A Filmmaker Shows You How To Set-Up Remarkable Video Calls at Home

I had a call with B&H photo not too long ago, this MASSIVE company that sells literally every photo and video product around.

Within ten seconds of hopping on the call the rep was like “whoa, how do you make that look so good?”

Now keep in mind, this isn’t somebody not used to great cameras and audio – this is somebody who teaches on that subject, yet even he was wowed by the quality of the video call.

Why does that matter?

Well, because the more remarkable you are in your video calls, the more likely your ideas are to spread.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve heard the question ‘how do you make that video look so good’ over one hundred times.

That tells me many people are curious about how to do it, but it also says the bar is much lower, so you’ve got an excellent opportunity to stand out by having a solid video and audio setup.

Think about it another way – if you had a big client pitch and you showed up to their office, it’s unlikely you’d have a dirty T-shirt on and ripped jeans. Yet a poor home video setup with a messy bed in the background, poor composition, and unflattering lighting – has the same impact on the ideas you are sharing, and it absolutely influences how you and you’re ideas are being perceived.

In this tutorial, I’ll break down how to make Video CALS from home, that is the Camera, Audio, Lighting, and Setting.

Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or new to the virtual meeting world, this summary will guide you through the essential elements to create remarkable Zoom calls. If you’re looking to enhance your video conferencing experience and make a lasting impression, here’s the breakdown:

Introduction to Remarkable Zoom Calls

  • Why Remarkable Zoom Calls Matter: The video opens with the importance of making your video calls remarkable, emphasizing that being worthy of remark helps your ideas spread and increases the perceived value of you and your ideas.
  • The C.A.L.S. Acronym: The video introduces the acronym “C.A.L.S.” to guide the setup, focusing on Camera, Audio, Lighting, and Setting.

Camera – Achieving a Professional Look

  • Avoiding Laptop’s Built-in Camera: The built-in camera of a laptop often lacks dynamic range and sensor size, leading to a loss of detail. The video recommends using a camera like the Fujifilm XT4 or X100V for a shallow depth of field.
  • Understanding Aperture: The video explains the importance of aperture, the size of the lens opening, and warns against using kit lenses with a small aperture, as they create a deeper depth of field.
  • Additional Camera Gear: For advanced setups, the video mentions the Atom’s Shogun recorder and Blackmagic web presenter, but also assures that basic setups with free software from manufacturers like Canon and Fujifilm are more than enough.

Audio – Ensuring Clear Sound

  • Using the Rode Podcaster: The video showcases the Rode Podcaster with a podcast mic, highlighting its noise rejection and built-in sound processing.
  • Affordable Audio Solution: For a lower-cost solution, the video recommends the Rode NT USB mic, emphasizing its ease of use.

Lighting – Mastering the Art of Illumination

  • Consistent Color Temperature: The video advises using lights of the same color temperature and avoiding mixing orange and blue lights.
  • Avoiding Windows Behind You: Placing windows at your side rather than behind you helps the camera handle brightness better.
  • Avoiding Harsh Light: Using blinds or sheers to soften harsh sunlight creates a more flattering look.
  • Adding Lights: The video suggests using lights like the Aputure C120 or Nanlite Forza series with softboxes, and placing them at 30 or 45 degrees to the side for shape and dimension.

Setting – Creating the Right Background

  • Avoiding Virtual Backgrounds: The video warns against using Zoom’s virtual backgrounds, as they often hurt more than help.
  • Choosing Relevant Objects and Wall: Selecting a background that is relevant to you and what you do adds context to your calls.

Bonus Tip – Portable Prompter: A portable prompter paired with an LCD panel can make recording scripts or speeches quick and easy, enhancing connection.

It’s not just about having the right gear; it’s about understanding how to use it to create a professional and engaging virtual presence. Whether you’re looking to invest in new equipment or simply make the most of what you have, these insights can transform your video calls into remarkable experiences. Dive into the video for a hands-on walkthrough or use this summary as a quick reference to elevate your remote work game. 🎥 Happy Zooming!

If you have any questions after checking this out, and want to refine your video call quality, hit us up below. I’ve been obsessing over this setup for far too long, so I’d love to chat with y’all about it 🙂

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