What to Expect In the Studio

What does a productions studio look like?
You’ve agreed to appear on camera for the first time. Knowing what to expect in the studio can help you relax and enjoy the experience.

The Green Room

Your first stop in most studios will be the green room – literally a room where guests and “talent” can relax before their on-camera appearance. Despite it’s name, the green room is usually NOT green and will typically be appointed like a small lounge or reception area. You may have access to refreshments, reading material and sometimes a television. In a TV studio, you will usually be able to watch a live feed of the programming currently being taped.

There may also be a closet or safe storage where you can leave your coat, purse, briefcase, laptop or anything else you don’t need or want to have with you on set.

You’ll wait here until the crew is ready to film your segment. The production coordinator will come for you when it’s time. He will also make sure that you have been given, and have signed, any permission or release forms needed. Until then, try to relax and enjoy yourself. If you are being interviewed, the interviewer will usually stop by the green room to meet you and prepare you for the interview segment.

The Makeup Room

Depending on the budget of the shoot you are participating in, your next stop will most likely be the makeup artist’s chair. (Yes, even if you’re a guy!)

Studio lights are very strong and can overpower skin-tones leaving you looking pale and washed out on camera. For this reason, makeup used in video needs to be slightly heavier than you would normally wear on the street.

The makeup artist will have her own kit of supplies, and will apply a light, natural makeup to enhance your features. For corporate video appearances, your on-camera make-up will typically be similar to the makeup you were wearing on your arrival, just more intense. She may also help you smooth out your hair so that there are no flyaways or misplaced strands to detract from your appearance on camera.

Even if you don’t usually wear makeup, it helps to have at least a base of matte foundation and a light blush to reflect more light from the surface of your skin, so that you look more like yourself.

If the video is being produced on a budget, you may not have the help of a professional makeup artist. In this situation, it’s a good idea to ask for a five minute warning so that you can step over to the makeup mirror and touch up your own hair and make-up.

The Studio

While you have been relaxing in the green room, the studio crew has been organizing the lighting, set, sound and everything else that needs to be in place for your segment. When they have things exactly as they want them, you will be brought into the studio and shown to your spot on set.

A crew member will help you put on your microphone or, if an overhead or boom mic is to be used, instruct you about how to sit and speak so that your voice comes through clearly. If this is an interview, the interviewer will aready be there, mic’d and ready. She will chat with you to help you feel comfortable on set while the crew checks sound levels to make sure your voice is recording at the right levels.

The lights in the studio are quite bright, and usually will be a mix of overhead lighting hanging from a grid and lights on stands similar to what you’ll find in a photographer’s studio. The lighting crew will check their set up and may make minor adjustments to position and intensity, making sure that you look your best on camera.

If you are using a prepared script, you will also be shown the teleprompter and instructed how to best use it – where to look, how quickly to read, etc.

And You’re On!

Once everything has been checked and the crew is happy with what they see on the monitors in the studio, you’ll be given a count down before taping begins. Before you know it, your segment will be over and you’ll be escorted out of the studio and back to the green room.


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