTube with the same quality as these people: (she uses a Sony HVR-V1U) (how in the world does his video look so crisp?!)

      Anyhow, I’m planning on doing a sort of sketch comedy project that would be both in studio and on location. Therefore I would like to put together a video studio in my house and also have some equipment for shooting outdoors and whatnot.

      I believe I have my cameras narrowed down to the Sony HVR-V1U and the Canon XH-A1S. Even though the Sony is a 5 year old design, I’m leaning towards it because Sony is offering $500 off through March. If I get it through B&H that brings the price to $2,730. The Canon from B&H is $3,395. Also, from what I understand the Rode NTG-2 is the way to go for a shotgun mic. I’d like to get a couple of lav mics, too. B&H recommended me the Sony UWP V1. What do you guys think about all of this? Alternatives?

      My biggest problem is lighting. I can’t figure out where to go here. I’d obviously be getting a green screen. Speaking of which, is it okay to go with the cheapie stuff, or a more pro one? I’d need to get a structure to hang it from, anyway. So am I supposed to get lights on either side of the green screen just to light it and then have a separate set of lights to light the subject(s)? If so, what kind of lights for everything?

      In that first video link I posted, Hot For Words, Marina said in an interview, “I have a one of those folding Blue/Green screens behind me and I use
      DayFlo fluorescent lights that are matched to Day Light so that I dont
      have to cover my windows. The fluorescents are great because they dont
      consume much electricity and they dont get hot! I have a total of 5
      lights .. two in front and 3 lighting the green screen.” In this picture it looks like she uses soft boxes for the key, fill, AND hair lights. Is that normal? I know Michael Buckley from What the Buck uses work lights from Home Depot. Do those work as well, are they more harsh? Too hot?

      I just need a good suggestion on what green screen and light combo to use. Also, what about using reflectors in lieu of fill and/or hair lights? I can’t really afford LED lights. What are flood lights generally used for? What about gels, are they necessary for shooting subjects?

      Thanks for all the help!!!!


    • #173999

      Don’t fall into the trap of better equipment=better video. Your TRV-22 is perfectly capable of making some awesome YouTube videos, but it’s everything else from the lighting, shooting editing and talent that makes more difference.

      I haven’t seen any of your work, so I can’t speak toward shooting techniques for encoding.

      On the GreenScreen and lighting… I do a lot of that, and the most important thing about good greenscreen shooting is even lighting. The software you use to key the background can also make a difference.

      HDV with it’s 4:2:0 colorspace will do slightly better than HD which is a colorspace of 4:1:1. I don’t know what AVCHD colorspace is, but I do know that editing AVCHD is very processor-intensive.

      I am almost ready to recommend that you don’t rush out to buy an HD camera just yet. Get the editing and encoding down pat, then decide what equipment or software you need to improve your product.

    • #174000


      AVCHD is also 4:2:0 colorspace. 4:1:1 is actually DV colorspace. Pro HD like DigiBetacam, XDCam and DVCProHD are 4:2:2 natively.

      I do agree with your points about lighting etc. Polish, if you want your videos to ‘look better’, it’s all about proper focus, exposure and composition. How well do you take advantage of available or studio lighting? How do you handle your subject’s focus? Do you keep your shots steady? Do you use auto focus/exposure instead of the manual settings?

      I looked at the pieces you provided. The first the woman is front lit with a fluorescent light bank at what looks to be daylight temp bulbs. I’ve seen better greenscreen work at a similar scale, but it was fine. The coconut video was available light with white bounce cards to fill in his shadowed face. Both videos were primarily properly exposed and nearly all the shots were on a tripod. Looks like they also had some color correction done on them too in post.

      The main thing as Steve brought up is they both also got a clean encoding to compliment the HD format so they didn’t have the usual ‘Tube crap compression look. Again I agree with Steve. You have a decent camera so if you shoot it well and take care of the basics during production, your job in post will be so much easier. Your final product will look so much better when it comes time to encode and your viewers will appreciate it.

    • #174001

      Thanks Wolfgang, I typed HD and meant DV. (HD colorspace is 4:4:4)

      As I said to the OP earlier, the TRV-22 (any decent DV camera, for that matter) is capable of some pretty awesome YouTube videos. The OP should get there before buying new gear.


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