When public speaking, do you worry more about the way you look or what you say? When filming, you have to consider the surrounding environment to ensure it reflects and complements both the way the subject looks and what they’re saying.
Without considering the aesthetics of the filming location, you’re in danger of demeaning the issue in focus and the content delivered. Here’s why:
We are naturally drawn to what is pleasing to the eye.
Is the image attractive or can you see ugly wallpaper or dead flowers in the shot? Is there enough interest in the frame or does it look bare and clinical? Likewise, is there too much going on? The producer will be analysing the image in the shot and looking for anything detracting the focus from the subject.
No matter the location, no matter how big or small, it becomes a film set. It may be as simple as changing the chair used in the interview through to a decorating overhaul.
Issues to consider when creating your aesthetically appealing film location:
Will people in the background add value to your video? Does it work within the context of the film?
If you have an interview in a secluded area and just one random person ambles past, it might look odd, so you would need to stop and start again. However if filming in an airport, having background activity would add atmosphere to the scenario.
Props can add to the ambience you are creating. For a relaxed, warm tone you may include a comfy couch with cushions when conducting an interview. For a formal speech where the interview subject is delivering an important message, they should be standing to expose more of their body language and communicate more effectively. Your body language speaks volumes and is a useful tool in communication.
Make use of the lighting available and bring additional lighting to create the ambience required. Lamps are good for creating a homely environment. You will also need crew lighting to highlight the subject properly.
Colour and patterns
Bright garish colours, especially fluorescents, are not recommended. Stick with neutral colours and plain patterns. Extravagant patterns can create an eyesore.
Avoid branding unless it’s for your own company, then product placement is acceptable. Otherwise it can stand out and take the focus from the subject.
Watch out for a conflict of interest if inadvertently advertising another brand within your company. For example, an anti-smoking organisation would not want someone smoking in the background of their video.
Avoid anything that may reflect light, such as a mirror (which may show the film crew), a watch or window; it’s distracting.
Dirty room or broken props
It may seem trivial, but a smeared window or dirty lampshade is frustrating to see once it makes it to the edit stage. Take care to make sure everything in the shot looks clean and on top form.
Mini Case Study
We had a job filming promotional videos for a product not yet manufactured and we only had a prototype to work with – the only prototype in existence. Firstly the owner of the product had not cleaned the product and there were scratches and exposed screws that would normally be covered. I set to work cleaning the prototype and the client went to fetch some tape to camouflage the screws. Once it was sparkling clean and looking as good as it could, we could start filming.
The added extra
I’m a big fan of plants in the picture, especially when filming interviews. I turn into a semi-florist when arranging an interview location. Flowers are a great way of softening an image, bringing life to the picture and providing a sneaky prop for the cameraman as mentioned before.
“Adding props provides depth to the shot making it more visually interesting and reveals more about the environment.”
Simon ‘Sizzles’ Thompson, Filmmaker
In the filming world it’s all about appearances, and the videos you choose to show your audience are a reflection on you. It’s crucial to pick the right film crew for the job. Make sure you check out their credentials before hiring and watch videos they have made previously. If possible, go and meet the team to get a feel for whom you’re working with and whether they will understand your needs and requirements.
For more information about getting a great video, get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.