It’s true! This online video thing is apparently catching on. haha! So much more people are getting in front of a camera, sometimes reluctantly. Now it’s your turn. How do you prepare? More specifically, the question is “How do I NOT look like a dorky amateur on screen?” Read on, MacDuff.
1: Relax & Enjoy Your Video Shoot
Have fun! It’s probably not every day you get to be in front of the camera. You’re the prince or princess of the day! We’ll help you get the best performance that’s in you. Shake the shakeys out. You be you.
2: What Should I Wear?
Ultimately, you need to wear what makes you comfortable. If you don’t wear a suit, wearing one in front of a camera will take away your focus. Likewise, a corporate suit guy dressing casually looks like a duck out of water.
Who is going to be watching the video? Clients? Investors? Staff? Dress as you would if you were meeting them in person.
3: What Tricks Are There in Looking Good in Front of a Camera?
Here’s some stuff to think about when choosing how you’re going to look on screen:
- No tight patterns. Especially in jackets. That goes double for big bold prints of shapes. Or fabric that’s shiny or has sequins. Simple ties only.
- Speaking of shiny … lose the jewellery. Maybe your ring. But everything else jangles or reflects light.
- Speaking of reflections … if you have glasses (and people know you that way), then wear them. We’ll do your shots in a way that doesn’t show reflections.
- Speaking of reflections … What is the subject matter of the video? Make sure your attire reflects the subject.
- Outfits that distract from the face are not good. Short skirts draw attention to legs, short sleeves draw attention to bare arms.
- Make sure your skin is moisturized.
- A teensy tiny bit of makeup is a good thing. Camera’s these days pick up a lot of natural colour. But for sure, cover up your pimples. Dark circles under your eyes. Contour cheekbones. Even out your tone. Ladies know this. Men need to do it too.
- Colours? Black is bad. So is white. Vibrant red? Bright orange? Both bad. Simple and subdued does the trick. Also, if there is a “green screen” background make sure what you’re wearing isn’t that colour, or you’ll have holes in you.
Pack for the day. Bring 2 or 3 alternatives of clothes, ties, shoes, dress, slacks … if you don’t dig your attire when you see it played back on camera, you’ll have some choices on hand.
4: Don’t Forget: You’re an Expert
The reason you’re in front of the camera is that you’re an expert in something. Just let your passion shine through like you would at a cocktail party or when you’re talking about it with your best mate.
It’s great to have a script. It’s even better not to follow it. Have your speaking points organized but don’t memorize the script. Don’t be too proud to use cue cards; sometimes just a bullet list is a great tool to keep you on track.
What is a good script length for a video?
Script length? 150 words for a 1-minute video.
“Should I practice?”
Not everyone is a professional actor that can slam dunk performances in a single take. And, they would be the first ones to tell you to rehearse.
Mere mortals are best to bone up on their performance beforehand. Consider running through some practice sessions beforehand, just to get it a little more natural.
Interview style video
If talking directly to the camera ain’t your bag, we can also create “interview style” footage by having a camera over the interviewer’s shoulder. If we’re doing this style of video, remember to always reply to and a look at the interviewer. Avoid looking at the camera.
5: You’re an Athlete
It takes a lot of focus and energy to have a good video shoot. Plus, it’s hot under them lights! Think of yourself as an athlete that is running a marathon.
Here’s some do’s:
- Get a good nights sleep.
- Drink lots of water the day prior, and throughout the video shoot. Have a water bottle handy. Stay hydrated.
And, here’s some don’ts:
- Don’t eat a heavy breakfast if it’s a morning shoot. Avoid carbs or anything that’s going to make you bloaty or burpy.
- Don’t drink alcohol the night before or during. Unless that’s part of your schtick, e.g. Drunk History videos.
And did we mention that part about having fun?
Have a good shoot! Break a leg.