1. How is the deStudio pronounced?
  2. What type of clients use deStudio?
  3. Can you supply the lighting?
  4. Can you do multi-camera shoots, OB?
  5. Can you blackout deStudio?
  6. Is deStudio soundproof?
  7. Is deStudio available at the weekend and holidays?
  8. Why don't you run deStudio as a full-time business?
  9. Why no credit?
  10. Can you show me how to use...?
  11. Can you help short film makers?

  12. Are studio-based programmes/productions more expensive or cheaper than location shoots?
  13. Do I need make-up and hair?
  14. What do I need for a great shoot?
  15. Why would I need you to production mange the shoot?
  16. How useful is an Autocue / Teleprompter?
  17. When do I need motion-control camera rigs and what are they?
  18. How much lighting do I need?
  19. What if my crew aren't experienced at studio lighting?
  20. Can we get you to shoot and light for us?
  21. Can we get you to light for us?

  22. Is lighting included in the basic daily studio hire rate?
  23. Why one price for lighting rental in studio?
  24. Are there discounts available?
  25. Is there a discount for TV programming? Why?
  26. Is there a discount for Photography? Why?
  27. How much are power/electricity costs?
  28. How can I save money?

  29. Can I suspend a person or heavy prop from the ceiling?
  30. Why do webpages shift slightly when I surf your website?
  31. Why are low cost camera shoot formats bad for greenscreen?
  32. Why are the bigger shoulder-mounted camcorders higher quality than the smaller handheld ones?
  33. What should I look for in a shooting and post-production format for greenscreen?
 

 

   

1. How is the deStudio pronounced?
The "de" is pronounced the same as the letter "d" ...so "d-studio" is the end result. It's a pun on "the" studio.

 

 
   

2. What type of clients use deStudio?
Everyone. Documentaries featuring a series of interviews have hired us for weeks at a time so they can setup dolly and tracks, differing backgrounds and create shallow depth-of-field with large distances between subject, background and camera.

Commercials/Ads find us very convenient for greenscreen elements and smaller scale sets. TV promos departments use us for much the same.

Short films have built drama sets while corporate/web video have used us for TV studio type sets as well as greenscreen. TV programming tends to build sets and often involves a rigging day before shooting.

The white cyc looks good in all genres so gets used a lot.

The blackout drape allow you create the look of a late-night discussion show. It's easy to build some low-costing set to then brand the programme.

Product shoots love us.

 

 
   

3. Can you supply the lighting?
Yes. We can look after all that's needed from our own gear plus source any extra or recommend suppliers to you.

 

 
   

4. Can you do multi–camera shoots?
Yes. Whether you want to do an OB or post–production multi–camera edit will be the biggest decision.

An OB live-camera-switching scenario is much more expensive and requires HGVs or smaller vehicles parked outside deStudio which house the control room equipment. It provides more overall control during the shoot but less in editing. It can be overkill for many situations unless very fast turnaround is required.

It is possible to do a less expensive version for corporate or web video using smaller live-camera-switching equipment. This would not be suitable for broadcast work. It is suitable for many smaller scale corporate or community TV type jobs.

A post-production multi-camera edit scenario is very flexible and less expensive in both equipment and crew. Multiple camcorders (either fully professional or semi-professional depending on your budget) record the different camera angles simultaneously and all recorded angles are digitised into your editing workstations. Both Avid and Final Cut Pro have very good multi-camera editing solutions and the editor can cut between the different camera angles as live. We can advise your post-production facility how to sync the various recorded camera angles for editing.

 

 
   

5. Can you blackout deStudio?
Yes. We have blackout drapes and can hire-in more as needed.
We have recently extended our blackout cloth inventory.

 

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6. Is deStudio soundproof?
It's not specifically soundproofed – it has a good acoustic and is in a very quiet area with fields outside. It's about as good as you can get without a purpose-built soundproof building.

We have rugs and ceiling tiles available if the sound operator wishes to alter the sound resonance in-studio.

You should note that because it's not soundproof if there is a thunder storm or helicopter landing or someone shouting outside you may hear it (though not using tieclip mics as used in chat-show-type programmes). This is very rare and feel free to ask our clients for a reference. We are confident of it's rarity and we will not charge you if exterior noise means you are unable to shoot. You are welcome to come and recce it to check yourself.

