Shooting in a studio isn't cheap, but if you need a controlled environment for your video, film or photography project, then there really is no substitute. Lighting, sound and the facilities of a professional studio facility should ensure you get as bang from your buck as possible.
There are loads of studios out there, from specialist underwater tanks, enormous backlots and live broadcast set ups to smaller boutique photography facilities. But even when you've identified the kind of space you need, it's still worth doing some research around the location.
Here are five tips on some of the things you should be considering, and the questions you should be asking when you're looking at studio space.
It won't be crucial for everyone (lucky photographers) but for many video and filmmakers, this is perhaps the toughest obstacle when looking for a location. Flight paths, train lines, major roads and nearby businesses are hard to void entirely, and sound stages can be enormously expensive. Studios can be flexible with the truth when it comes to soundproofing so have an honest conversation with the studio manager about what you can expect sound-wise.
Even with the best planning in the world, you'll frequently find you need something on the day of the shoot. It might be something simple like food, or a little more specific like props and tools, so ensure your location of choice is reasonably close to some amenities. Or pack everything.
Sounds like a small thing, but its usually the second question we get asked. On street parking for a large crew can add up to a big unexpected expense, particularly in large cities, and it's simply a massive inconvenience if crew need to be in and out all day - it all adds to time lost from your day.
Involve the Studio
The likelihood is, the studio manager will have enormous experience of hosting a wide variety of shoots, and may very well be able to give you advice and answers on things you may not have thought of yet, so if you can, provide them with as much detail of your requirements of your shoot as possible - they may well help head off any issues before the shoot day arrives.
Of course this isn't always possible, you might work some distance from the location for a recce to be feasible, but if you can, arrange to see the space before your shoot day - get a feel for the space and take the time to talk through your requirements with the studio manager - it's always well worth the effort.