Filming manufacturing videos is an art that demands skill, creativity, and technical know-how. However, when videographers venture into the manufacturing environment, they often face a unique set of challenges that can be daunting. These challenges may include poor lighting, deafening noise from heavy machinery, and restrictions due to the nature of the products being manufactured. In this article, we will explore the difficulties videographers encounter while filming manufacturing videos and the strategies they employ to overcome these obstacles.

manufacturing filming

Filming at TBS Engineering: I’ll use a combination of magnetic lights inside of the machine to illuminate dark areas, and a few softboxes to counter dull overhead tungsten lights which can make the shot look terrible.

Poor Lighting

Poor lighting is a common obstacle when filming manufacturing processes, as many industrial settings prioritise functionality over aesthetics. Dimly lit areas can make it challenging to capture clear and high-quality footage. Videographers must employ various techniques to tackle this issue:

Lighting Equipment: Videographers often bring their own lighting equipment, such as portable LED panels or softboxes, to enhance the visibility of the scene.


Using a large light-dome which can spread the light around and as soft as possible; a lot of these surfaces are brushed steel and aluminium which reflects light in all the wrong directions. I’ll try to limit these lights, and film with as much daylight as physically possible.

Collaborate with the Facility: Communicate with the manufacturing facility to identify areas with better lighting conditions or ask them to adjust the lighting temporarily to optimise the shoot.

Post-Production Editing: Skilled video editors can work wonders by enhancing the brightness, contrast, and colour balance during the post-production phase.

Noisy and Dangerous Machinery

Manufacturing environments are often filled with the deafening noise of heavy machinery and industrial equipment. Additionally, safety is a top priority, and some areas may be restricted due to the dangers posed by certain machines. Videographers need to address these challenges in the following ways:

Noise-Canceling Equipment: Invest in high-quality audio equipment, including shotgun microphones and noise-canceling headphones, to minimise the impact of machinery noise.

Plan Around Safety: Coordinate with facility managers to schedule shoots during downtime or ensure that videographers are equipped with the necessary safety gear to access restricted areas while adhering to safety regulations.

Voiceovers: If capturing audio on-site is impossible due to extreme noise levels, consider recording voiceovers during quieter times to narrate the video and explain the manufacturing process.

Product Limitations

The nature of the products being manufactured can present limitations when filming. Some products may be too small, fragile, or hazardous to be safely put through a machine. Videographers must find creative ways to work within these constraints:

Close-Up Shots: Use close-up shots to capture intricate details of small or delicate products that cannot be processed in a machine.

Safety Precautions: If dealing with hazardous materials, prioritise safety by using protective gear and capturing footage from a distance or behind a barrier.

Simulation and Models: In some cases, it may be necessary to simulate or use models to demonstrate the manufacturing process accurately and safely.

Limited Access and Space

Manufacturing facilities are often constrained by limited space and access restrictions. Videographers need to make the most of what’s available:

Wide-Angle Lenses: Utilise wide-angle lenses to capture the entire manufacturing area, creating a sense of space even when working in tight quarters.


Some machines are so large that no wide angle lens can possible get everything into the shot. Using a drone is the best method to capture the widest shot possible and if necessary – from a high oblique angle. You can always shift the footage quickly using speed-ramps, to quickly demonstrate the size of a machine.

Flexibility: Be adaptable and ready to work in confined spaces, utilising handheld gimbals and compact camera setups.

Pre-Planning: Careful pre-production planning is key to making the most of limited space. Determine the best camera angles, shots, and vantage points beforehand.


Filming manufacturing videos is a challenging yet rewarding endeavour. Overcoming difficulties such as poor lighting, noisy machinery, product limitations, and restricted access is essential for capturing high-quality footage. With the right equipment, planning, and collaboration with manufacturing facilities, videographers can produce compelling videos that showcase manufacturing processes accurately, even in the most demanding environments. The ability to adapt and problem-solve is what sets skilled manufacturing videographers apart, allowing them to bring the world of manufacturing to life on screen.