Top Tips for Acting in Marketing Videos
Making your first marketing video can be a daunting task. Whether it’s performance nerves having high expectations as a director, there can be a lot of challenging factors that come with production.
If you’re new to the world of video marketing, there’s a key element that you should be aware of: the overall energy you emit from your video has the power to make or break its success. And much of that overall energy has to do with the performance of the actors you’re shooting in your video.
Many marketing videos, such as testimonials, company stories, and explainers, require real-life people to perform a line or two. Business owners, customers, team members; whatever subjects you’re intending to feature in your shoot, you can rest assured that most, if not all of them, have extremely limited acting experience.
While reciting lines may not come as easily to everyday people as it does to a professional actor, that doesn’t mean the scene is doomed for awkward mediocrity.
Whenever you’re preparing your actors to get in front of the camera, be sure to remember these tips to get the most out of their performances and keep your video’s energy engaging, comfortable, and inviting.
1. Be Straightforward and Clear
For many people with limited or no acting experience, they’re not as shy in front of the camera as much as they are confused about what to do or how they should act. That’s why it’s important to be as straightforward and direct as possible when providing guidance for what you want them to achieve or demonstrate in front of the camera.
Before each take, give them a clear and concise pep talk about any lines they may have or what you want them to improvise with their dialogue. Don’t be afraid to give them any suggestions regarding physical movements they could make or refrain from doing.
While being direct is important, remember that you need to temper your expectations with their performance, as obviously they’re not (likely) trained in the finer points of acting.
2. Establish Expectations
Perhaps the worst thing you can do with amateur actors is leave them high and dry when it comes to your expectations of their performance, as well as their own expectations of the shoot.
For starters, be as transparent and upfront as possible when it comes to scheduling. It’s easy for non-actors to get restless when performing in front of the camera, so make sure they understand how long they’re supposed to be on set, and avoid going over their allotted time constraints.
Next, give your actors specific examples of how or what you want them to perform. If you’re shooting an interview or testimonial video, show them clips from previous interviews or testimonials you’ve shot so they can get a sense of what kind of tone or energy they can inject into their performance.
3. Provide Encouragement
Being comfortable in front of the camera isn’t easy for everyone. In fact, some people may flat out dislike it! To obtain strong, useful footage from a camera-shy team member, you’ll need to remember to provide them with consistent encouragement and positive reinforcement.
Remind your subject that they’re doing a good job while they’re in between takes. If your subject starts to get cold feet before a take, help them relax by letting them know that you know they can succeed with this.
Consistent encouragement will help your on-camera staff remain confident and at ease.
4. Accept Mistakes
Reciting lines isn’t easy, and you’ll likely make a mistake while filming, but that’s OK! Prior to starting production, let your on-camera team members know that mistakes are acceptable and part of the process.
If you’re working with a team of video specialists, they’ll know how to manage takes and reshoot scenes to ensure there will be usable footage. Your hired video experts will know how to work with the mistakes you and your team may make while filming.
5. Create a Comfortable Environment
Reciting lines and performing in front of a camera is difficult enough on its own. Maintaining the room at a comfortable temperature, providing optimal airflow, and supplying accessible water are a few ways you can ensure that your on-camera team members feel at ease and ready to present their lines.
6. Keep the Camera Rolling
One of the easiest ways to disrupt a non-actor’s performance is to constantly say “cut” or make frequent changes to the scene or shot they’re participating in. If they flub a line or miss a cue, don’t halt production and just keep your camera(s) rolling, while informing them of anything they’ve done wrong or providing subtle direction.
The less you can interrupt their flow as well as your shooting process, the more relaxed and on-point they’ll be.
7. Schedule During a Flexible Time Frame
When it comes time to film scenes for your video, there’s no telling what type of complications may arise. From loud airplanes to unexpected sirens, you’ll likely need optimal time to move around and find the perfect moment to shoot some scenes.
When scheduling your shoot, remember to pick a flexible time frame in case of unexpected setbacks.
8. Choose a Professional and Reputable Production Team
When you’re ready to take on your first video shoot, don’t get stuck trying to take on all aspects of film production on your own — hire a team of reputable, trained, and professional video specialists to help you complete the task successfully.
At Atomic 8, we’re committed to supplying our clients with exceptional video marketing solutions. From production to placement and advertising, we’re the team you can count on to help you create a video that brings you results. We’ll even get you started with a complete video package so you can continue to experience the success of top-quality videos.
Get started on your next video today! Contact Atomic 8 at 612-486-5580.