Improving Zoom Video

When COVID-19 hit, all video production halted. The scramble to produce anything from a 60-second primetime TV commercial spot to a sizzle reel left most video production studios arriving at the same conclusion: Zoom.

For the Uptown Studios video team, we also came to the same conclusion but found ourselves thinking one step farther: how do you improve upon virtual video production on Zoom during COVID-19?

Taking the time to improve the Zoom interface

Since all video production was reduced down to the exact same factors and interface, the Uptown Studios team quickly realized that the best way to improve the Zoom interface was to take the extra time to situate a guest. Particularly during interview-based filming, spending the first five to ten minutes of production coaching the interviewee/interviewer made all the difference. Focusing on the placement of the interviewee within the Zoom screen, their background, lighting, and sound drastically improved the production value of the video.

In addition to prepping the on-screen talent or interviewee/interviewer, the Uptown Studios video team also quickly realized they could improve the presentation of the individual zoom screens.

From Zoom to our new favorite tool: Streamyard

Like Zoom interview-style videos, the pandemic also brought a sudden need for virtual conferences. To aid in our ability to produce high-quality virtual spots for conferences, our team invested time into perfecting our Streamyard skills. Streamyard is an in-browser live stream studio that, in combination with Zoom, produces full-scale live-streamed shows. In Streamyard, we are able to brand frames for each Zoom video, insert lower-third graphics, and switch between screens at the touch of a button. Introducing Streamyard into our toolbox has made a huge difference in the video team’s ability to produce video at a distance.

Resuming Socially-Distanced Video and Photo Shoots

Photographer Taking Picture Of Person Standing In Front Of A White Backdrop Inside An Instagram Post

Once Sacramento was in the lower COVID-19 tiers, our video team was finally able to resume limited in-person shooting. To help increase flexibility in these video shoots while still maintaining proper CDC guidance and distance, we invested in a drone and drone certification. Investing in a drone has been a total game changer! We are now able to drastically increase the production value while keeping our client’s budgets intact. These drone shots help establish a scene and allow our videos to remain on-trend.

As we continue to film videos amidst COVID-19, we are looking forward to the discoveries we might have. The pandemic is a terrible tragedy for our world, but out of that tragedy, we are fortunate to have found new ways to explore our creativity and produce epic videos for our clients.

Ryan Logan
By Ryan-Logan