3 Essential Things You Must Know Before You Choose A Video Background

Learn what you need to know about video backgrounds BEFORE you hit the record button. You can listen to episode 30 of Camera Ready With Val Brown here: visualbridgecommunication.com/podcast

In today’s blog post we are going to take a look at three things you need to keep in mind when you’re choosing a background for your videos. Especially when you’re in a hurry and need to get a video out quickly.

These tips will help you no matter what type of video you’re shooing whether it’s for social media, product launch, webinar or corporate communication.

We've all watched videos where the background seems out of synch with the person on screen or there is so much going on, you are focused on that and not the speaker. 

And that’s completely avoidable.  In today's blog post I’m going to cover a simple checklist to make sure your background is appropriate for the video you are shooting, no matter how much time you have to prepare.

I Was Horrified...

I’m pretty sensitive to backgrounds and a lot of that is due to a some of the mistakes I’ve made in my career. I’ll never forget when I landed an interview with a well respected elected official and got the okay to shoot in his office.I was thrilled, because it was a really BIG deal.

We had some trouble getting the shot I wanted and ended up having to scramble to get the interview lit on time. After we shot the interview I went back to the edit bay to review the tape, and I was horrified.

In my hurry, I had missed the fact that there was an object hanging on the wall that appeared to protrude from my my subject's head like My Favorite Martian! 

There were no words... and back then, painting out an object was not as easy as it today. Reshooting the interview was not an option. 😕

From then on, I always took the time to make sure the shot I saw in my head was achievable in the time and space I had available and that there were no distractions in the background.

Get Your Video Backgrounds Right, Every Time

In  this post I cover a simple checklist you can go over to make sure your background is appropriate for the video you are shooting, no matter how much time you have to prepare.

Learn these three essential things you need to pay attention to when you are choosing a background for your next video. Learn about choosing a background that:

  • Supports your brand and topic

  • Has proper lighting

  • Distraction free

Since the goal of this blog is to give you quick actionable tips you can put into use right away, I’m going to keep this high level and focus on 3 things you need to consider no matter what background you choose.

So if you’re ready, let’s dive in.

Number one.

Does your background support your brand and topic?

In case you want a quick review, we covered choosing a location on episode 7 and I talked about how to find your visual brand on episode  19  and interviewed graphic designer Jason Clement on episode 20​.

To make sure your background supports your brand and topic ask two questions:

  1. Does what is behind me support or detract from my subject matter?

  2. Is it in alignment with my brand?

So let’s take a client of mine, we’ll call her Sue. She works in the pharmaceutical industry and talks about health and wellness. She showed me a video she shot sitting in a coffee shop. The lighting was okay, however as you can imagine, there was a lot of noise and I couldn’t figure out what her location had to do with her topic, they didn’t match.

We talked about why she chose that location and she said it was convenient and what she had time to do. That led to a conversation about the cost of convenience to her message and her brand.

In thinking it through, she realized in her haste to just get something out, she was sacrificing an opportunity to really connect with her audience.

With a few tweaks, Sue realized she could shoot multiple videos from her home office where she created a clean background that incorporated her brand colors and some items that showed her personality and passion for what she was talking about. Not only were her videos welcoming and warm, the focus was on her message and not her surroundings.

The takeaway here is your background needs to support your subject matter. If you are talking about something fun and upbeat, a cold, white wall in your office isn’t going to convey that energy you want your viewer to take away.