Don't hit record just yet, you might regret it

No Regrets

There is nothing worse than finishing a shoot and wishing it had gone smoother. Time is valuable and you want to make sure to get your video right the first time. With these steps, you’ll be able to cut down on obstacles that might arise during your shoot so that you can feel accomplished and excited about your video. 

Sometimes it takes a few beers to loosen up on camera.

Sometimes it takes a few beers to loosen up on camera.

The problem

Just like any art form, video can be difficult. Murphy's Law is a definite in filmmaking: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. For this reason, simple video isn't defined by what the end product looks like, but rather by the difficulty in accomplishing everything it takes to make that final product. 

Let me explain. A "simple" talking head video where you speak directly into the camera and say a predetermined script, usually turns out to be very complicated! Why? Because talking to an inanimate object (the camera) with personality while remembering your script is quite an undertaking! You’ll soon realize why actors get paid so much.

From past experiences of working with clients, I’ve learned that a one to two minute video of talking to the camera often takes roughly three hours. It takes time to set up the camera, fix the messaging that was initially wrong with the script, deal with unexpected background noises and finally film the script. 

Unfortunately these obstacles often stop people from doing video. You are not going to be one of those people.

The Solution

So how do you simplify the painstaking process of creating a video? Preparing for your shoot can immensely help simplify your shoot. Murphy’s law will still apply but you’ll be prepared to face the obstacles!

Write 

Write your messaging ahead of time to ensure clarity

  • Who is your Ideal Customer Avatar?
  • What is the goal of the video?
  • How should your audience feel after viewing the video?
  • Where will this video play?

Practice

Practice recording yourself on your computer, voice memo, or to a friend. 

  • Talking to the camera is equivalent to giving a speech: your voice cracks, you stumble over your words, you run out of breath, etc. 
  • If you you’re struggling to recite the full script, find areas where can you naturally pause.

Brainstorm 

Brainstorm B-Roll (Additional footage opportunities)

  • What are you saying in your script that can be showed visually?
  • List your daily business activities. Are any of these visual? 
  • List your personal daily activities. Could any of these fit?
  • Brainstorm fifteen activities you can film in the area you are recording. Note: Your videographer can help split this burden; however, you know your business better than the videographer so any list is helpful.

Listen

Sit for three minutes in silence in the area you plan to film.

Adding lights to the equation can extend the length of time required to shoot.

Adding lights to the equation can extend the length of time required to shoot.

  • Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. 
  • Do you hear a high pitched hiss? What is it coming from? Can it be unplugged?
  • Do you hear cars, planes or people outside? 
    • Some background noise can be removed in post production; however, the cleaner the initial recording, the better. 
  • If your chosen spot is too loud, consider changing locations before the shoot.

Look

  • What does the lighting look like in the area you plan to film?
  • Is there natural light?
  • What time of day is the brightest? 
  • Anything that is slightly dark to the human eye will be incredibly dark to the camera. Alert your videographer if the area is dark to trouble shoot. Lights are always an option, but they can increase the time needed for your shoot.

Tell me about the hiccups you've encountered while on set!