How lighting and sound can make or break your video

We’ve all seen Hollywood movies. They’re crisp, clean and they look and sound amazing. Just because your video doesn’t have a multi-million-pound budget doesn’t give you the excuse for poorly lit shots or bad sound.

With HD & 4K cameras being everywhere, businesses often believe that all it takes it to buy one of these and they can produce wonderful corporate videos ‘in-house’.

This is not true!

If you are planning on using video to market your business, you don’t want something that isn’t going to grab your potential customers, or worse, to create something that catches their eye in a way that turns them off of your business.

Sound and lighting in corporate videos

Any video production company worth their salt will have a range of lights and microphones to suit your production that will compliment what you want. In the early stages of looking for a video production company to produce your video, have a look at their previous work.

This will give you a clear indication of what they are going to be able to offer for you, but alternatively, it can show you exactly what you don’t want.

See how they are lighting their subjects. This doesn’t mean you have to have a degree in lighting, for you, this means: is that the person on camera well lit?

Sound issues are very noticeable too. Listen to some corporate videos on YouTube through external speakers to give you the best chance of hearing poorly recorded sound.

Do the people on screen sound like they are far away? If they are, it means that the microphone isn’t close enough to the person on screen. Also, you may notice a hissing sound in the background – this is caused by having the gain levels too high because of the distance of the microphone. You can’t get rid of that hiss easily and you end up with a tinny-sounding video (or it sounds like it is from the 1980’s!)

How to do sound and lighting the right way

Having a poorly lit subject who doesn’t sound good is an immediate turn off for any potential customers, so it is important that you choose a professional video production company (or individual) to produce your video. Your video is after all an investment, and you shouldn’t throw your money away.

To start with; make sure that you have had a face to face meeting with the person who will be filming your video. In that meeting, you can ask them about their equipment. Take a note of what they use, and if you are concerned research the type of equipment.


I only use shotgun and lavaliere microphones from only 1 brand – Rode.

I’ve used microphones from Rode for over 10 years and trust them completely. During a shoot, we will use a variety or both during the day to capture sound depending on the environment. If it’s a close-knit environment such as an office and we haven’t got room to put up a mic stand, then we will use a lavalier microphone.


Lavaliere microphones also keep the shoot more mobile during the day. If we have multiple setups, such as at 10 am we’re in the meeting room and 11 am we’re in a cafe down the road, it helps keep the weight down of what we are carrying between locations, saving us valuable time to get more shots in the can.


Lighting is very important. If you are being shot next to a window, what you don’t want is for your talent to be correctly exposed but the window next to them to be overexposed – so it is just a wash of white light. I use a mix of bi-colour and daylight balanced lights to expose for the talent, so the person on camera is clearly where the viewer should be focused.

We use lights from Birmingham based company Pixapro. All of our lights are battery powered, so you don’t have to worry about cables running across the room so we can light everyone. Again this keeps us mobile and flexible throughout the day so that we can just pick up our lights and move to where they need to be without any hassle.



They are also all LED based so they don’t give out any heat. This means that when sitting under the lights, you aren’t going to roast like a chicken in an oven!

The one question to ask…

… and it’s a simple one! “Can you hear and can you see the subject in your video?”

If either of these elements are faulty then your potential customers won’t even bother to traverse your website or your services, because they will not get rid of the stigma of an unprofessional video. It will make them believe that you are not professional in your own work.

So don’t try and skimp out and make a video yourself, call the professionals (no, not Martin Shaw and co) and get a video that you can show off and be proud of. It’s an investment, so treat it like you would any other part of your business.

Ready for top-quality sound and lighting in your videos? Get in touch and see how I can work together with you to produce premium quality promotional videos at friendly prices.