This summer, we filmed inside a gym as part of a project for a global fitness chain, capturing employee stories through interviews and b roll footage. When scouting for an ideal interview shot we are typically looking for a quiet, visually interesting location that is illustrative of the work our client does and what an employee experiences everyday.
While filming in an active gym was a great way to give potential candidates a realistic job preview, finding visually interesting shots that were out of the way of members using the gym proved challenging.
A vacant spin room was secured for us by the client. For those of us who aren’t regular gym goers, this space is essentially a big room full of stationary bikes which face a large wall-sized mirror that sits on the opposite side of the room.
While the room was quiet, visually interesting and out of the way, unfortunately the bikes took up most of the floor space. They weren’t easy to move and there wasn’t one great angle from which we could get a wide enough interview shot to include the bikes and wall graphics in the background. Without these elements that made the location so obviously a spin room, it was a nondescript place to film an interview.
“If only we could move the walls, or shoot through the walls, we would have the space that we need to set up a better-looking shot,” I thought.
And then it occured to me: we may not be able to actually move a wall or shoot through a wall, but what’s keeping us from shooting into a wall? So, on a whim, I took the interview camera and pointed it at the mirrored wall (at a slight angle so I’d avoid seeing my own reflection). After placing the storyteller a few feet in front of the mirror and making a handful of adjustments within the camera, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the mirror gave me the extra bit of “space” that I’d been looking for. Behind the storyteller we could now see the entire spin room with wall graphics included – even if it was just a reflection.
To see the final result, check out the video below!
We care about filming the realities of a workplace, but are also mindful that visually interesting spaces keep video viewers engaged. This was an instance where small tweaks allowed us to get the shot that we wanted while still remaining undisruptive to the gym’s day-to-day operations.
Christian Jarboe is a Video Content Creator at Stories Inc.