This Service Wants To Transform Your Zoom Background Using Movie Magic

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Sara Friedman
Sara Friedman

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If you’ve ever been in the middle of a Zoom meeting only to realize you’ve shifted in your seat just enough to reveal the mountain of laundry waiting to be folded on the bed behind you — you might need Kevin Shen. 

Zoom home studio

Shen first learned the power of video when he was a high school peer counselor creating content to help other students with their mental health. When one of his videos went viral across other schools, Shen saw firsthand the impact online content could have. 

In 2020 he founded Dream Studio Course to help people transform their home video setups and, consequently, their online presence. He believes having polished video is key in building a brand, regardless of which sector his clients are in. 

“Building an audience means you have to talk to strangers who don’t know you already,” says Shen. “When someone is trying to gauge whether they should engage with your content, they don’t know what you have to say yet. They’re just scrolling through… and operating based on signals.”

Those signals come in the form of snap judgments: How does a content creator appear in their video thumbnail? Are they sitting up straight, dressed well, and clearly visible? All of these things can inform whether or not a viewer hits play. 

Dream Studio’s six-week cohort program promises to “make your home video setup look like Hollywood,” and touches on everything from interior design to technical gear to your clothing. 

Participants move through the course with a group of other students, learning how to amp up their studio setup through asynchronous video lessons and interactive sessions where they can receive feedback directly from Shen. 

In live sessions, Shen marks up students’ screens to break down what they need to change in their home studios, whether it’s nudging furniture a few inches to the right or painting the wall a different color. He also provides direction on the technical aspects of lighting, video, and audio, and counsels users when purchasing the needed equipment. 

The course is offered in three tiers: Dream Studio Lite, Dream Studio Course, and Dream Studio Consulting Package, priced at $500, $1.5k, and $4k, respectively. 

In the Consulting Package, Shen works with clients on their schedule in one-on-one sessions. He likens the service to a traditional design agency for the specific use case of creating video content. 

Dream Studio’s clients typically fall into three categories: podcasters making the switch to video, video content creators hoping to grow their followings, and executives looking to improve their Zoom setups for conference calls. 

Shen says he’s helped 400 people set up their studios thus far, with an eighth cohort that launched in October 2022 underway.

In a world where relationship building is shifting to a digital-first environment, video setups are about more than finding the right angle. 

For example, three quick tips and tricks from Shen (check out his Twitter for many more). 

Improving your Zoom background

Improving your Zoom background

Improving your Zoom background

Shen says the same way people prefer to visit someone’s home when it is comfortable, they prefer to consume content from a user whose space is welcoming. 

“I tell all my students that they are not here just to show up on video — you’re building a world to invite people into,” he says. 

 

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