For Houston video production – 4 The One Studio is the best experience around… not just for video production in Houston, but probably all of Texas.
Today we’re chatting with director Kelley Leger at 4 The One about all the studio has to offer, but we’re also jumping into some video production tips for businesses in Houston or anywhere else. Even if all you have to work with is your phone, you’ll find some advice here to make your video look like it was shot professionally.
Video Production Tips for Businesses
Yeah, it’s, as they say, you get what you pay for, right? And at the end of the day, you want a professional working on your stuff.
That being said, there are a lot of things you can do yourself. It’s not like you have to run right out the gate and say, gosh, I have to have all this money to do it. In fact, they say, what do they say? Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s been my go-to my entire career. Starting out, I didn’t have all the bells and whistles.
I didn’t have a studio. I didn’t have any of that kind of thing. I just work with what I had, and so that’s where you start. And in this day and age, that’s a great place to start. People digest that kind of content. They digest things shot on your phone. That is a great place to start.
And I think that’s where everybody should start. As you go, you start realizing. That’s more difficult than I thought it was. That’s something I probably should have had somebody else do that took me too many hours. I’m like, I’m never doing that again. And by nature, you start to hire people to do those kinds of things.
That’s what I’ve always done in my career. I started doing everything and as time went on, I realized I don’t wanna do that anymore. I don’t have to do that anymore. Or I had more money than I could pay some and it just progressed in that way. That’s how I, that’s how I have gone about the whole thing.
A Cyc included, which I know we’ll probably get into some of that, but a white Cyc is what we see behind us, and there are a lot of ways that you could do that.
Who Do I Need to Hire for Video Production?
Sure. And that’s where the necessity comes in. So you see a big movie production. Could you do something like a big Hollywood movie with a lot fewer people? Yes, you could.
And it ultimately, usually will just take longer to do it cuz you’re just wearing more hats and yes, you could argue that maybe some of your production value suffers cuz you don’t have the experts in all the positions, but nonetheless, you can do it. And so you see that big machine on a production set and you’re like what do all those guys do?
It’s a, it literally is like an engine in a vehicle. It’s a very well-oiled machine. Everything is there for a very specific reason. And until. Know what that reason is. There’s no reason to go and hire a big crew. I, say start where you are. You start with a camera, you start with a subject, a product, whatever it is that you’re, trying to shoot.
And then you have to have content to shoot. Wherein that means you need a writer or you need to have written it yourself. So you need a writer and you need a camera and someone to operate the camera. Hey, there are some great writers out there nowadays. But writing is a craft, it’s a skill, especially in the advertising space.
You know a few words about your brand or your product, and anybody can say it in an hour. That’s a lot of words, right? But if I’m giving you 30 seconds, if I’m giving you 15 seconds, you gotta pick all the right words, and you gotta frame up. That is an art that takes people years and people spend millions.
It’s fun it’s ultimately, it’s fun. Humor is never gonna get old. Humor doesn’t go outta date. It’s been there since the beginning of time. There are jokes. You can look back to old oldest literature we have on the planet, and you’re gonna find humorous things.
It’s always been and it’s, not going anywhere. And it’s a good way to lower people’s defenses. It’s a good way to talk about a product. It’s a good way to talk about a heavy subject. It’s a good way to talk about anything. Because people’s defenses are lowered and you can make a relaxed decision.
Comedy is just good for softening any blow that you might do. From that, from advertising’s per perspective it’s a win-win. It’s great and it’s fun and it’s enjoyable and it’s entertaining. You don’t want, nobody wants to buy anything from something that, that somebody’s trying to sell them.
You want it to be an enjoyable process. Nobody likes to used car salesman. Now, if your bu, if your buddy’s talking about you’re talking to your buddy so comedy gets you in that same mode, it’s in the same thing. So I like comedy for those reasons. Because it’s, frankly, it’s fun and it’s a fun way.
You’re gonna buy stuff, you’re gonna sell. But you might as well have fun doing it.
Can I Make It Look Professional With Just My Phone?
Sure Case in point, what I was alluding to earlier, like what we have here in our studio is common in studios. It’s called a Cyclorama Wall. Cyc. It’s a cyclorama, and it gives the illusion of an infinite background that goes forever. It’s rounded at the bottom. And so if you have ever seen a movie like The Matrix.
