Something we have struggled with for a long time is a good place to shoot video. We did green screen for the longest time and found that it was a ton of work, and the result just wasn’t very natural. So we searched and search around our church campus for some decent video spots. There always seemed to be a problem with ever location we looked at – sunlight, air conditioner noise, street noise, boring background, too busy of a background, and the list goes on. Our preteen ministry just redid their space and the result was video gold. They have a couple walls with different textures – wood textures, brick textures, and solid color walls.
So what makes a good video background? There are a few criteria:
1. The background can’t distract from the subject. The background can’t be too busy, too messy, or have too much movement.
2. Distance from the subject. The background has to have some distance between it and the subject. This rule paired with a good shallow depth of field lens will blur your background so the subject really stands out. You can have a really nice background, but put your subject right against it and completely ruin the focus of the shot. You never want the focus of the shot to be in question. The focus always belongs on the subject, not the background.
3. Style. Backgrounds are important enough to need style. The background helps set the tone of your video. So you need to do your best to see that it meets current trends in style and design.
4. Brightness. The subject of your video needs to be the brightest part of the shoot. Occasionally over exposed backgrounds (think sun flares) are cool, but as far as most videos go, you want people to focus on the subject, by making it the brightest part of the piece you are filming. You don’t want a completely dark background, so you might still put lights on your background, you just don’t want it to be the brightest.
This is not an all encompassing list, but it is a few things we think through before shooting.