Brand X Builds a Video Studio (with Shanna Ferris of Creative Force and Benjamin Grimes of Samy's Camera)

Shanna Ferris

Shanna Ferris
Senior Product Specialist, CREATIVE FORCE

Benjamin Grimes

Benjamin Grimes
General Manager, SAMY'S CAMERA

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Podcast Episode 23


I, Daniel Jester, in my position as Chief Moneybags of Brand X, have retained Shanna Ferris and Benjamin Grimes to consult with me and my company in order to build video capabilities to compliment our stills production studio. Benjamin Grimes brings his insight as General Manager of Samy's Camera CinemaWorks and Pro Sales, while Shanna Ferris shares her wealth of knowledge from her experience as a video operations specialist.

Key Takeaways

  • Space is a significant consideration for video. Everything from ambient light to ambient sound to power to temperature control all needs to be considered when identifying space for video production at scale.
  • Building or renovating a space from the ground up gives you the most ability to get the right amount of power, the right lighting, and the right controls to set your studio up for success.
  • Architectural lighting (overhead light fixtures) can be built to be used for video, using full spectrum video ready light fixtures.
  • Consider not only video space, but storage space, workshop space for set building, space for storage of data, and video editor space requirements.
  • Building infrastructure for remote art direction (and other work) up front can help mitigate business interruptions, but also more strategic decision making in your content. Emerging tech makes this more doable than ever.
  • Your first hire should probably be a hands on leader with video experience. Some stills staff can be used, but you need that person whose hands on and has experience to initially lead the team. Something like a video creative director.
  • As always, evaluating current processes is a great way to build a new process, including with hiring a new core team for video.
  • Much of your equipment purchases are going to be similar to your still production. Lighting is the area where you want to be thoughtful. Changes have come so quickly in LED tech, it makes sense to learn about what could be coming.
  • LED lights have effectively no measurable shelf life. The consideration really becomes output and modifiers.
  • Camera movement is a huge unexpected cost. Moving the camera consistently over and over again gets expensive.
  • The key to scalability of video production is using a data driven studio. Understanding what you've accomplished so far, and where you need to go in the context of business goals.
  • Pulling still images from video footage is being tested and may be close to reality, as a way to integrate video and stills capture.
  • Hollywood film and TV production often informs video production for e-commerce, which could mean technology like rendered backgrounds could come to the e-comm studio.

Links & Resources


There were a ton of technical terms in this episode about video, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the information. Here's a handful of definitions to help, but you really don't need to be an expert in terms, hire the experts instead!

  • Video Codec: software or hardware that compresses and decompresses digital video. Used to manage file size of video content or live streams. There are many different types of codecs for different use cases.
  • Solid State Media: In the context of this podcast, a memory card.
  • Full Spectrum Lighting: Light fixtures or bulbs that contain more than the typical light spectrum. Generally better color rendering and capabilities for creative production.

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