I always enjoy seeing other peoples recording setups and studios for shooting videos. I don’t want to copy somebody else’s studio, but they often can inspire us when working on our own. It might be something that helps us to be more efficient, or allows us to cause minimal impact on our space if we regularly shoot at home.
When Josh Yeo at Make Art Now was looking to set up a studio for shooting YouTube videos, he based his around a “time machine” he built and took to Burning Man. But he had some conditions for his new studio.
For a start, it had to be within 3 minutes travel of his home. The one thing about making YouTube videos is that you need to be able to react quickly when you have an idea for something you want to shoot. If it takes you an hour to get to the studio, a lot of those ideas end up getting put on the backburner, eventually forgotten about and never see the light of day.
It also had to be on the ground floor. YouTubers are lazy. Maybe. Ok, not really. But when you’ve got a lot of gear you need to take in and out regularly, you don’t want to show up at the studio to shoot exhausted because you’ve just had to carry a ton of stuff up two or three flights of stairs.
The first task was to treat the room for sound. This was a 2-part approach. With thin walls, whatever Josh put up was going to need to help dull the noise from the outside, but also minimise reflections inside the space. He took a very thrifty approach of going into a local fabric store for foam as it worked out much cheaper than the usual array of acoustic foam you see for sale online, and when you’re treating a big space, the price difference adds up real quick.
The skylight in the ceiling was also given some treatment to be able to block the light out during the day when he didn’t want it for filming, and also has foam to help prevent sound reflection. The shelves, too, took a bit of a DIY approach, using iron pipe for the frame, which produces a very strong and solid system when bolted to the wall. Perfect for filling up with lots of heavy cases and gear. The carpet-covered boards for the shelves themselves means it won’t make a massive amount of noise when you put stuff on it.
Josh shows a lot of great ideas in the video with some very useful practical tips. While not everybody will have access to a time machine to create a similar look, it does make you think more about how you can customise a space for shooting in to really make it your own, and not look like every other studio set out there.
It’s certainly given me a few ideas for my shooting space.