When You Should Film in a Studio or On Location

Choosing the right setting for your video production is crucial in determining the overall look, feel, and quality of your project. At Story Machine, we have extensive experience filming in both studios and on location, and each option has its unique advantages and challenges. This guide will help you decide when to film in a studio and when an on-location shoot might be the better choice for your next video project.

Filming in a Studio

Full Control Over Environment

One of the primary reasons to choose a studio for your shoot is the level of control it offers. In a studio, you can manage all environmental factors such as lighting, sound, and background. This controlled setting ensures that you can create a consistent and professional look throughout your video.

For instance, when shooting interviews, having a clean backdrop or a custom-designed set can significantly enhance the video’s professionalism. You can control every detail, from the lighting setup to the sound quality, minimising the risk of disruptions or inconsistencies.

Flexibility in Design and Layout

Studios provide incredible flexibility in terms of design and layout. You can build custom sets that perfectly match your vision. Whether you need a stylized backdrop for a product shoot or a branded environment for a corporate video, studios allow you to create exactly what you need.

In our experience, studios are particularly beneficial for lower-budget stylized shoots where a simple background suffices or when you need to build a specific set that can be reused across different projects. This setup is not only cost-effective but also time-efficient, as you don’t have to search for a new location each time.

Professional Equipment and Setup

Access to professional-grade equipment is another significant advantage of filming in a studio. Studios are equipped with high-quality cameras, lighting, and sound equipment, all of which contribute to a polished final product. This setup ensures that your video looks and sounds its best, meeting the high standards expected in today’s competitive market.

Privacy and Security

Studios offer a private and secure setting, which is essential for projects that require confidentiality. You can work without worrying about public interruptions or security issues. This privacy is particularly important for sensitive content, such as corporate announcements or proprietary product showcases.

Filming On Location

Authenticity and Realism

While studios offer control and flexibility, filming on location brings authenticity and realism to your video. Real-world settings can add depth and context that are difficult to replicate in a studio. For instance, lifestyle videos, documentaries, or travel content benefit greatly from the natural and dynamic environments of on-location shoots.

Space and Versatility

Real locations often provide more space and versatility compared to studios. This is particularly useful for wide-angle shots, large group scenes, or action sequences that require more room. In a studio, space can sometimes be a limitation, whereas real locations offer the expanse needed for more complex setups.

Overcoming Challenges

However, filming on location does come with its challenges. One common issue we encounter is the lack of sufficient space for camera, lighting, and crew. I often recall a comical episode of “The Simpsons,” where a film crew makes holes in the walls of the Simpson’s home to accommodate their gear. While we would never damage a location, it highlights the spatial and logistical constraints that can arise on real-world shoots.

Cost Considerations

When deciding between a studio and on-location shoot, cost is an important factor. In Sydney, residential location hires start from around $3,000 per day, depending on the size and appeal of the property. Good studios with the appropriate facilities start at about $1,500 per day, but this can increase when you add flats or props. For simpler projects, the costs between a studio and an on-location shoot can be comparable.

Making the Decision

In an ideal world, we would shoot most things in a studio due to the control and flexibility it offers. However, this isn’t always feasible due to budget constraints and the need for authenticity. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

  • Choose a Studio: When you need full control over the environment, consistent lighting and sound, or the ability to build custom sets.
  • Choose On Location: When authenticity and realism are crucial, or you need more space and a versatile setting that can’t be replicated in a studio.

Deciding between filming in a studio or on location depends on the specific needs of your project. Studios offer control, flexibility, and professional equipment, making them ideal for many types of shoots. However, real locations provide authenticity, space, and a natural setting that can enhance the realism of your video. By weighing the pros and cons and considering your project’s requirements, you can make an informed decision that ensures the success of your video production.

Ready to get started?​

At Story Machine, we specialize in creating high-quality video content tailored to your needs, whether in a studio or on location. If you’re ready to start your next video project, contact us today!

Recent Articles

What our clients have to say about us

Our clients consistently describe Story Machine as one of the best video production companies in Sydney, known for our creativity and high-quality content. They praise our ability to bring their visions to life with stunning video production, seamless editing, and clear, structured processes. Our exceptional project management and communication ensure a smooth and stress-free experience from start to finish. To read the full reviews, visit our Clutch profile.

Speak to an expert

We’re here to help every step of the way. Whether you’re looking to elevate your brand with stunning video content or have questions about the process, our friendly and creative team at Story Machine is ready to bring your vision to life. Join the many clients who trust us to tell their stories and deliver real results. Contact us today, and let’s create something extraordinary together!

Message us

We understand that starting a video project can be stressful, especially if you’re new to it. We’re here to help! Here’s a simple guide to make the process easier.

By providing this information, you help us understand your vision and ensure we deliver a video that meets your expectations. Our team is here to guide you through this process, making it as smooth and stress-free as possible.

1. Project Objective:
Define what you want to achieve with your video. Is it brand awareness, product promotion, or customer engagement?

2. Target Audience:
Specify who you want to reach, considering demographics, interests, and behaviours.

3. Key Messages:
Outline the main points you want to communicate.

4. Style and Tone:
Describe the desired look, feel, and mood of the video. Include examples of references you love if possible.

5. Budget and Timeline:
Provide your budget range and any deadlines.

6. Deliverables:
List what you expect to receive, such as a full video or social media cuts.

Using AI for Video Script Writing is a Game Changer. Download our Free GPT Prompts.

We’ve created 10x copy-and-paste GPT script prompts for the most common types of videos. Leveraging over 12 years of experience, these prompts are designed to maximise results. Whether you’re producing direct response ads, brand stories, or explainer videos, our best practice prompts guide you through the process, ensuring high-quality, engaging content every time. Enter your details to download our winning GPT script prompts!