At Key West Video, we offer a wide range of services. Most of our video projects include a voice-over hire, but some clients are also in need of actors. Both of these categories are considered talent, but only actors appear on-screen. In the world of corporate video production, the people who are on-camera often work for the company involved in the project. However, sometimes actors are the best choice for a video. What kind of videos need actors? We’re glad you asked! Let’s talk about when a professional is the way to go.
Training or Instructional Videos
When you’re making a video with very specific steps or information that needs to be covered in a particular way, it’s not a bad idea to call in the actors. For this type of video, a business may not be so concerned about using actual employees. It’s more important to make sure the content is correct and complete than to feature someone who works for the company. Another reason is that actors are accustomed to memorizing lines and they’re comfortable in front of the camera. That means the shoot could take less time than it would using someone who is nervous, has trouble remembering lines under pressure, or is unaccustomed to reading from a teleprompter.
For a training or instructional video, you can cast the perfect actor for the job. If it’s a training video, we can help you cast someone who is representative of the typical employee who will be watching the final version. Viewers find it easier to relate to someone who is like them. When it comes to instructional videos, you can again mirror the person most likely to be watching. However, for most instructional videos, you just need someone who is properly performing whatever task you need to show. One caveat here: it may be better to use an employee if the instructions are complicated and would be difficult to explain or difficult for the actor to perform without extensive training.
This next kind of video is similar to an instructional video. If you need a product demo or assembly video, hiring an actor can be a good decision. When we’re shooting footage for the video, it’s likely that we’re going to need to pause for a lot of close-ups and have each step performed repeatedly. If you hire someone to do this, they most likely understand how producing such a video works and they’re being paid for their time. That means they are prepared to do the same thing three or four (or five) times in a row, the same way, while we shoot all the necessary b-roll. The process can be tedious, but it’s the best way to make sure we have all the footage we need in the edit suite. Plus, having the close-up can be the difference between a viewer getting frustrated and that person understanding exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. We all know how important it is to have happy customers!
Funny Isn’t Easy
Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. That saying has been around for a long time and it’s true. If you decide humour is the best approach for your video, it may be in your best interest to hire an actor. Funny is a combination of script and delivery. Even a good joke told in the wrong way, or by the wrong person, can fall flat. Depending on how the humour is being delivered, different actors may be right for the part. Do you want a straight man delivering funny lines? Or someone with an elastic face that gives funny reactions to a voice-over? Casting can help find the perfect person to bring the funny to your video. The actors in the video below are perfectly cast as believable employees. They’re subtly funny and relatable, so you end up cheering for them to succeed.
Mascot or Company Representative
Do you want someone who personifies your company and is tied to your brand by consumers? Sure, you can go with the owner or founder for your video, but make sure you pick someone who plans to stay with the company long-term. Oh, and has charisma and is memorable. Otherwise, go with an actor.
Take the time to find that person who really speaks to your TM or is a good representative of your business. Brainstorm with your team to define what characteristics that person should have. Does gender matter? Should they be young or old? How would you like then to come across? Once you hit on the perfect combination, we can start looking for your brand personified.
Drama or Specialized Skills
Remember the saying about comedy being hard? Well, the same goes for drama. If your video calls for scripted scenes that need emotion, reenactments, or anything else that requires some acting chops, go ahead and hire an actor. We’ve done several series with CAMH and they asked us to help them hire actors that had experience portraying patients with mental health disorders. That’s not something you want to fake without a deep understanding of the population being portrayed. The result was a believable video with authentic-feeling situations.
Ready for Your Close Up?
One part of video that really resonates with viewers is authenticity. That’s why it’s great to use customer testimonials and hear from the CEO. Sometimes. Other times, you company is best represented by an actor who can effectively and efficiently deliver the message on behalf of your business. Deciding whether or not to use actors can be part of a larger discussion of your video project and the best approach to achieve your goals. Contact us today to talk about how we can make your video project first-rate.