What Makes A Great Full-Service Production Studio?
Published on: Tuesday, June 7, 2022 - 7:00am
Everyone wants video these days.
Whether it’s for a sales conference, employee training, a company meeting, or even a musical performance, being “on screen” is an advantage, and often a necessity. Moreover, businesses and performers alike want to make sure their videos are high quality and their crews are happy.
How can you make sure you choose a production studio that not only meets your needs but also provides you with a great experience in the process?
CTS has extensive experience in full-service studio production and has worked with a wide variety of clients, including renowned country artists, a national health organization, and a multi-billion dollar media company, to name a few.
Based on that experience, we’d like to share with you four things to look for in a great full-service production studio.
1. Equipment Availability and Prep
The first point to check is that the studio has a wide range of equipment on hand for you to use during production. At a minimum, they should have basic audio equipment. But do they also have a variety of lighting equipment? What about set options? Is their gear high quality? Does it look good on camera?
No one wants to waste studio time waiting for rentals, trying to piece together equipment, or discovering that an idea you had isn’t possible. Having all of that in house, whether it’s already set up or on hand, saves otherwise-wasted studio time and money.
Some studios are black boxes, or blank slates where you bring everything in yourself from an outside vendor. This requires setup time, teardown time, and a bigger crew.
Instead of using a black box studio, we recommend going with a full-service studio that prepares and tests the equipment you need before you arrive. Instead of using studio time setting up and tearing down, you can simply walk in and start recording, and then leave when you’re finished. And you can do it with minimal crew.
2. Staging Flexibility
A high-end, full-service production studio should also offer staging flexibility by providing you with different spaces for different purposes.
For example, CTS provides a large stage and two smaller spaces. One of those spaces offers a digital scenery in which the client can project any image or video onto an LED screen to create their desired environment and background. The other is a hard-panel set with a dropdown screen.
You need a variety of looks in order to maximize your time in the studio. Wouldn’t it be nice to shoot six videos in one 10-hour day, and have them all look different?
This might not seem crucial at first, but you’re going to spend a lot of time in a studio. You need to know if you’re going to be comfortable there.
If the comfort level is high, the talent is more likely to act naturally on camera instead of appearing forced. If there’s discomfort with some aspect of the studio, this is usually very obvious and can negatively impact the entire studio session.
For example, last year we shot some videos with executives from two well-known, high-end car manufacturers. They were surprised at the difference between the CTS studio environment and other places they’d used, commenting on the quality and beauty of the space.
When it comes to ensuring comfort, some specifics to ask about include green rooms, dressing rooms, Wi-Fi access, charging ports, and — perhaps most importantly — private bathrooms.
If you’re going to be in a studio all day long, you’ll need access to a restroom. Given the opportunity, it’s a major plus if you’re guaranteed private facilities because it almost always increases overall comfort.
Dressing rooms should also be private and have ample space to hang costume changes. If you do end up shooting six episodes in a day, that will require a lot of hanging space for clothes.
4. Great Location
Finally, location can make a big difference, and not just in proximity to the airport or freeway.
For example, the CTS production studio is intentionally located in a suburban area rather than in downtown Nashville. It’s still only about 25 minutes from the airport, but it’s in a beautiful, peaceful area that offers easy parking, convenient access to restaurants and hotels, and an absence of downtown traffic.
Our clients love the suburban environment. When they get done in the studio, they can go out, grab something to eat, and get to their hotel quickly.
All that to say, it’s important to think about the location of any studio you’re considering. Is it convenient? How’s the parking? Will you have access to what you need? Will you feel safe and calm, or irritated and on edge?
Full Service Means Full Value
To make the most of your studio time, we recommend taking advantage of all that a full-service production studio has to offer. By looking into these four areas before you book, you can make sure you’re spending your money and your studio time wisely. You’ll also ensure that your team and talent have a great time, and that’s going to translate to higher-quality content.