The Ultimate Video Marketing Studio [how to]

By Mitch Solway in Video How-To

It’s great to “talk the video marketing talk” but at the end of the day you’ve got to “walk the video marketing walk”. All of the video conversion strategies and tactics are useless if you’re not creating video. We need the tools to achieve our strategy, at the right price.

Traditionally when you think video the first thought is: a full blown television production studio with cameras costing thousands of dollars, elaborate lighting systems and a complete mobile production studio.

It’s time to unwind our preconceptions and begin to think about online video differently. We all know technology moves fast, if you’ve got a smartphone then you have an HD camera in your pocket. That may not be sufficient for your polished marketing and sales videos.

Online video setup

The actual setup we use to create our videos.

The goal: a mobile video studio that enables us to produce our content without having to outsource to an expensive third party.

To get the low-down on the equipment we decided decided to talk to our resident video guru Blake Smith. You may be surprised at the equipment we use to shoot these videos:

Here’s what Blake put together and what we use here at Vidyard to shoot all of our video. This will get you on your way to building the perfect video marketing studio! [Editor’s note: we’ll be covering simple video shooting techniques in future posts.]

Your Video Studio Checklist

Camera Equipment

Today’s digital SLR are are inexpensive and multi-purpose. You’ll also double up on having a fantastic camera for your other media needs. Some good options for your studio are:

Canon t4i with Kit Lens Only – $799.99


The Canon T4i Digital SLR is loaded with many advanced features. It has a 18MP CMOS sensor, 3″ Vari- angle touchscreen, full HD video recording, and a host of creative options to help you capture every piece of content you’re looking to share.

Canon t4i with Kit Lens and Zoom Lens – $1,049.99


Containing many similar features to the first camera, this Canon EOS Rebel T4i is stacked with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens. Perfect for those wide-angle shots needed to include items that would, with a standard lens, be left out of the frame.

Tripod with Removable Head – $89.95


If you find yourself having too many cups of coffee throughout the day and can’t keep a steady hand, this next item may be in your best interest! Just kidding, stability and a steady shot is critical to high quality video and this OBEN aluminum tripod pans a full 360°, is supported with leg warmers on two legs to ensure optimal grip in extreme heat or cool conditions, and is complete with a travel bag with a snug secure fit to minimize the chance of damage when transporting to different locations.

Lighting Equipment

Lights (x2) – $179.00 each


Equipped with two lamps and a gooseneck mount, The Flolight FL 100 uses 55W fluorescent lamps which give you a whopping 500W hot light equivalent. Impressed? There’s more. It does this with minimal heat using only 100.6W – in simple terms, you won’t be cooking your talent presented in front of the camera, and you’ll be saving money on kilowatts. Double Whammy.

Lights (x2) – $345.00 each


Horizontal or Vertical? That is the question – With two lamps and two yokes you don’t have to choose, both are possible depending on which you prefer for the setting being shot. One of the main feature which separates this item from the last is the dimmer. Need lower lighting? No problem, with a dimmer ranging from 30-100% on the unit’s side panel or wireless remote you can be sure to get the perfect lighting in your shots.

Light Stands (x2) – $44.99 each

Have you ever had equipment collapse, pinching your fingers or causing harm within your studio? Thanks to the air cushioning of this stand, if you have forgotten to tighten any section with your light mounted, it will slowly descend – eliminating any chance of damage or injury. With it’s compact design, it’s sure to fit in most location cases and become very easy to travel with.

Audio Equipment

Sennheiser Wireless Mic Kit – $629.95


Intended for the all mighty wireless use, these microphones come equipped with a rechargeable battery pack that allows you to charge the batteries while they remain inside the unit. The back lit display allows for easy navigation under the dim lighting coming from your Flolight lamps.

Sony Wireless Mic Kit – $569.00


A Beltpack transmitter, omnidirectional microphone, portable receiver and selectable mic/line input are just some of the performance upgrades found under the robust metal chassis of this wireless lavalier microphone. An LCD screen allows for easy reading on channel frequency, battery life, input/output levels and accumulated operating time. If you’re looking for a mic for interviews and quick run and gun interviews, these are well worth it.

If you look for these items on sale you can expect to spend approximately $1,682.93, if you need these items immediately you should allocate $2,159.88 to your budget. Editor’s Note: prices may vary based on your location.

