You know those moments of reflection after working on a major project when you realize how you could have done something better? As a professional video production company, we’ve picked up a few tips and tricks over the years, sometimes at the expense of some “uh-oh” incidents.
Whether you’re working on a personal marketing video, an in-house training video for your staff, or an informative video for your website’s blog, the rules are still the same. It doesn’t matter if we’re doing live event video production, an Amazon product video, corporate video production, or working with one of our amazing nonprofits to tell a story.
So, let’s take a look at some of the “secret sauce” ingredients for helping anyone feel comfortable on set. Oftentimes, it’s the small things in the production process that make the biggest difference.
Did Someone Say the Sahara Desert?
When Matt and I first started working together, we would have these long days doing nothing but shooting. When the day was finally over, we’d be sitting in the car looking at each other like full-on Sahara. The struggle was real.
But what I noticed over and over again, was that most people in front of a camera needed that water too. I’ve learned that no matter how professional or experienced a person is on set, they almost always tense up or get nervous and their mouths quickly become dry. Naturally, the mics are picking that up and it becomes a distraction in telling their stories.
I mean, come on, no one wants to hear the sound of a dry mouth with lips smacking around – am I right? In order to make the most of your promotional video production, don’t forget to bring water to the shoot!
Smart Video Companies Keep Talent Off the Set (until the appropriate time comes)
Perhaps not as gross as a dry mouth distraction, but just as significant, is bringing talent on set before it is absolutely necessary. People start seeing all this stuff getting set up and quickly become overwhelmed. They begin freaking out and thinking: “wow, this is a big deal,” or “I didn’t realize this was such a legit production.” It’s only natural that it makes people nervous.
Part of our job as storytellers is to remove all distractions as much as possible. It can be nerve-wracking for people to walk into a full-on production set and might ultimately take away from a person’s ability to perform well on camera.
If we need to do tests for our set-up, we always make sure to get someone to schmooze with the person being filmed. We like to ask them questions about themselves and get them to loosen up a bit.
Production Agencies Always Shoot for a Pre-Interview
Similar to schmoozing before a shoot, it’s important to make sure to conduct a pre-interview to gauge which parts of a story shine through the brightest. This is going to be the natural meat of the video that captures the attention and interest of an audience.
You’ll want to go through a gamut of general questions and just see where your interviewee starts to warm up. See what they’re passionate about, what they get emotional about, and then look for topics to expand on or avoid during actual production. If you’re doing a video by and for yourself, you can always pre-interview yourself (or have a friend do it) and watch your responses on film.
You can start with simple things like talking about family, sports, or anything as a way to help loosen up in front of the camera.
A Good Media Production Company Knows When to Yell “Cut!”
As you may have noticed from the other tips, one of our main jobs as a video production agency is to make our clients feel comfortable! When people are comfortable, their authentic personalities come out, their stories get heard, and they become more likable on (and off) camera.
If you notice something isn’t going well or someone is super nervous, don’t be afraid to suddenly run into an “audio issue.” Take the opportunity to before getting the camera rolling again.
You should start to see the whole vibe loosen up and that’s when you’ll know your “problem” has been fixed. That extra breath that you just allowed for is the difference between a story being heard and a story getting lost.
Quality Video Production Services is All About Placement
Speaking of stories getting lost – do you ever notice that when a person is looking directly at a camera it can feel a little unnerving? We like to position
Have whoever’s being filmed pretend they’re talking to someone or something behind the camera for a more natural ambiance that allows for conversation to flow easily.
Beard and Bowler – Your Professional Video Production Services
So, there you have it. Some life lessons we’ve picked up working on the set over the years. Take it from us and save yourself some hiccups. We’re happy to help with pointers for better production, and we’re here to chat if you’re ever interested in discussing a project you’d like to work on!
We’ve spent over a decade figuring this stuff out, so you don’t have to. We specialize in nonprofit video storytelling services, corporate films & marketing video services. We’re going to keep bringing the goods so stay tuned for more. And if you want to level up your storytelling, so that your video actually drives engagement & revenue, hit us up on our Contact Page.
Beard & Bowler – Your Creative Video Agency
Blog by Jason Ellinger (with a little flavor from Kwami Ngaojia)