They look like they’re in this forever white space room. It’s a negative background, a limbo background, as it were. And so that’s what we, shoot in a lot of those spaces. If you remember the Mac commercials, apple commercials from not too long ago on an apple on a white space. This is a great way to shoot for a lot of reasons.
This white Cyc background is evergreen. That’s why studios today still have ’em. And, why? We still like to shoot ’em.
It could have been shot anytime. Black and white doesn’t go outta style. And so White is a good place to shoot your products. It’s a good place to shoot people whatever the case may be. We like it a lot because it’s timeless, it’s clean, it does, it’s a lot of those things. Not only that, but it’s something that you can emulate without having to come to a studio.
And have a wall Cyc that someone has spent tens and tens of thousands of dollars. For a long time, I would just, and this is, here’s a great little tip. For a long time, I would just use a white sheet. You don’t have a white sheet. Do you have a white blind? Do you have sheer curtains?
Yeah. Something like that on a window. Because a window already has, you have the biggest light source on the planet outside the sun. So pick a sunny day and you pull that sheer curtain over that window, you got this huge light source coming from behind you, looking familiar now coming from behind you.
So it gives the illusion and if you frame it up just right where you don’t see the edges of your window and you don’t see the top or the bottom, it’s just this big. Space behind you. So if you put an individual in front of it, we have one light here, and you just use a single light. Or if you get a piece, a white poster board, and put it in front of the camera for that light to bounce off of and hit you, you just bought a piece of poster board.
You got your phone on a, you can put it on a stack of books and you got your window with your sheer blinds and you can begin to. The look that we see here.
Open up your camera as wide as, it’ll maybe not as wide, but wide, because you need to let enough light in the back.
That it’s totally overexposed. Yeah, it’s blown out. We would say it’s blown out. It’s all white, but at the same time, it’s not so blown out. Everybody we see on the front is also blown out.
And you can do a series of things. You could add more lighting. To even it all out. You can do a few things like that. It’s really not, it’s really not a difficult pro process to tell you the truth. But it’s a good place to start. That’s what I would do. You just need your camera.
You just need a poster board. You just need a window. And before you step into something like this, there are good reasons for stepping into something like this, but. I shot that way for a lot of years before I had this right here. Yeah.
What’s Special About 4 The One Studio?
Sure I spent the majority of my career in Southern California, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and I shot.
Every studio you can imagine from all throughout San Diego, throughout Orange County, and throughout Los Angeles. So I’ve seen ’em all, done, ’em all, been in them all. And when I made my way back to the south, back to Texas ultimately my partner and I decided it was time for a studio. She’d also been around several studios.
And we decided that we wanted to build something like we had never seen before. Most of the studios are built for what goes on in front of the camera. But they’re not really, and so technically speaking, all of that needs to be there, but they did not, they haven’t built the surroundings around the studio to accommodate the producers and the writers and the clients and your clients.
Clients, your clients, clients’ clients, or however that might work. And so it’s not necessarily an inviting space. It might end up, it might end up more, be more like a warehouse environment, but the end product looks great. We wanted to do both, and we wanted it to be something that. It, checked all the boxes technically it was soundproof.
It had enough power, had everything that you needed in that regard. But we wanted it to be creative and fun in a place that you didn’t wanna leave, you wanted to come to shoot. When someone says, Hey, we’re shooting at that 4 the one studio, they’re like, yes, we love being there. We want to be a part of it.
And for us, you work here and are in studios all the time. You wanted it to be a place you love to create him. And I believe we accomplished both. I, don’t say this in an arrogant way. I don’t say this. It’s the best studio that I’ve ever shot in. And we shot in a lot of studios. Someone said in, LA you shoot anything like this.
And I’m like, no, cuz there wasn’t anything like this. You’re like in the city of Los Angeles? Yeah. It’s, they’re not built with these kinds of things in mind.
You can go to our website at 4the1studio.com. You can check us out on all social media Instagram. I think we’re even on LinkedIn. I think that’s a thing. still. Yeah. And so we’re on LinkedIn. If you’re part of local ad clubs, you’ll get to see us around there as well.