 

 
   

7. Is deStudio available at the weekend and holidays?
Yes it is, and the rates are the same for gear and studio usage except we have to charge for someone to come in while you are using the facility. It's possible to avoid that extra charge by hiring one of deStudio crew to do something else for you like lighting-camera, lighting director, grip, sound or general assistant.

The extra charge is only to cover one of us having to come in specially that day so if we are going to be there while doing another task for you it kills two birds with one stone ...not that you should be killing birds.

 

 
   

8. Why don't you run deStudio as a full–time business?
We like doing other things too much and we're not sure the market is out there for a full-time studio hire business. We love running a studio but it's not the only thing we are interested in and variety is the spice of life. We enjoy meeting different people and deStudio facilitates some of this. Read about us...

 

 
   

9. Why no credit?
If we offered credit we would have to change our business model which is based on keeping costs low for everyone so they can be passed onto you. Acting as a bank and offering credit costs money in fees but particularly in follow-up administration time and unneeded stress. We're sure anyone who runs a small business understands this.

Of course if there is a problem with our service we will refund you. We are in a small industry so we wouldn't last long if clients weren't satisfied with our service. With a small fee we can take credit card payments so you can make use of their credit facilities.

 

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10. Can you show me how to use...?
Of course! We are happy to demonstrate how to use anything we have.
Just give us a call and we'll arrange.

 

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11. Can you help short film makers?
Yes. Charm us and find out! We love to help out where we can. It's important to make us feel our facilities and gear will be in responsible hands so no damage will occur. If it looks like you know what you're doing and have organised insurance for your production to cover hired equipment and public liability - that's a big plus.

 

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12. Are studio-based programmes/productions more expensive or cheaper than location shoots?
When you shoot volume material, pictures with sound, or with on-screen talent who have a narrow window of availability - the controlled environment of studio-based production can be much more economical.

If you are getting a few shots then location-based shooting will have the edge. If the location is an important part of the product then of course a location shoot is needed.

When you shoot in studio you have to create your environment either by building a set or using what is already available in the studio. On location you may have a brilliant looking place or one that needs a lot of work to look good.

If you want to get through a lot of shooting in a day or shorter time period you can't beat a studio for speed as you don't have to wait for all the variables that a location shoot can bring.

For example, a series of interviews against greenscreen is much easier to shoot in a dedicated studio then having to deal with sound, lighting and space problems at a client's office. Then there's travel to/from the location, weather problems which can affect the shoot both outdoors and indoors, working in someone else's place who may not realise what an intrusion a crew can be ...and more!

One of the main differences between studio shoots and location shoots is that studio shoots often have more crew at work than the smaller crews which you may see on location. It doesn't necessarily have to be this way. Studio shoots can have small crews and location shoots can have big crews.

In fact a studio production lends itself to small crews because of the controlled environment. It's possible to do a day's greenscreen shooting with one person (the talent) on-screen and one person shooting/directing. The amount of crew needed depends on the complexity of the production, the skill level of the crew and how much the producer is prepared to dilute individual crew members' attention into multiple tasks.

In short, studio is usually cheaper than location shooting as more gets shot per day.

 

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13. Do I need make–up and hair?
It depends on your budget. It certainly makes an improvement and may also improve the talents' confidence. Some people go red with embarrassment, some have uneven skin and blemishes which they'd feel more comfortable hiding.

Under the lamps of a studio and the public gaze of working in front of a crew ...it is normal for talent to fidget with their hair and develop shiny spots from perspiration. A good make-up artist will keep an eye on this for you and make sure your talent looks their best.

 

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14. How do I know what I need for a great shoot?
We know it can seem overwhelming to organise everything without missing that "vital" thing, which you only learn about when it's needed in 3 minutes...

There's a reason why production management is a fulltime job on complex shoots and experience is the key asset. There is much benefit to be had when your staff's time is released to concentrate on content and talent issues with production management tasks assigned to others.

We can supply production management and also offer production packages to make it easier for you to concentrate on the bigger picture.

 

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15. Why would I need you to production mange the shoot?
There is a lot involved in managing a shoot and much of it isn't as obvious as you might think. Save yourself the pain and cost of finding out yourself by using an experienced person who will tick all the boxes. It's possible to save money by not using a production manager if you know exactly what's needed for a simple shoot and it's your decision whether it's worth it.

We are glad to assist whatever choice you make.

