Rebuilding my Hallway Video Set, Behind the Scenes

I’ve really jumped into the world of video in a big way and my YouTube channel – AskDaveTaylor – now has over 8500 subscribers and I’ve uploaded and shared over 500 videos. Mostly their product reviews of consumer electronics gadgets, but along the way I’ve also picked up a bunch of commercial clients and do video work for companies big and small too. Some of them I’m in the kitchen, in my car or even on the couch, but a lot of companies like my simple but effective “coffee table set”.

Most of the time it’s just me on a stool with a wood covered wall, like you can see in this still:

still from video review, ask dave taylor

Nice enough, but it was a portable wall of vertical slats, thick, always a tiny bit precarious not being actually affixed to the wall, not much help with stretch my green screen over it for other backgrounds and effects, and, mostly, too darn small, making it tricky for me to get my zoom and framing just right. For example, in the above it would have been nice to have a bit more of the table so you could see the overall set.

After months of frustration I finally decided to bring someone in and have them replace my faux wood wall with, well, a different kind of faux wood wall; wood paneling. Fortunately the industry has come a long way since the dark, fake looking paneling of the 50s, but still, my handman installer had never installed paneling, he’d just ripping it out and replaced it with something else.

A bit of research and we found some very nice paneling at Home Depot that turned out to be a ridiculously modest $18.97/sheet for a 4×8 foot panel. Three of them took care of the entire wall. In the below, two are installed:

wood panelling installed

So you have context, here’s the wall with everything moved out of the way, the “before” picture of this adventure in set building:

blank wall

You can nail wood paneling or you can glue it on. Since ours was all slightly warped (no thanks to Home Depot: Every single sheet of the 35 or so they had was similarly warped) we opted to glue it on. Easily done, and as you can see two pics ago, it goes on pretty directly.

After a few hours of installing, a custom cut to compensate for the fact that the wall isn’t exactly square and plumb (the top ended up about 1/4″ wider than the bottom of the last piece. Weird) and the addition of some trim pieces along the top, facing edge, and restoration of the original kickboard, here’s what it looked like:

youtube video set

Since it’s by my front door, the coat rack is a fixture off to the left and you can see the table and chairs that I use in my shoots. Still left to do: I need to now replace the ugly white light switch panel with a dark wood unit that compliments the color of the wood. Well, wood paneling, at least.

Did you catch the clips we installed along the top of the wall too? Here’s a closeup:

installed clip for green screen

They’re not very big, but these clips are mighty strong and four of them along the top are more than sufficient to hold up my big green screen. Now it’s the full size of the wall I can experiment with more effects too, which is a fun prospect.

All in all, I think it’s turned out very well and I’m pleased and surprised how attracted this inexpensive wood paneling turned out. Total material cost for this job was under $100, including glues, edging strips, clips, and, of course, the panels themselves. Not too bad.

What do you think? Next step might be for me to install some lights specific for filming, but… let’s give this set a workout first, yes?

And if you haven’t, I definitely invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel and see how I utilize the new set in my videos!

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