We have shot tens of thousands of video announcements at Pro Video Announcements. To create these videos, we have invested thousands of dollars and countless hours into perfecting our craft.
Today, I’m going to take you behind the scenes to show you what goes into the videos we create. While we’re taking a tour of our studio, I’m going to share with you the 23 pieces of video gear we use. So let’s get started!
Camera and camera accessories
The first place to start when talking about recording video announcements is what camera you should use.
There are a variety of camera options at your disposal within a range of price points. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to use many different cameras, and there’s a particular camera and setup I’ve landed on for recording video announcements.
At Pro Video Announcements, we shoot our videos with the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera. This camera allows us to shoot in 10-bit ProRes, as well as in 4K resolution, which is helpful for punching in and out in post-production to give us a multi-camera look with just a single camera setup.
The lens on our camera is a Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Cinema Lens. With the variety of video announcements we shoot every week, we find this lens helpful for its multi-purpose capabilities. This one lens helps us shoot a range of videos in different situations.
3. Tripod & 4. Fluid Head
This tripod combination is important to us. After we add the camera and teleprompter together, our camera rig becomes heavy, so we need a heavy-duty tripod and fluid head combination to support the weight.
It’s not a good idea to skimp on your tripod: Your video shots may become interrupted when your entire setup crashes.
Another cool piece of gear we have set up on our tripod is the Manfrotto RC Clamp LANC Zoom/Focus Remote. We clamp this piece of equipment directly onto one of the tripod legs. It plugs directly into the port on our camera, and it allows the host presenting announcements to trigger the record button without having to walk around the camera in between every take.
Teleprompters to keep you on point
We couldn’t do what we do today without a teleprompter.
There was a day when I memorized every single video announcement script from scratch, but as our demand grew at Pro Video Announcements, this became impossible. So we started using a teleprompter.
We experimented with a few teleprompters, but we’re currently using the Telmax Pro-IP-XLA Teleprompter for iPads. To make sure you don’t miss this, you do need an iPad to use this teleprompter.
7. iTunes App
For our iPad, we use and recommend the Teleprompt+ 3 iTunes app. This app is a game changer and is perfect for any video announcement host.
8. Traveling Teleprompter
When we travel, we use a different teleprompter: Parrot Teleprompter V2. This teleprompter is more compact and affordable than the Telmax Pro, and, instead of needing an iPad, you can use your mobile device to read from.
Audio equipment for you to be heard
When it comes to shooting videos, it’s obvious you need a quality camera. However, what many church leaders overlook is their need for quality audio equipment.
You may look good on camera, but if people cannot hear what you’re saying, then your announcement will fall on deaf ears.
Here’s the audio equipment we use.
For the mic, we use the Audio-Technica AT8035 – Shotgun Condenser Microphone.
You can purchase a less expensive mic, but we suggest splurging just a little on this one. It works great inside and outside, and it gives you a professional sound quality.
10. Boompole & 11–13 Boompole equipment
To create optimal audio quality, the mic is connected to the K-Tek KE-79 Avalon Series Boompole. The boompole is connected to the…
11. Matthews MiniGrip Head
The Matthews MiniGrip Head is connected to the…
12. Auray Boom Pole Holder
And the Auray Boom Pole Holder is connected to the…
13. Westcott Light Stand
Alright, I’ll admit: This is a bit complicated.
We didn’t come up with this mic stand setup by accident. For the longest time, we did a ton of recording on the road. Many times, we had to travel by air. So, we made it a goal to fit every piece of gear in one of our carry-on bags, which is why our mic setup appears to be a random collection of gear.
Today, we don’t travel as much to film, but we still use this setup in our studio. All of the pieces listed directly above can be torn apart, broken down, and fit inside a carry-on bag.
Another major part of shooting videos is lighting. Whether you’re shooting videos inside or outside, lighting makes a big difference in how well your videos look. Below is the setup we use for lighting in our studio.
We use Westcott Flex Bi-Color LED Mat for our key, fill, and hair lights in the studio. The key and fill lights are the Bi-Color 1×2 Flex Lights, and our hair light is the 1×1 Bi-Color Flex.
15. Light Stands
The Flex LED is attached to the Westcott Compact Light Stand mentioned above. We clamp on the lights with Bessy Spring Clamps we bought from Home Depot. We have an expensive setup, but we try to save money where we can, and these clamps are a great value with little investment.
We don’t make the hosts of our video announcements sweat or go blind because of our lights. We diffuse our lights by using Matthews Silks. The key light we use has a 48×48 silk in front of it, whereas our fill light has a 24×36 silk in front of it.
17. Fabric stands & 18. Impact C-Stands
The final major category of gear in our studio is our backgrounds.
We shoot our videos in a studio with backgrounds out of necessity. I always recommend shooting your video announcements in your church’s auditorium, lobby, or outside. Find a single window in your church, use it as your key light, and shoot your video there. You will save a ton of money on lights and backgrounds, and you will be shooting in a location more relevant to your church versus some random background on the wall.
Now, with that being said, because we shoot video announcements for so many different churches, we do not have the luxury of shooting on site. Here are the backgrounds we use.
19. Wood Plank
We have a wood plank background that we have built using a product called Stikwood.
The planks stick directly on the wall with its double-sided adhesive. We ordered a single 40-square-foot box of Reclaimed Weathered Wood, and, as you can see in the video, it filled up a huge portion of our wall.
20. Black Paper & 21. Wall Mounting Kit
The final two pieces of miscellaneous gear in our studio are both very cheap, but wildly helpful for us.
22. Packing Blankets
We have a variety of moving blankets hanging around the studio for acoustic purposes. These are packing blankets we purchased from Home Depot, and we clamp them to the ceiling using more of those clamps I mentioned above.
23. Gaff Tape
Finally, we use Gaff Tape all over the studio. We use this tape to mark gear positions, host standing spots on the floor, and for countless other applications.
Well, that’s it! All 23 pieces of gear we use in our studio.
I wanted to show you exactly what we use in our studio context.
The gear in our studio cost between $15,000–$20,000. For our work, this investment was worth it. However, I understand most churches do not have this kind of money to invest in video gear. So, in another video, I am going to show you how to create a video studio with $1,000.
Do you have any questions about the equipment we use? Feel free to drop your question in the comments below. We’re happy to help!