If you’re organising a corporate video to be filmed at your place of work, here are a few tips to make the whole process a little less scary — and to prepare you and your team for when the film crew from the video production company arrives.
The people who will actually be in your video will most likely be fussing about what they’re going to wear. There are a few rules of thumb here.
- Don’t wear stripes or heavy patterns as these “strobe” on camera.
- Wear block colours. However, I always advise Caucasian people against wearing white because unless the background is particularly vibrant, it tends to make you look “washed-out”. And if you know you’re filming against a white screen, definitely don’t wear white — no matter the colour of your skin — or everything other than your head will disappear. (It’s not a good look.)
- Women should wear make-up they might wear to go out. It doesn’t have to be heavy — but something to give you some colour. Unless, that is, you never, ever wear make-up and you want to look like you normally do. This is a totally personal thing. I’ve filmed women who haven’t had a scrap of make-up on and that’s just how they like it. So it’s definitely your choice.
- I’d advise against make-up for men as I don’t think it ever looks particularly natural — unless you’re going to invest in a professional make-up artist. It’s worth discussing with those taking part. If you can afford a professional, then do it!
- Be careful with accessories. You don’t want a huge necklace or shiny tiepin detracting from what you’re saying.
- What do you normally wear? If the CEO is never seen in a suit, and he wears a suit on camera, will that work for your audience? If the audience is internal and they suddenly see him in a suit, they’ll spend the first 30 seconds laughing to themselves about the fact he looks so different rather than concentrating on the message. However, if this is for an external audience who aren’t familiar with what the CEO wears on a daily basis, it might be very appropriate.
- Think about company policies. If it’s a safety requirement that everyone on the shop floor wears safety glasses and the interview takes place on the shop floor, you’ll want to make sure anyone on camera is wearing safety glasses.
- If there are people in the background while you’re filming, have you asked them if that’s OK? Seeking permission before you film is always much better than trying to cut them out in the editing suite afterwards!
Where are you going to film? There are a few things to consider here, too.
- It might be quiet but that doesn’t mean the boardroom is the perfect location. Filming someone in their normal place of work is a much better idea, as it adds an entirely different energy to the interview. For example, if you’re interviewing someone who does a practical job within your business, let’s see them where they do it. It’s not always easy — there could be noise, other workers, distractions, and so on — but if it’s feasible this will always get the better result. Constant low noise is OK, such as a continuous low-pitched whirring of machinery. Occasional high-pitched noise is not acceptable, so think about whether it’s possible to halt this noise for a short time during the interview.
- Is it appropriate to film outside your premises? It’s always worth thinking about. Again, an exterior environment adds a level of energy to the content, which certainly can’t be obtained from the boardroom.
- If the office is the only possible location (and often it is), what can be used in the background to provide some life? We don’t necessarily want the predictable corporate banner, but can you use a room with colourful chairs or with dynamic artwork that adds that extra something to complement your talent?
The filming process
What happens when the crew arrives?
I usually advise that we’ll spend a half-hour to an hour with the person appearing in the corporate video production. As a rule we work through the interview first. Usually this is done in a fashion whereby they don’t look at the camera at all; it’s just an interview where you look at the person asking the questions. You might be asked the same question several times to make sure the right messages are in the answer and sometimes to get the length of the answer spot-on.
Then we’ll get the footage we need. Having done the interview first, we know exactly what shots we need to go with what you’ve said. This might be simply going through the motions of doing your job, interacting with others, and so on. Again you might be asked to do things multiple times so we can get different angles of the same sequence.
Not knowing the details of how the filming process works is sometimes what scares people away from taking part in a corporate video. Hopefully with a few of these tips up your sleeve, you’ll be able to pacify those who are speedily walking in the other direction, when they should be walking towards the camera.
If you require corporate video production services in Perth or anywhere in Western Australia, get in touch with Lush – The Content Agency. We have an expert team of videographers, video producers, interviewers, editors and animators ready to make your next corporate video really sing.
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