Remember pre-production is the cheapest part of making motion pictures. You can solve a lot of later (expensive) problems by spending more resources on it.

 

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16. How useful is an Autocue / Teleprompter?
From our experience – very useful. Yes it costs more to have a teleprompter on your shooting day – it costs much more to keep restarting shots because the talent can't remember their lines.

A teleprompter's usefulness depends on how complex your script is and how important it is that it be word-perfect. The person on–camera often has enough to deal with when concentrating on giving an excellent performance; without having to remember long lines of material.

When the person on–camera is a novice, often the case in corporate and web video – you need to give them as much help as possible. A shoot is going to hinge on the performance in-front of camera so to use or not use a teleprompter is a judgement/cost call you'll need to make.

 

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17. When do I need motion-control camera rigs and what are they?
When your shoot involves repeated camera moves to build a multi-camera-pass final composite you will need the repeatability of a motion-control rig.

e.g. Imagine you wanted a shot moving across a model of a town landscape ...which gradually became covered with snow. This would be achieved by shooting 2 camera movements across the same model - one time without snow and the 2nd pass of the camera with snow added to the model.

Because the motion-controlled camera rig would duplicate the exact same camera movement the post-production artists could create an animated transition between the two shots.

Before motion-control the camera would have to be static to allow this kind of visual.

 

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18. How much lighting do I need?
It depends on the job. Your DoP or lighting-camera operator can recce deStudio and decide; or we can make recommendations based on your brief.

 

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19. What if my crew aren't experienced at studio lighting?
Not everybody regularly shoots in studio with the increased lighting and grip options it provides. Many lighting-camera operators may not be aware of some options or can be overwhelmed by choice. We can light or assist/advise your preferred lighting-camera person with lighting.

Many studio shoots require the complex setup of a lighting rig at the start of the shoot day so if you feel you can manage the rest of the day alone you can hire a lighting director to light for two hours at start of day for a lower fee than the daily rate. For a little more you could have the lighting rigged the day before so you can start shooting earlier in your shoot day.

 

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20. Can we get you to shoot and light for us?
Yes.

 

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21. Can we get you to light for us?
Yes. You can hire us to be available for the whole day or just to setup a rig for you the day before, or on the day of shooting. You can then shoot using your familar camera operators.

 

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22. Is lighting included in the basic studio hire rate?
Lighting and grip equipment is a separate charge as with most studios. The requirements of different shoots can vary enormously and sometimes clients have their own gear which they wish to use. It can sometimes be the case that learning a new piece of gear would take too much time so DoPs and lighting camera ops may prefer to work with certain lamps which they know. We facilitate all these options and encourage using what works best for you.

Only roll-in/roll-out live TV studios have permanent lighting rigs – they are designed to provide a quick turnaround but are limited in the style of lighting they can provide. Take a look at a quality TV documentary, a film and then a TV quiz or light entertainment show to see the difference in studio lighting between that which establishes a mood, a distinct style, and that which is more concerned with enough lighting to shoot fast but without subtlety.

 

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23. Why one price for lighting rental in studio?
We find when people see our equipment options they usually want to use more of them. It's also a very good price which would cost you a lot more to source the same equipment elsewhere.

If we were to charge for the administration of itemising each individual piece of gear it would cost us more and we would have to pass that cost onto you. It would also take up more of your time if you were to itemise each piece of gear. And then on the day of the shoot your crew may well see something else that may be useful. If you are bringing in your own gear and are confident you will only need 1 to 3 items we have a lower price to facilitate that. So it's actually two prices!

 

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24. Are there discounts available?
Yes, for TV programming and photography; discounts are available. Just ask. For long hires further discounts may be an option. Our prices are competitive and offer a lot for your money.

 

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25. Why is there a discount for TV programming?
Because we're nice! No seriously, we know budgets are much tighter for TV programming in Ireland and we want to take account of that. Also a TV programming shoot tends to have a much smaller crew who take up less facilities and therefore doesn't cost us as much to look after.

 

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26. Why is there a discount for Photography?
Photography shoots tend to be the smallest shoots of all in terms of crew and facilities. Sometimes it's just the photographer and the person being photographed. The shoots can be very short with minimal maintenance and we take that into account.

 

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27. How much are power/electricity costs?
Electricity charges are covered in our rates. Another thing which makes us competitive!

