You are going to be on-camera and you want it to go off without a hitch. Here are some important tips and reminders that will help you make the best of your experience.
1. It’s okay to be nervous!
It is completely normal to be nervous and even people with on-camera experience can still get that uncomfortable feeling. Those nerves you’re experiencing are coming from a good place! You want to make an impression and, of course, you care about your clients and customers. Communicating effectively means a lot to you! This is where you need to trust the team you hired to do their best work and help portray how much you care.
2. Multiple takes are normal.
It is completely normal to record the same takes (sentences/parts) many times. Don’t take (no pun intended) offence if the crew wants to see you do another run-through. Videographers and directors want you to shine, and to have a few options when we go to edit your video. Having more content to work with is better than not enough! It is completely normal to record the same takes (sentences/parts) many times. Don’t take offence if the crew wants to see you do another run-through. In the editing process, videographers and directors prefer having multiple take options to ensure you shine on screen. Having more content to work with is better than not having enough!
3. Don’t stress about delivering your script perfectly.
If you are talking directly to the camera for your video, we don’t recommend memorizing a script. Do some run-throughs on your own but there is no need to completely memorize your message. There are production tools that can help you deliver the script if your video production team has a teleprompter or an eye direct. Getting used to talking on-camera can be tough but it will get easier as time goes on. If you aren’t using a teleprompter or an eye direct, print off a copy of the script for yourself to reference throughout the shoot.
If you are doing an interview-style video, you will be looking at the person who is asking you questions just off-screen. In these situations, direct eye contact with the camera is rarely required. The best thing to do is listen to directions and do your best to follow them!
Do not be surprised if your script needs some adjustments. An experienced video production team will help you refine your message if needed. When the content is in action, even the most well-written script might not work for the flow of the piece. Along the same lines of #2, if the crew makes a tweak, don’t take it personally. It is ultimately going to help you reach the end goal: a well-polished video!
4. Put some thought into your wardrobe.
When planning your outfit before the shoot, keep in mind the environment and how you want to be perceived. Wearing colours is always a good idea, but avoid neon colours… it just isn’t going to be flattering on camera. “Are we using a lav mic?” is a great question to ask during your meeting prior to filming day because this will help you choose your clothing. Wearing a shirt that has the ability to have the mic attached is ideal, but wearing a dress will leave little room to do this. If the production company is using a boom mic, dresses are game on! Pockets are great for sticking a mic pack into or attaching a mic pack too. If you want to go the extra mile to boost your confidence, putting on your favourite shirt or getting your hair done might be something to consider!
When planning your outfit before the shoot, keep in mind the environment and how you want to present to your audience. Wearing soft, muted colours is always a good idea but avoid neon. These colours tend to wash people out and distract the audience.
“Are we using a lav mic?” is a great question to ask during your meeting prior to filming day. This will help you decide the style of clothing that will work best for your shoot. Wearing a shirt that has the ability to attach the mic is ideal, but wearing a dress will leave little room to do this. If the production company is using a boom mic, dresses are game on! Pockets are great for sticking a mic pack into or attaching a mic pack to.
If you want to go the extra mile to boost your confidence, putting on your favourite shirt or getting your hair done might be something to consider!
5. Listen to the Videographer or Director.
The Videographer or Director is most likely going to give you tips, cues, and feedback to assist in making you feel more comfortable on-camera. The more authentic you come across, the better you will relate to your audience!
6. Give yourself mental space.
If you can help it, avoid stressful tasks immediately before filming. You don’t want to bring a rushed or flustered mental state with you to the set as it might cloud your ability to focus on performing. If you have the luxury of planning your own schedule, carve out some relaxation time prior to being on-camera. You will thank yourself (and so will your brain)!
7. Your vocal cords are part of the show.
Here are three easy steps that will help prepare your vocal cords for their big debut:
- Keep room temperature water nearby while you are on set. Take frequent sips to keep your vocal cords hydrated.
- Avoid over-caffeinating yourself before the filming (and skip the take-out coffee… especially sugary lattes). Caffeine dries out your vocal cords and can lead to a strained voice.
- Blast your favourite song in the car on the way to the set… and sing along! This will be a great warm-up for your voice.
These tips will not only help you with your vocal cords but also help avoid mouth noises that we sometimes pick up on during the editing process.
8. Have fun!
The biggest takeaway is that you have fun. If we take ourselves too seriously, our audience will pick up on it. Take some deep breaths, relax and trust that your video production team is here to catch your good side!
Now… lights, camera, ACTION!
Justine Kelsie (left), Mariah Braun (right)
Mariah Braun (She/Her), M3M Marketing Owner, Director of Business Development & Content Creator – Blog Writer
Mariah, Owner of M3M Marketing, has experience directing and editing commercial video projects, working in the independent film industry, and in 2021, had a short documentary she directed, broadcasted on TV. She has managed marketing projects for the public sector, post-secondary education, and small businesses since 2015.
Justine Kelsie (She/Her), M3M Marketing Content Creator – Blog Contributor
Justine is a former radio broadcaster with experience in all aspects of the industry. She received her Advanced Radio & Television diploma in 2013 where she had extensive training in video production including broadcast-quality camera techniques, editing, directing, scriptwriting, interview techniques, and presenting on-camera. She has worked on a number of successful video projects with M3M Marketing.