See behind the scenes of our day to day operations

Video production in 2020

Video content demand continues to rise, while filming comes to a halt 

According to Hubspot, no matter which generation you belong to, video is in consistent demand for business brands everywhere. On average, 54% of users prefer video content, to all other available content online.

54% of users prefer video content

Meanwhile, it came as no surprise that since the pandemic started, most in-person filming sessions postponed until next year or cancelled altogether. The only sets that allowed for a single camera operator to work alone, tended to be events, of which all were canceled or postponed until 2021.

Even for small sets – ones with teams of three people or less – have had their own difficult circumstances to navigate. Which begs the question, how do you film in a pandemic?

How do you film in a pandemic?

Since we work with so many businesses, and many of our clients are considered essential, we are extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to film on rare occasion since March. Sadly, the rest of our industry is facing a very different story.

In the very beginning, we relied on cloth masks and distance. But after our team had a COVID-19 scare, and very luckily all tested negative, we decided to put more safety controls in place. If all of the staff on a small business gets sick, there will be a long and daunting road ahead to stay open – up to two months – with no reimbursement for lost work. Due to this, we decided to increase our protective equipment and policies, as well as to always work with less than four people on set, including clients. We try to work with two of our staff or less whenever possible, but during interviews we have found that to be largely impossible.

As you can see below, we went from cloth masks, to fitted cloth masks, to a combination of standard cloths masks plus an extra protective N95 beneath the cloth mask. We also began including small, medium and large latex gloves in our kits, instead of the one size fits all. Loose gloves often get caught in our equipment, not good!

After the shoot is complete, we pack equipment into one vehicle. However, all staff rides separately to decrease exposure. Back at the office, the equipment is unload, with a new set of gloves on, sterilized, checked and stored.

Even with all of these protections in place, we still have restrictions on travel and some businesses are still not able to operate yet. That left us with one question – how do we generate the content necessary to meet the demand of video?

Generating content when you can’t film

Remote production

This one might come as a surprise to some, but we’ve actually turned shipping our clients DIY-type equipment and setting up remote production sessions. If you’d like to learn about having us film with you this way, contact us here.

Screen recording

This works in cases when we need a simple display of how our clients are operating during these times. These screen recordings are low-fi, but work great when we need an example.

Looping Screen Recording

Reusing old content

It’s ok to recycle content! Especially when it is relevant. We are all about efficiencies here at Illuminate, and we have found that the older content that we’ve stored of our clients has become incredibly valuable. We can continue to work, as long as we can find a fresh and meaningful way to display the video clips and photos we’ve stored.

More animation, less film

With little fresh content to spare, we’ve relying more on using animations to complete our clients’ visions.

Looping Animation Example

Virtual Post Production

With all of these possibilities to continue working, we still make our best efforts to continue working in post production safely. So how do you maintain an active team of editors, colorists, animators, writers, and project managers to collaborate across dozens of projects per week? All while working in separate rooms across the country? With over communication and the right tools.

Documentary filming begins for Rosehill Farm

On March 13th, 2020, we joined Rosehill Farm to find out if Undercover, Warmblood mare, had been successfully breed.

Welcome, Joana!

Joana Romero

Media Production Specialist

We’d like to welcome our newest member of team, Joana. Joana brings her education and experience in camera operation. As well as her expertise in sound and video production.

BTS: Lunch & Learn

Today, we’re filming a demo for a Lunch & Learn at a nearby training and education center.

During a live presentation, it’s essential to get the screen of the presentation as well as the presenter. Here, we’re filming the presenter from the back of the room for the widest angle.

The audio channel feed from the presenter mic is being recorded to an audio recording device off-camera, in the server room. The microphone present on this mic will provide subtle room noise to mix into the audio feed for the final edit.


Each year, we attend a conference that helps us improve and grow our skill sets. This year, we chose SIGGRAPH. SIGGRAPH is an international community of researchers, artists, developers, filmmakers, scientists, and business professionals who share an interest in computer graphics and interactive techniques.

This annual conference invites professionals across those industries to present on topics ranging from the 3D imagery in Game of Thrones to how engineers at NASA visualize a black hole.