The term ‘Studio Production’ is given to the process of recording and producing video within a fixed studio environment, as opposed to ‘Field Production,’ which is the term given to remote video production carried out anywhere but within a studio.
Producing a video professionally is a complex, busy process, with much more going on behind-the-scenes for a high-budget production than in front of the camera, such as:
- Make up
- Green room
- Control room
The requirements for low-budget professional productions are similar, but often involve just one camera and one microphone, which results in repeated scene shoots to determine varying angles.
The advantages of studio production
Studio productions are much more controllable than field productions, with fixed lighting and sound equipment, and a control room. Everything is left in place and is set up to deliver the end product seamlessly.
Studios can often be rented from the production company by the day, and production crews are often included in the cost (although not always).
Field productions involve more set-up of equipment, which can be time-consuming. Often, field work involves the use of only one camera and microphone. Weather and lighting play a bigger role in field productions, and sound recordings can be tricky, dependent upon the location. Also, time is of the essence in field productions, as equipment must be packed away and removed from site once production is completed.
Studio production, when well planned, can deliver results more quickly, and with the introduction of video walls and high-tech control rooms, often in higher quality. Editing is made simpler with studio production via the use of a video switcher, saving time and as a result, cost, as opposed to field editing, which is often carried out after the shoot using a computer and software.
In a studio environment, lighting is usually fixed to the ceiling, and can be controlled through a control board. All lights are connected to the board and can be individually adjusted manually using sliders and dials on the board itself. In the field, lighting can become a critical aspect of production, and is largely dependent on weather conditions, time of the year, location dynamics and so forth. Portable lighting is used, in addition to reflector boards, cloth backdrops and camera filters.
Of course, for amateur or low-budget productions, a studio can be set up anywhere, with equipment that is available off-the-shelf. Computer technology and wireless applications have made the creation of a studio environment much more accessible to the amateur studio production team.