HGTV's Dorm Room Takeover

4 DAYS

25 VIDEOS

ENDLESS MAYHEM

It's easy to make a "dorm room" look great if you're using a spacious studio with ample room for lights, gear, and set decoration. But what happens when you're crammed in an actual dorm room with lights, cameras, sliders, and crafts going on all around you? You pray. And you bounce light off the ceiling.

Client: Scripps Networks Interactive

Concept: Create a series of how-to and craft videos for YouTube channel

Deliverables: 25 2-5 minute videos for web distribution

I remember my first college dorm experience - after months of excitement and sketching floor plans of how I might light to arrange everything, I walked into my tiny room with cinderblock walls, and could see nothing but large oak furniture and nowhere to stand. My heart sank as I strategized where I might keep my mini dv camcorder and accessories, my desktop computer, monitor, and speakers, my craft supplies and collection of teas. I wasn't even thinking about color palette, style, or coordinating with my roommate. Wait, she would have stuff too?

Thankfully, we were able to have two dorm rooms for this shoot - one for staging props and decor, and another for shooting and styling. Here's our staging room on day 1.

Thankfully, we were able to have two dorm rooms for this shoot - one for staging props and decor, and another for shooting and styling. Here's our staging room on day 1.

Oh how I wish I had the HGTV Handmade team to help me in those days, because they worked miracles on this dorm at the University of Tennessee in just a couple days. Every inch of this space got a dose of style, and every bit of it was RA-approved. Marianne made a geometric memo board, a colorful gallery wall, a glorious cat-print bed with mixed patterns, and she covered any unsightly furniture with removable wallpaper.

To avoid complete chaos, I kept most of the large gear in the hallway. Cameras, batteries, and memory cards I hid in our dorm room's wardrobe. Thankfully the students weren't arriving until the following week!

To avoid complete chaos, I kept most of the large gear in the hallway. Cameras, batteries, and memory cards I hid in our dorm room's wardrobe. Thankfully the students weren't arriving until the following week!

For the production, I used 2-3 Lowel Rifa soft boxes mixed with natural light from the wall of windows to light our subject and the room. For most of the videos, I simultaneously manned two Canon 5D Mk iii's and audio.

 And, in case you were wondering, I have a serious gear-crush on the Zoom H5. No really, look how handsome he is!

I had about 2 weeks to take each of these videos to final cut and delivery, and thanks to collaboration and clear communication with the HGTV editorial team, my trusty Macbook Pro, and PluralEyes, I had no trouble quickly syncing my camera angles and audio to get it all done in time. 

And here are a few of the videos that went up last week!

After all those videos, I'm inspired to go hang something with command strips. Or sharpie some mugs for me and my husband, or mix crazy patterns to reclaim my youthful spirit! What an absolute blast of a project that fueled my creativity while sending me back a few years.

I can't wait to see what we make together next.