Watercooler chats and springbokke... Wait, what?

What’s more damaging than genny costs?
Video backdrops and backgrounds that
clearly weren’t thought out.

Here are 3 things to keep in mind when choosing what’s behind you in your corporate video. 

Since 2020, we’ve seen everything from green screen fails to messy bedrooms to people melting into their backgrounds. It’s great that making a corporate video is more and more affordable – but what’s the cost to your company when it’s done poorly?

Here are 3 tips for keeping your audience’s attention on your message and not on that questionable-looking object in the background.


Bought backdrops aren’t necessarily a must 

Many company videos look amazing just by using sufficient lighting and an appropriate background, like this one 

Would a messy bedroom be appropriate? Not unless you’re a cleaning service that cleans the room in the video.  

Bookshelves, simple art or plants can give your video a comfortable and intimate feeling. As long as it’s not distracting, cluttered or off-brand, you’re fine. 

Alternatively, you can fashion DIY backdrops using bed sheets (yes, really – check it out) or paper. You can also use a plain but pretty wall. Not too plain or you’re taking the idea of ‘corporate’ a little too far.

NB: Do not sit or stand too close to your background, whether it’s real or a backdrop. 

When you do this, there’s no depth. It can make you look trapped and create ugly shadows. This Movavi Vlog demonstrates this problem well.   



Bought backdrops 

 If you’re looking for a more “polished” feel, buy a backdrop or two. They can be one colour, multicoloured, patterned, branded…  As long as they’re not too busy and don’t distract the audience, they’re good. Same rule applies: don’t stand too close to the backdrop. 

Also – no matter the background – keep in mind what you’re wearing. Wearing black (or blue or pink or white) while standing in front of a black (or blue or pink or white) backdrop makes you disappear. Try to wear colours that complement your backdrop.



To green screen or not to green screen? 

Tom Scott argues “there’s no substituting for filming in a real physical location.”  Green-screened backdrops can be incredibly easy – to do badly. Have a look at how intricate green screening really is. 

As Tom points out, you can lean into the “green-screeniness”. But this takes skill and it doesn’t usually fit the tone corporate videos are going for.  

Using a green screen is possible, however. And it can be the best of both worlds. Not only does it open up a plethora of options, but it also promises consistency. You can change your background to pretty much anything, but you can also use your favourite tried and tested visual regardless of where you shot the video – assuming your set was very well-lit.


PS On that note: it doesn’t matter how attractive your background or backdrop is if your lighting’s subpar. Read this  and find out what the must-knows are when it comes to lighting in corporate videos.  

PPS Hard truth: None of these tips matter if your camera’s not up to scratch or you don’t know how to edit sound well.

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