Do you have some essentials you’d like to add to this video setup list? If you talk about video then we want to talk to you! Send us an email or tweet @Vidyard and we can chat!
  • Ittai De Vree

    Why don’t you guys use a simple wired lavalier mic and a boom mic? It would cut 400$ from the price and enable you to buy a decent preamp for cleaner audio and headphones to monitor it 😉

    • vidyard

      We completely agree that a wired lav or boom mic would work and cost less. We went with the wireless lavalier mic out of personal choice do to its convenience and mobility. Also, the kit works with other types of microphones so we aren’t just limited to a wireless lav. As for the wired lav, it limits the distance between the camera and talent and a boom pole works great but requires some further knowledge and attention to use effectively. There are many solutions to recording talent’s audio, it’s just a matter of taste – and budget, of course . Thanks for your feedback, keep it coming!

  • Jeff Ritzmann

    I guess the real question past equipment is what are you using to edit and render the video. For instance, the video on your page here – I take it the flyouts are a product of green screen composite, which means Blake isn’t standing in that office. It seems to be pretty flawless green screen – so I’d be interested in knowing what software products are being used to create and render that video. Thanks!

    • vidyard

      Hey Jeff – thanks for the comment!

      Chroma keying is a very handy trick of the trade, if done properly! But, our Analytics Center video with the green fly outs is actually shot without a green screen. Cody, our talent in the video (I, Blake, am behind the camera) is actually standing in an open office space.

      So you’re now wondering how did I get the graphics behind Cody? Well, the video was brought into Final Cut Pro to cut, colour correct, adjust audio, etc… But when it came to applying the graphic animations, it was done in Adobe After Effects. To achieve the effect of the green graphics sliding in from behind Cody, I had to use a masking tool to cut Cody’s shape into the graphic so it looked like it was behind him. Then, I had to keyframe each frame where the graphic came in contact with his body and adjust it according to his shape. It also gave me 3D capabilities to give it some slight perspective as well.

      To sum it all up; there was no green screen used and Adobe After Effects was the program used to achieve the effect with the fly out graphics. As for editing, it was Final Cut Pro.

      Hopefully this answers your questions!

      We’d love to hear about any projects you have on the go and which programs you like to use!


      • Jeff Ritzmann

        Blake- Thank You very much for the info – I had assumed it was After Effects and at the very least was generated on a MAC platform. Would After Effects or Final Cut, allow me to do split screen features, such as having one on-air personality talk to another? Say one person is in studio, and the other on a Skype feed. What would be the logistics of doing something like that? Many thanks.

        • vidyard

          Now, when you say split screen features, are these live feeds or just shot, then edited in post? If you want a live feed, (I’m not 100% positive) After Effects nor Final Cut will be able to do that. At least without some 3rd party software/hardware.

          But, if everything was already shot and you wanted to edit it in post with a split screen effect, both programs are definitely capable of achieving this effect! It’s quite simple to do and there are many ways of going about it; masks, crop functions, over lay, etc.

          Look forward to hearing from you!

          • Jeff Ritzmann

            Hi Blake-
            We’ve just ordered the specified equipment in your article here, so we’re on our way. No, these will not be live feeds, but rather edited in post. So, I guess we’re ok with that. I’m not even sure yet how the Skype will be integrated.

            I’m wondering since After Effects and Final Cut are being used, what Mac you feel does the best job?

          • vidyard

            There are many ways to go about recording the Skype video chats. Once you have it recorded and as a stand alone video file, it’s just a matter of bringing that footage into FCP or AE and over laying it on top of whatever footage you want to incorporate it with.

            Now what Mac does the best job? Well if you have a mac from the last 5 years, then you should be good to go. No doubt about that! I work on both a 27′ iMac (24 GB’s of RAM with 1 TB hard drive) and a 13′ Macbook Pro (4 GB’s of RAM with 350 GB hard drive). They both work great with FCP and AE being able to push out the same quality of projects.Other then running smoother, the iMac can render effects and export the video faster because of the increased RAM. The laptop may hum a lot and slow down at times but you have to be doing some pretty heavy editing for it to do that. So, sure, you may have to wait a bit longer with a base line model but in the end, you can produce the same thing on either computer.

            Hope that helps!

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Mitch Solway

Mitch is the VP of Marketing here at Vidyard and loves to help companies grow and customers succeed.