Filming manufacturing videos is a multifaceted skill that necessitates not only technical proficiency but also the ability to adapt to challenging conditions. The manufacturing environment presents unique challenges for videographers, including poor lighting, the cacophony of machinery, and the limitations imposed by the products themselves. In this article, we delve into the difficulties that videographers often encounter while filming in manufacturing settings and explore the strategies they employ to create outstanding content despite these obstacles.

Poor Lighting

One of the most common challenges videographers face in manufacturing environments is inadequate lighting. Many industrial facilities prioritise functionality over aesthetics, resulting in dimly lit workspaces that can undermine the quality of video footage. To tackle this issue, videographers employ several strategies:

  1. Lighting Equipment: Videographers often bring their own portable lighting equipment, such as LED panels and softboxes, to improve visibility in poorly lit areas.

2. Collaboration with the Facility: By working closely with the manufacturing facility’s management, videographers can identify areas with better lighting conditions or request temporary lighting adjustments to optimise their shoots.

3. Post-Production Enhancement: Skilled video editors can work their magic during post-production, enhancing the footage by adjusting brightness, contrast, and colour balance to create a visually appealing end product.


Using LED lights: these magnetic LED lights weren’t able to stick to the aluminium frame of this machine, so I placed them around the shot and made sure there was a red light as an accent light to match the companies branding.


Colour can be extremely powerful in a shoot – ensure you fix the correct white balance and colour correct before undertaking and colour grading.

Noise and Safety

The constant din of heavy machinery and industrial equipment poses a significant challenge when capturing audio in manufacturing environments. Safety concerns can further complicate the videographer’s task. To address these issues:

Quality Audio Equipment: Videographers invest in top-notch audio equipment, including noise-canceling headphones and shotgun microphones, to mitigate the disruptive effects of machinery noise.

Safety First: Collaborating with facility managers is essential for planning shoots during downtimes, ensuring the videographer’s safety with proper gear, or obtaining permission to access restricted areas while adhering to safety protocols.

Voiceovers: When on-site audio recording is infeasible due to extreme noise levels, videographers may resort to recording voiceovers in quieter settings to narrate the video and explain the manufacturing process.

Product Limitations

The characteristics of the products being manufactured can impose limitations on filming. Some products may be too small, fragile, or hazardous to be processed through machinery. Videographers must navigate these constraints creatively:

  • Close-Up Shots: Utilising close-up shots allows videographers to capture the intricate details of small or delicate products that cannot undergo machine processing.
  • Safety Measures: When working with hazardous materials, safety should be paramount. Videographers employ protective gear and maintain a safe distance, capturing footage from behind barriers when necessary.
  • Simulation and Models: In certain cases, simulating the manufacturing process or employing models may be the safest and most accurate means of demonstrating product creation.

Limited Access and Space

The confined space and restricted access often encountered in manufacturing facilities can be challenging. Videographers must make the most of the available resources:

Wide-Angle Lenses: The use of wide-angle lenses helps capture the entire manufacturing area, creating a sense of space even in confined quarters.

Flexibility: Adaptability is crucial; videographers should be prepared to work in tight spaces, using handheld gimbals and compact camera setups to their advantage.

Pre-Production Planning: Thorough pre-production planning is key to optimising limited space. Videographers identify the best camera angles, shots, and vantage points well in advance.


This massive pick machine was assembled in a factory just for factory acceptance testing purposes, before being disassembled and sent to their client. Luckily, there was a mixture of daylight and 4500K lights so I used ground and aerial cameras, decided on using 5200k on white balance on all the shots and the resulting video was a success (as shown below).


Filming manufacturing videos in demanding environments is a complex and rewarding endeavour. Overcoming challenges such as poor lighting, noisy machinery, product limitations, and restricted access requires skill, determination, and creative problem-solving. With the right equipment, meticulous planning, and collaboration with manufacturing facilities, videographers can produce compelling videos that accurately depict manufacturing processes. The ability to adapt and innovate is what sets skilled manufacturing videographers apart, enabling them to bring the world of manufacturing to life on screen, no matter the challenges they face.