We are now ready to shoot our video, so in this 4th part of the marketing Video Tips let’s look at appearance and locations.
Appearance. If you are appearing in front of the camera, even if you are just doing a testimonial for another business, do think about your dress attire. From a technical viewpoint, do not wear check or polka dot shirts / blouses etc as the camera will produce moiré patterns. Appropriate clothing will vary depending on the content, trade, profession and just like going to meetings you can never get it totally right.
Clean and smart, is mandatory, even if you are a car mechanic! From an aesthetic viewpoint, dare I say …and I will anyway – hairy chests, ample cleavages and tattoos should not appear within a business orientated video, so keep them covered up…unless of course you are a hairy cleavage tattooist then I suppose it may be the way ahead!
I have to just mention make-up. The requirements for TV and Photography is a craft in its own right. As a minimum, we don’t want “shiny”. Ladies, don’t over do it. If time permits take a look at a still picture or a video playback on a TV monitor and adjust eye shadow / liner and blusher accordingly. Gentlemen, if you have a bald head, this can be a source of light flares so don’t be embarrassed if a pro crew want to just add some dusting powder. You will be more embarrassed if your head sparkles!
Locations. If filming is taking place at your own premises, make sure there is nothing likely to be in shot that shouldn’t be there. For example, sensitive documents, sales charts, dodgy calendars or general rubbish. I was supplied with footage by the in-house video unit of an international bank, based in Docklands, of their trading floor. This “hi tech” area was so untidy: it looked more like a Boot Sale, not good.
Avoid unintentional product placement too, i.e. branded products in view, unless of course that is what you are promoting. Don’t be afraid to “dress” an office background with off centred plants and whatever you can find. Do check carefully for the pot plant or similar tall objects, behind the subject, looking like they are growing out of the subjects’ head. If you have staff, make sure you inform them in advance of any filming and get written permissions or allow opt outs for those who don’t want to be involved.
Do make it clear that just because it is filmed, it may not finish up in the final edit. If for any reason you are using outdoor public locations, permissions may be required depending on where you are and what you are doing. It can be a “can of worms” and providing common sense prevails and you are not on private property – i.e. a railway station or shopping centre or close to high security venues and are not causing an obstruction (blocking a pavement) then many of us will throw caution to the wind.
It is a judgement call and if in doubt then speak to the relevant authority. In London the Metropolitan Police actually have an officer who can advise on such matters. Whether it’s a scene for a James Bond movie or a corporate video, they are not only helpful but have a very useful “contacts book”. You certainly cannot film in public buildings without seeking permission, which may not be given and if it is, there may be appropriate fees.