 

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28. How can I save money?
We know some productions are cash strapped and there are ways to save money.

  • Organise everything yourself - the less you need to use other people's time the better, however there is a balance point where it starts to cost more when you do everything yourself as you can only juggle so many balls without one falling.

  • Be flexible on shoot dates.

  • Build up a trust with your work colleagues so when you say a shoot will take this much of a person's or facility's time - it takes just that amount of time and doesn't go on and on. People are much more amiable if you have a reputation for doing as you said you would.

  • Leave the place exactly as you found it. It's just common respect but unfortunately some productions haven't allowed time for their crew to clean-up after them so it's not taken for granted that this will be the case.

  • Hire lighting from us. It'll save you the cost of managing another supplier and the pick-ups, delivery and other administration required.

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29. Can I suspend a person or heavy prop from the ceiling?
Yes!

From greenscreen shoots with person suspended in a harness, documentary series with requests to hang old televisions, plus title sequences where chandeliers need a ceiling mount - there are occasions calling for help from above.

(April 2009) While the suspended ceiling grid isn't strong enough to support more than lightweight fixtures - we have installed a number of anchor points in the concrete ceiling which are structurally strong enough to support much heavier loads.

(July 2009) And now we've gone further with a removal of the lightweight suspended ceiling grid and replaced it with a steel pipe grid so you can easily hang couches, chairs, sets, backdrops or whatever takes your fancy!

 

 
   

30. Why do webpages shift slightly when I surf your website?
You may have noticed webpages shifting slightly to the left or right while you browse if you use Firefox or Google Chrome. This is due to the vertical scroll bar appearing as needed for longer webpages and so slightly shifting the centering in order to compensate for the 16 pixel scroll bar width.

Internet Explorer leaves the scroll bar up permanently so the shift isn't noticeable. Some people dislike the scroll bar appearing when not necessary and some people find the shift annoying. Unfortunately it's one or the other!

 

 
   

31. Why are low cost camera shoot formats bad for greenscreen?
Well "bad" may be a strong word, they are certainly unsuitable for most purposes. For certain small web video applications they can be fine.

The problem is that the lower cost formats such as DV (including DV-Cam, MiniDV, DVC-Pro) and HDV use a very high compression on the colour information of the image. Our eyes aren't as sensitive to colour as they are to black and white detail so that's why all formats (including the high-end ones) throw away colour detail to some degree.

The low cost formats throw away a huge amount of colour detail (about 75% before the image is even compressed). The trouble is that greenscreen and bluescreen quality is entirely based around the quality of the colour reproduction and colour resolution when a key or matte is created in post-production.

The end result of a chroma key from a MiniDV or HDV greenscreen shoot can be very blocky and rough edges when the subject is keyed into a composite finished image.

See question 33. What should I look for in a shooting and post-production format for greenscreen? for more info.

 

 
   

32. Why are the bigger shoulder-mounted camcorders higher quality than the smaller handheld ones?
They are better built. Even when using the exact same recording format of the smaller camcorder like DV, the bigger camcorder will have more expensive sharper lenses, improved sensor chips, much better audio components for lower noise and cleaner sound...
...and most importantly of all - the controls and camera are much more robust and easy to use so that human operation of the camcorder is much better.

A shoot can be a very stressful environment and the bigger camcorders are less prone to mistakes as their controls and indicators for sound and vision are much clearer. Unlike smaller camcorders, important basic controls (like sound!) are not hidden down some obscure menu system. The equipment that connects to the bigger camcorders is also designed to be more robust and loose connections are much rarer and also easier to repair than with the flimsy lightweight smaller camcorders.

There is less risk that a reshoot may be needed or that the production will have to "make do" with poorer sound when the bigger professional camcorders are used.

 

 
   

33. What should I look for in a shooting and post-production format for greenscreen?
4:2:2 or 4:4:4 colour sampling. You want as much colour resolution as possible to get a good key edge. A 4:1:1 format like DVCPro has only 4:1:1 sampling which means that a standard definition image of 720 pixels width will only have a quarter of the sharpness of it's black and white detail for colour. Greenscreen keying depends on good colour detail and a 4:1:1 SD format would only give 180 pixels width of colour. (4:2:0 is the MiniDV and DV-Cam ratio and is equivalent in quality to 4:1:1)

See question 31. Why are low cost camera shoot formats bad for greenscreen? for more info.