Death by Home Records

It’s been a few months (plus an eternity) since we’ve been stuck at home in some form or another due to COVID-19. These days, aside from gardening in the frigid cold (is that why my lavender isn’t growing?) to recycling so many beer bottles the buddy who hauls away the stuff asks if I’m okay, staring at screens is the focus of my day. My guess is you do the same.

Netflix. Youtube. Insta. Tik Tok. Oh, and let’s not forget work…zooming so much with coworkers that a newly added book on the shelf is easy to spot. Screen fatigue is real and it’s causing clients to balk when hearing the words “home record,” even though this is one of the few viable solutions until live events come back.

Recording at home may seem convenient but it’s never easy. Just the logistics of setting up the right gear, lighting, doing multiple takes (then making it to the final take only to have an ambulance drive by) can prove more tedious for the speaker than beneficial.

Then there’s the presentation itself. How does a speaker get excited presenting to a computer screen? How does a speaker draw energy from the crowd when the crowd they’re looking at is a blank wall? At best, they might be looking at their cat trying to establish rapport.

We’ve done our share of home records at DesignScene, and each speaker, to a certain extent, has shared the same plights. Our job is to make the process as simple as possible and to show that even recording virtually, they’re not alone.

A simplified process means starting with logistics. Dealing with shipping the speaker everything needed to have a smooth record – a preconfigured laptop, lighting, mic, necessary cables and even a green screen (if needed) as part of their kit. Return shipping labels are already in the box and we schedule for pick up once the recording has been completed. The speaker simply unpacks and follows clearly labeled instructions. We are also available for tech support during the set-up stage and rehearsal stage so they can get familiar and comfortable using their gear.

Then the recording is executed by:
• having a clear schedule and plan of execution
• providing a partner on the call to ease fears and technical frustrations
• allowing time for a speaker to focus and breath before their presentation
• assuring the speaker that they will be presented in the best way possible because we use high end tech and spend time on advanced editing

This process, coupled with our focus on human connection, means we’re right there with the speaker to give step by step instructions on setting up their laptop. We help frame them (move to the left… to the left… and left some more!), advise if there is glare on their glasses, and yes, even tell them if there is noticeable lint on their sweater (not to be knit picky).

Our presence also allows the speaker to have someone to focus on, and present to when recording their presentation. Our reactions between takes are genuine – a lot of the content we get to see is truly intriguing and we’re honoured to be a part of the process. The speaker can bounce ideas off of us and we can provide feedback on the cadence of speech (too fast, too slow), length of the presentation, or anything else we notice.

Home records are here to stay, at least until live events are an option again. Getting a good recording (meaning one with good production value, is polished, and with a kickass speaker) is key to showing the caliber of any event. In a world where anyone can just push “record” on a shaky, poorly lit smartphone, “recording at home” is not difficult to do. What is challenging is ensuring the resulting product is one that you’re proud to put your logo on.

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