Backdrops for video in the office

A common problem for companies filming interviews in their office is finding a suitable location that offers a good backdrop. Filming against a grey wall is a tad uninspiring but a good back drop can make a big difference so I thought I would offer some quick and inexpensive tips to creating a suitable backdrop for your next video.

The first thing to do is see if you can find a quiet and bright meeting room / space where you can position your subject with as much space as possible behind them. If the backdrop is a wall you could perhaps paint it a brand colour so you know you always have a suitable filming location. However, as a suitable meeting room is not always going to be possible I have provided some alternative ideas below.

Before we get in to alternative backdrops, I would encourage the filming be done with a camera such as a Digital SLR like the Canon 7D or a Video camera like the Canon C100 or C300 which enable you to more easily soften (put out of focus) the background so you can’t really see any of the details behind the person speaking. Example video of interview in this style. This out of focus idea can be difficult to visualise as you walk around your office but the right camera will see it very differently to your eye so I have used various pictures in this article to demonstrate what I mean.

Video backdropA backdrop I really like is an open office falling away behind the subject. It often adds colour and interest as well as a bit movement without being too distracting.If you have an office with a glass wall overlooking the open plan office this will provide the added benefit of some sound proofing too.
Video backdrop - branded wallIf you are limited to space and you are forced to use a corridor as your set then rather than work flat on to the wall, try to position the subject so the wall behind can run off at an angle to provide perspective.If it is likely to be used often then how about painting the wall in a brand colour and even putting up your company logo?
Video backdrop - FurnitureIt might sound messy but given enough space in the background, some simple but effective options might be to include some brand colour chairs, green plants and maybe a bright abstract picture on the wall can work too. As long as it is clean and tidy it can provide a pleasing informal look.
Video backdropIf you don’t want to go to the expense of painting a wall then an option is to use natural outdoor light to place some colour on to the wall. In this case we achieved a nice cool blue tone provided from natural light on to a boardroom partition wall to balance the the warm skin tones of the subject.
Video backdropNatural light is not always easy to find or control so you might be better to invest in a bright table lamp or spotlight that can throw some light at an angle on to one of the rear walls to add some interest too.
Video Backdrop - Window viewEven views through windows can offer an interesting backdrop but be aware that if the sun is out the background of a window will often be too bright and leave your subject in silhouette. Unless you have some great lighting this might not work for you.
Video backdrop - Window viewWindows dont have to be looking outside either. A view over a central atrium can work well too. In this case the backdrop was bright with a cool blue light bouncing off shiny surfaces and glass.The escalator offered some movement and interest in the background without being too distracting.
White Screen VideoLastly, if you know what you are doing you can always go minimal and film against a white wall or screen. This enables you to film pretty much anywhere that you can put up a screen but be warned, if you don’t have the right lighting this can be tricky to do. Read our post on white screen video here.Good luck with finding your best spot but contact us if you have any questions.