What’s happening friends! Welcome back to the Fog Blog and our first official post of 2024! This blog post is going to cover a very crucial, yet often overlooked step in the corporate video production process: choosing the right filming location for your corporate video. Choosing the right location can make or break the efficiency of your production day and greatly affects the overall quality and effectiveness of your content. Here are 8 tips to help you pick a solid filming location for your next corporate video production project:

1. Relevance to Message – It’s important that your location aligns with the message and tone of your corporate video. Consider the industry and nature of your business; a company promoting a Bay Area based SaaS product might choose a classic techy office space, while a company promoting a telehealth platform may choose to shoot in a clinical setting.

2. Stay on Brand – Select a location that reflects your brand’s image and culture. This will help create a cohesive and authentic narrative. Consider the aesthetic, colors, and overall vibe of the location in relation to your brand identity. Try to avoid a location simply because it is visually stunning; if it’s not cohesive with your brand, the messaging will feel off to the viewer.

3. Accessibility – Film crews roll in with a lot of gear. Choose a location that is easily accessible for your crew, client, and talent. Check the parking availability at the location and ask where the best place is for the film crew to unload at the start of the shoot day and pack up at the end. Before the shoot, find out where the crew can safely leave their cars throughout the shoot day. Lastly, it’s also important to consider the convenience for participants to reach the location; this is especially crucial for long shoot days.

4. Lighting Conditions – Consider the lighting. It may sound counterintuitive, but too much natural light is sometimes a bad thing. When natural light creeps in throughout the course of a production day, it can cause drastic lighting changes that will affect the consistency of your footage throughout the day. Have you ever seen a studio or a sound stage in person? Typically, there’s not a single window in sight. Ensure that the location either has the ability to block out the windows or that you have the necessary tools to do so. Of course, there may be cases where you’re actively trying to use natural light to create a look. In this instance, it’s a good idea to scout the location at the time of day when you plan to shoot to understand how light interacts with the space. A good rule of thumb: try to put yourself in a position where you’re able to control the lighting as much as possible. 

5. Noise Levels –  Perhaps the most overlooked and arguably one of the most important things to consider when choosing a location for your corporate video shoot is the noise level at the location. Check for potential sources of noise, such as traffic, construction, airports, or other external factors. A quiet location is necessary for capturing clean audio that won’t be distracting in the edit. It will also allow your editor to have a cleaner file to work with in the event that they do need to do some noise reduction in post. 

6. Weather – If you plan on filming outdoors, be mindful of the weather in the days leading up to the shoot. Have contingency plans in case of unexpected changes. Look out for wind; it can wreak absolute havoc on a production day by ruining your audio and posing a safety risk to the individuals on set. 

7. Versatility – Choose a location that offers versatile settings to capture a variety of shots. Consider how different areas within the location can be utilized to showcase various aspects of your message. In addition to versatility, try to choose a location that offers plenty of space and depth for the crew to operate. In my experience, the best interviews are the ones with lots of depth. 

8. Safety – Video crews bring lots of expensive gear to a production day. Choose a location that won’t put you in a dicey situation and leave you vulnerable. Unfortunately, this is a reality for video crews. In the event that you find yourself needing to shoot in a location that feels unsafe, it might be a wise idea to either hire security or bring more eyes and hands to look out for potential threats. 

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a filming location that enhances the quality of your corporate video and effectively communicates your message. 

Written By: Andrew Klein, Executive Producer, Fog Coast Productions