Four tips for being filmed on camera: How to be camera-ready for your business video
April 4, 2013
In the past 15 years we’ve filmed many people for both television and corporate productions. Some of them loved being in the spotlight, but more often, they were there by default; as owner or manager of the company or department, or perhaps “volunteered” by someone like their boss.
But being on camera doesn’t have to be stressful. A professional production company will have the know-how to make even the most reluctant on-camera spokesperson appear and feel comfortable.
To ease the mind of those feeling unsure in front of the lens, here are a few tips to make it more enjoyable and easier.
- Remember, it’s not live! The wonders of editing…
Chances are, you’re not being filmed for a live event, which means you can relax right away. Lose track of a thought mid-sentence? No worries: you can start over. If you hesitate or stutter, utter an expletive or just say, “That’s not right. Can I start that over?” –no problem. It’s the job of the production company and their edit team to take all the filmed footage and find the best moments, covering the breaks (the cuts) with great images (called B-roll or cut-aways). By the time they’ve finished the edit, you’ll be impressed by how smooth and polished you sound!
- Don’t memorize
You’ll feel-and act- a lot more natural if you’ve not trying to recite word for word a text you’ve tried to memorize. While it’s a good idea for many people to look at the questions beforehand and even prepare a few notes or key points, there is such a thing as being too prepared. Neither struggling to remember lines nor reeling them off with flat intonation sounds good. Your on-camera self will look and feel best when you’re engaging in a conversation with the person beside the lens, rather than performing a recitation.
- Speak from your heart
Unless you’re a trained actor, trying to speak in someone else’s words from a script will almost always sound stiff and unnatural. You are knowledgeable about your business or service. You know your products and your issues. You just need to share what you know and care about. It really is as easy as that. And if you flub a point? No worries – go back and read point #1.
- Forget the camera
This one isn’t always so easy. There is this plastic and metal contraption, a single unblinking eye a few metres away, perched on a three legged beast, with lights shining brightly on you. But in the midst of this gear, your production company should also have sent an interested, informed person. Your video’s producer or director is right there, coaching you along, listening to you, and suggesting ways to be most comfortable. He or she will ask and re-ask questions, gathering all the info they need and ensuring that you and your video look and sound great.
These are the basics to get you started. Being on camera is an important and useful skill. And before you realize it, it will be over: our clients really do tell us after the experience that it was more enjoyable and quicker than they’d imagined.
If you need a little help stepping in front of the lens, get in touch. We’re ready for your close-up!