Have you ever been one of the last people left in a movie theatre and you’re surprised by some outtakes the director has left for the end of the credits? (See the classic example below.) It’s a bonus bit of fun we all love. You get to see your favourite characters flub lines or maybe you’re privy to a scene or line that didn’t make the final cut. These little extras make us feel like we’re part of an inside joke. Even in corporate video, you can make the most of your outtakes.
The Origin of the Blooper
Whether you call these extra bits of footage bloopers, outtakes, or gag reels, it’s all about mistakes and unused footage caught on-camera. The original “blooper” reference comes from wartime censorship—short for a “blue pencil” used by the “blue-person” to cross out parts of documents and letters deemed unacceptable. Radio used the term to denote the “bloop” sound a radio receiver made when interfering with nearby sets. Blooper was also used in baseball as a slang term for an error.
In the 1950s, television producer Kermit Schaefer used the term blooper for mistakes made while recording. Schaefer went on to produce a series of record albums filled with bloopers and even a book series of transcribed bloopers. Did we mention the feature-length movie Pardon My Blooper!? Television shows were dedicated to the blooper and some movies added reels to the end of their production. Bloopers made audiences laugh and it made even polished professionals seem a little more relatable and human.
Use Outtakes for…
Bloopers can be used to great effect in corporate video. They can make a CEO or authority figure more relatable or a serious subject a little lighter. Seeing outtakes gives the viewer a better idea of all the hard work that goes into creating a finished video—some people don’t realize how much footage has to be cut around to extract that one perfect take. This look behind-the-scenes may also show more of the set or the crew. An internal-facing video is an especially good place for a gag reel. When you know the person on-camera and understand inside jokes, the reel becomes even funnier.
If you have some clips worth showing, there are a lot of places to use bloopers. Take a cue from Hollywood and place a series of outtakes at the end of a video as a kind of bonus feature that doesn’t interrupt the flow of the project. Use bloopers as transitions or bumpers between sections of a video. This is a good way to break up a longer video and gives the audience a little treat to anticipate. You can post a blooper reel on your website as a way of making your client-facing image more fun and personable. If you do a lot of video work, you could make a blooper compilation to show at an AGM or holiday party.
Bloopers to Avoid
When it comes to outtakes, use your judgment. A bunch of retakes in a row isn’t funny—it’s the reaction to all those retakes that can be funny. If the person making the mistakes is growing more and more frustrated, don’t exploit their difficulty by compiling the takes. However, if the person is laughing at their mistakes and celebrates finally getting through a difficult line, it could be a good blooper. If anyone’s feelings could potentially get hurt, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Outtakes are meant to be funny. They aren’t about making fun of someone having trouble on set, they’re about everyone on set getting a laugh out of what happened. Bloopers that could potentially reveal company secrets, embarrass employees or clients, or are rude or distasteful should all be left on the cutting room floor.
Examples of What Works
You may want to take a few minutes now and enjoy the following gems. I know we had fun researching this section filled with some very entertaining outtakes.
- Live news—the last clip was especially popular
- Even serious tv shows make mistakes
- An example of corporate video bloopers
- What makes the sitcom Friends even funnier? Bloopers.
- Prop mishaps are part of the territory on a show like The Price is Right
- Animals are always a risk when it comes to live news
The Laughs are Free
Bloopers are always a part of video production and sometimes those mistakes are included as part of a project. Whether you decide to stick to the best takes or include a few fun outtakes, Key West Video is ready to deliver your message. Call us today for a free quote.