People are fascinated with the world of film/video production and it seems that everyone angles for his/her fifteen minutes of fame. But not everyone is suited to be in front of the camera. That’s why actors get paid well for their craft. However, not all company promotional videos will have the luxury of hiring professional actors. They rely on actual employee and client testimonials to convey the message. So, before assigning Bob in Human Resources the task of sitting in front of the camera to talk about his department, think back to the last sales or training video you watched. How many of the people on that video seemed uncomfortable or unpleasant? How many seemed to struggle with what they were trying to communicate? How many just looked like they didn’t want to be there? For your company’s video, you can’t just pick anyone to give a testimonial. Wisely choosing your talent will positively impact the final video.
1. LOOK BELOW THE “HEAD” – Sometimes the head of a department might not be the best selection for an on-camera interview. Look for others in the department who can convey the message in a clear, professional, and pleasant manner.
2. ASK, DON’T ASSIGN – Never assign someone to do an on-camera interview. The last thing you want is for someone to show up who would rather be anywhere else in the world than in front of that camera.
3. PERSONALITY AND POISE COUNT – Look for someone who displays confidence and friendliness. Look for someone who will maintain a sense of relaxation while on camera. You want someone who isn’t afraid to smile, or to laugh.
4. CHECK THEIR BACKGROUND – Jim in shipping and receiving may be a great candidate for an on-camera interview, but you need to do a background check, especially if you work in a large company. Sometimes certain incidents from an employee’s past can slip through the cracks and it’s important to remember that the people you put on screen reflect your company. Anything damaging from someone’s past could cast a negative light on the integrity of your business.
5. BRIEF THEM – Although you want a testimonial to feel natural and unrehearsed, you don’t want your employee to come in totally unaware of what’s going on. That will lead to a lot of “um’s….” and “uh’s…” throughout the interview. Send the employee a list of questions beforehand. Brief him or her on exactly what you want communicated in this interview. Discuss the goals of the video as a whole.
With any video project, the harder you work in pre-production, the better your final product will be.