The Biggest Do’s and Don’ts for Awesome Video Shoots
How to Act On Camera
• If possible, avoid important meetings before and right after the video shoot.
• Let colleagues know that the video shoot is taking place in the building (to avoid noise and other disturbances).
• Don’t learn the text by heart! Spontaneity is the golden rule.
• Avoid hesitations (‘umm’).
• Let the director guide you through the process. If something doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to let the director know.
• Relax. If you feel uptight, you’re going to look and sound uptight!
• Talk slowly. If you think you’re talking too fast, you probably are. If you think you’re talking slowly enough, you probably aren’t.
• Avoid uncontrolled hand gestures and other body motions. A few slow and deliberate hand gestures are OK... but avoid quick, broad and sweeping hand gestures. Also, remember to hold good posture! Your voice may be saying one thing, and your body language may be saying something quite different.
• Be conversational! Have vocal variety in your voice. It might help to consider how you sound when you’re speaking to another person on the telephone. Talk as though you were having a conversation with a business colleague or a friend.
• Be brief. Television is primarily a time-oriented medium. The amount of time devoted to sound bites and story length is very short. Make your sentences as short as possible.
• Use simple language. If possible, avoid complicated technical terms and acronyms that need explaining. Avoid words, terms and phrases that lay audiences might not use in everyday dialogue.
• Be yourself and smile!
The Dress Code
• Wear clothing that makes you feel both comfortable and confident.
• Avoid stark white, bright yellow, or red shirts and handkerchiefs that tend to reflect light or are too vivid on camera.
• Avoid black suits, which can diminish your appearance because they absorb too much light.
• Avoid dress shirts with pinstripes that are close together, because they tend to flutter on camera.
• Avoid fabrics with complicated patterns such as checks, tight/close stripes, herringbones, tweeds, and loud plaids. Fabrics of this design have a tendency to strobe on camera.
• Avoid neckties with bold, tightly designed patterns, including plaids, polka dots and shiny fabrics. They too will flutter on camera.
• Avoid short sleeve shirts, because they present an informal look.
• Avoid shiny jewelry and metal tie clips, which reflect light back into the lens of the camera.
• If you are going to wear a dress shirt, bring a blue, gray, pink, or beige dress shirt.
• Bring a medium-colored suit, if possible. Your best bets are blue/dark blue, gray, and brown.
• If (due to your target audience's preference) you do not wear a dress suit, bring solid colored clothes. Your best bets are navy blues, purples, dark creams and browns.
• Bring clothes that are made of natural fabrics, because they usually breathe more easily under the warm studio lights.
• Bring two or three neckties that match your suit (to test on camera). Make sure the neckties are non-shiny and loosely patterned.
• If you have a company logo pin badge, don’t hesitate to wear it.
By Margarita Maximovskaya, Sr. Project Manager