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Five Best Practices When Using A Soundstage

Guidelines For Happier, More Efficient Shoots in the Bay Area

If you’re renting a soundstage for a production in the San Francisco Bay Area, chances are you’ve got a lot on your mind. Casting, logistics, transportation, crew, it all accumulates into one massive to-do list. To make your life easier, San Carlos’ Meets the Eye Studios presents five best practices we recommend to all productions renting out soundstages for their shoots.

Get Pre-Lighting

Time is money on a shoot. If you’ve got talent and crew waiting while the lighting is being tweaked, your per-hour cost can creep up continuously until it makes an impact on your budget. Whenever possible, contact the soundstage and see if the facility is available for your crew to come in and handle some foundation lighting needs early so that the only thing necessary on the actual shoot day is specific tweaking. Better yet, go with a soundstage that comes with a pre-lit lighting grid. At Meets the Eye, we’ve found that our pre-lit lighting grid saves gaffers a tremendous amount of setup time. “I’ve found that the pre-hung units are usually fine for a base light and can be augmented easily with units on the ground,” says noted Bay Area gaffer Luke Seerveld.

Use the Space to do Multiple Shots

Just because you rent a soundstage doesn’t mean that you’ll need the entire space for individual shots. In that case, it’s possible to multitask. By coordinating your crew and sectioning off space, you can handle your primary shoot while using these other areas for secondary purposes, anything from talking head close-ups to promotional photography. This is particularly useful if the soundstage has a large green cyc wall similar to Studio A at Meets the Eye. It may be to your production’s benefit and bottom line to book both Studios A and B and we offer excellent pricing.

Optimize Space with Video Feeds

Sometimes it’s good to have clients, VIPs and non-essential crew on the soundstage for shoots. However, in many instances, they’re simply well-meaning extra variables that need to be controlled. If you can patch video feeds to external rooms, this will allow those people to monitor the proceedings while giving essential cast and crew the space to focus on their work. Of course, there are many ways to drive video feeds. At Meets the Eye Studios, we provide three different options: hard-wired HD-SDI wiring to all major rooms in the facility, ethernet cable access ports, and facility-wide wi-fi.

Keep Your Cast and Crew Happy

A happy cast and crew is an effective cast and crew. However, a soundstage can be a cramped, hot, and uncomfortable space. That’s why one of the most important best practices has less to do with the soundstage than the people and space around it. Keeping cast and crew happy means a comfortable environment, access to relaxing lounges/green room, and prepared food. How do you accomplish this? Call up the soundstage manager ahead of time and confirm the amenities provided to cast and crew and if there is an additional cost. At Meets the Eye, cast and crew comfort was behind many of our design decisions, from the spacious lounges/green room to the full-service commercial-quality kitchen; all of these elements were integrated to keep cast and crew happy and comfortable, ensuring that clients could focus without distraction on the soundstage.

Meets the Eye Studios offers two large soundstages, one with a pre-lit greenscreen, in addition to numerous amenities and an immaculately kept facility with ample parking– all at no additional cost. Schedule a free tour of our San Carlos facility today and see for yourself why Bay Area filmmakers choose Meets the Eye.