How to spend a little to make a big impact with this simple video studio

Simple video studio setup

It’s easier to start making video than you think. You have your content calendar and you know what you’re going to talk about.

Now let's cover setting up your office in a way that all you need to do to record... is hit record. You’ll be cranking out videos like BAM!

A simple video creation setup for any budget

Don’t spend heaps of money on your videos yet. Until you know your videos will work, spend as little as possible to test this medium.

Let’s get you making them and seeing what results you get first.

This simple setup allows you to record your screen, record you and your teammates, and add in some b-roll to make your videos immediately better than 99% of the Saas videos out there.

Your video toolkit

  • ScreenflowScreenflow lets you record your screen and you at the same time. There are several applications that do this. Camtasia is another good one, but I like Screenflow because is works with the next app on the list.
  • Camo by ReincubateCamo turns your iPhone into a webcam. Most built-in webcams aren’t great, so leveling up your camera is a great place to start. Camo makes that possible without costing you a fortune.
  • Rode NT-USB Microphone — Sounding good is important and this microphone will make you sound professional without breaking the bank. The Rode NT-USB is sturdy, it works through USB, and it comes with a desktop stand. The only setup is plugging it into your computer.

That’s it. You don’t need lights or backdrops. This whole toolkit will cost you under $250.

Setting up to record your screen

I recommend using Firefox to show your product at work. Why? Because Firefox makes it easy to create the right size frame for your recording that will minimize the need to edit later.

  • Open Firefox
  • Go to the page of your product that you’re going to record and right click, select Inspect Element
  • Click the little Tablet/Phone icon on the bottom right (screenshot of that here)
  • In the top bar, set your screen size to 1280 x 720
  • Close the Inspector
    Now you can frame your screen recording around this perfectly sized browser window. This makes it easy to keep your video in 16:9 dimension.

Firefox will work the same with this little window as it would normally. Once you setup the screen size you can work like normal.

Setting up your office

A good clean background and simple lighting are all you need to setup your office for a good video.

Setup your camera to see what your background looks like

If you’re recording from your desk, setup your camera at the angle you’ll be recording your face from. Now look at the background to see if it looks cluttered or busy.

Don’t go nuts and remove everything and rearrange your whole office. Do tidy up and make sure there isn’t anything too personal or too distracting in the background. You can set up a sweet backdrop later.

Your lighting is important

The goal is to have your face well-lit so your viewers can see you. If you can face a window and get natural light on your face, do that. Another helpful hack is to use desk lamps pointed at the walls to put more light in the room without shining a light directly in your face.

Keep your camera set up as you play with lights and check how it makes you look. Remember, all you want is people to see your (smiling) face. Once you have a lighting setup that shows your face, stop fiddling around with lighting and move on to the next step: Recording.

Just KISS it

Keep it super simple. It's tempting to build an amazing video studio before you record your first video, but don't make that mistake. Instead, use what you have to create something that looks good enough and just get started.

Peter Preston

Peter Preston

I'm a Saas marketing manager at ThinkTilt, makers of ProForma for Jira. I'm also the founder of Dear Video, a recovering podcast host, and learning how to grown a brand on YouTube.
Brisbane, QLD