You Want to Produce WHAT in My Studio?


Creating a multipurpose studio with modular sets

  • Written by Brian McKinnon
  • Edited by Liana Casciani

Are you a studio media manager, running the TV station, heading the communications department or creative producer? Then you know all about product support, compliance, training, human resources, do-it-yourself, executive suite outreach, internal customer communications, talking head/ interview/ moderator themed shows. So, how do you satisfy the set needs of the diverse internal customers while also maintaining the production quality that best represents the corporation? Just consider the challenges of producing am HR training video on the same set the CEO uses to deliver the company’s quarterly results.

One way studios are adapting to meet requests for diverse show identities are through easily reconfigurable sets.  We spoke with some of our customers on this topic.

  • The Boeing Company recently found themselves in just this situation in their Seattle Studios. “The Boeing Seattle Studio was originally designed as an instructor operated classroom.  It slowly morphed into a production studio for live events.  We needed to update the look and add versatility”, stated Richard Gay, Producer Creative and Information Services at The Boeing Company.  “A dedicate set was considered as an option but the decision was made to keep the space customizable. We have many internal customers and shows with varied design needs.” In creating a multipurpose studio space, The Boeing Company is producing live and taped training, compliance, and corporate communications from their studio reinforcing “in-house” to be the appropriate approach to these projects.
  • At EMC’s Education Services organization where their 3 video classrooms deliver streaming and recorded training, a transformation is taking place.  “Over the past year, requests have skyrocketed to produce more talking head and interview style recordings,” said Steve Howland the VILT Production Team Leader at the EMC Corporation. The first step taken has been to incorporate a versatile desk system that can be set into 7 different configurations and is easily transported into any one of their classroom studios. Classrooms can now be used for traditional programming in the morning and set for an executive briefing in the afternoon.  “The next step is to add a more versatile back wall system that’s more ‘executive’ looking, transportable and will allow for the expansion of chroma-key”, added Howland.
  • “Video is becoming the new powerpoint.” This was noted by Andrea Keating, Owner/Founder & CEO of Crews Control, Inc. in her CMMA Vision Blog posted in June, “Corporate Departments are using more video, more often for more reasons”. But at the same time demand for internal video production rapidly increases while most of the infrastructure to support these efforts is being reduced. Never before have studios needed to be more versatile and nimble with their lighting, cameras, editing suites, set elements, program/show identities and staffed within an ever more competitive environment to secure funding.

Whether you are in a position to install an entire multipurpose studio today or are looking at incorporating some level of versatility in your existing studio(s) there are 15 questions to consider:

  1. Does the set I’m considering require any on-site assembly or construction? If so, who will be assisting with this?
  2. Does the set I’m considering block important doors for entrances or storage? Do I need mobile set elements?
  3. How easy is it to set and strike the set elements?
  4. Can they be reconfigured without having to be completely disassembled?
  5. In how many ways/how many options do you have with just one product/set element?
  6. How quickly can set changes be made: minutes, hours, days?
  7. How are set elements stored and moved?
  8. Can the set be relocated easily to another location?
  9. Will set elements and storage carts fit through standard doors and hallways?
  10. How will the set allow me to integrate chroma key and virtual set elements?
  11. How can the modular set be customized to incorporate unique branding or visual requirements?
  12. Can the modular set approach be rolled out into other studio and video conferencing locations throughout the enterprise?
  13. Is the set design able to be configured by the end user, freeing up studio production staff?
  14. Can the set be expanded at a later date (phased-in) with add on’s and accessories?
  15. What’s the cost and what’s the payback?

Since the ’70’s UNISET has been a leader in the design and development of multipurpose studio set solutions. With a dedicated staff, the company continues to evolve its products to integrate with the latest technologies and studio spaces of our customers. Continue to browse our website, and please don’t hesitate to reach out via our contact form or call us directly at 585-344-3820.

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