Your Video Shoot: Setting Yourself Up for Success

When you think about taking part in a video shoot do you feel nervous or stressed out? Some people can get overwhelmed by being a part of what can feel like a complex process, but a bit of pre-planning (and knowing what to expect) can go a long way in keeping your nerves steady and ensuring that you end up with a fantastic end product.

The above video gives you a few basic tips. You’ll want to give your video team a “home base” where they can temporarily store equipment for the duration of the shoot. If part of your video involves you or members of your team speaking on camera, be sure to provide the video crew a quiet place to shoot and conduct the interviews. A larger room with moveable furniture is best. We don’t want to put the subject of the interviews right up against a wall and we want to be able to make the background visually interesting to the viewer, if possible.

We often get asked if windows are okay in the room, and the short answer is, it depends. If the sky is overcast then the light from the windows can add an interesting dimension, but if it’s a partly cloudy day with the sun going in and out behind the clouds, all of that changing light can make the cameraman’s job challenging. A good rule of thumb is, if the room where we’ll be shooting has windows it’s best if there are curtains or shades in case we need to block out the sunlight.

And, just as light can create issues, so can noise that you might not normally notice. The whir of an HVAC unit can be distracting in a video, especially if it’s switching on and off while the crew is trying to shoot. It’s ideal if you can control fans and heat or AC in the room, and if people in adjacent rooms are also quiet.

Sometimes nature provides just the right lighting on a shoot and there is no need for artificial light. More often than not, however, the crew will have to bring in their light kit, and those lights can draw quite a bit of power. If you are aware of the locations of outlets that are on different circuits, the possibility of blowing a fuse is lessened. This is less of an issue in large industrial buildings, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry in most cases.

If you’re the one who’s going to be on camera you may find yourself feeling nervous as the crew gets ready to bring you in to do your interview or deliver your lines. This is very normal!

It can be intimidating, having a room full of people looking at you from behind bright lights! The best way to set yourself up for success is to practice what you want to say, then on your big day, do your best to trust yourself to be great. Don’t worry about reciting your script word-for-word. You know your stuff, so do your best to let it flow. Take deep calming breaths before going in front of the camera, and don’t be shy about asking to do something over. Multiple takes is normal, so don’t let it worry you. Remember, editing is your friend!

Sometimes people get so nervous and stiff in front of the camera that the thing they really need to do is to let themselves get silly and laugh. So, take a moment. Wriggle your arms and legs, shake your head and BREATHE.

This last part is so critical because, at the end of the day, the MOST important thing about a video shoot is to relax and have fun. Be your authentic self. And know that it’s perfectly fine – and normal – to have to do multiple takes to get something right. And remember, the video crew is on your side, there to make sure you look and sound your best on camera. Do all of the above, and remember to smile (especially when you’re on camera), and you can’t go wrong. Do it often enough and you might even discover that shooting a video can be a whole lot of fun!