Staging has a role in any big budget production. It can take things from, "oh that looks good", to something much more. It's the extra 20% to the 80/20 rule. In the example here, you can see the scene looks pretty simple, a standard desk and chair. However, with a bit of magic you can make it the image above. A place for writing novels, researching, smoking a corncob pipe; a place for reflection.
This is another example from the same location. This treehouse I had seen previously with an early morning haze and fog. Unfortunately, I didn't have the proper gear to capture it. After several months of awaiting a phone call about the appropriate weather circumstances, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create the perfect setting.
My brother and I arrived before dawn and as we had anticipated, there was no fog.
That's when we turned on our fog hazer to add extra depth and atmospheric layers to the image. We even added a little light in the treehouse to help it stand out just slightly.
This scene was a particularly tough setup. The room was completely empty except for a couch, a green plant, gold-framed mirror, and a chair. I wanted the final shot to look like a young creative architect exploring the iPad app. Thus with tons of set dressing, we were able to make it look like this.
When you don't have the opportunity to set the perfect background, it is always an option to worry about it later. In this interview I shot, we added a nice backdrop. The boca to right, I even filmed separately to give the extra subtle movement to the background.