Corporate Video Preparation: How to Prepare Your Employees for an Interview or Testimonial
Keywest has worked on hundreds, if not thousands, of corporate videos. A large chunk of our business revolves around company profiles, product videos, events, and the like. Within these types of videos interviews and testimonials are most often utilized in order to get the message of the video across. Video preparation is highly important for all types of videos. Whether you are planning on using your employees, valued customers, or yourself on-camera, ensuring that your location and talent are prepared correctly can go a long way to enhancing the videos overall production value.
There are a variety of different things that should be taken into consideration, specifically when preparing your office space and employees for the upcoming production. Here are some of our most important tips and techniques for; work space, appearance, staging and dialogue.
1 Work Space
Your work space is a representation of you and your company, so you want it to look organized and professional. In any and all rooms that will possibly be filmed in tidy up that space. It will save you, and the crew that is there, time on the day of the shoot. Anything non-essential (i.e. mugs, loose paper, pens etc.) should be removed or hidden away for the day of the shoot, as the clutter can be distracting. Personal items that you feel are a representation of your personality are fine to remain.
In the case that the background needs something more visually appealing, you and probably more often the director of photography, may choose to add in certain items such as a lamp, flowers or picture from another room. The rule of thumb is you don’t want anything in the background to distract the audience from the focal point which should be the interviewee. On the other hand you don’t want the background to be a blank wall. Something small and inconsequential placed in the background and out of focus usually works best.
- No stripes
- Busy shirts/ties can be a distraction
- If the stripes are thin and close together it can create a weird visual effect on camera
- Try to wear color
- It comes across well on camera
- If your interview is inter-cut with others in your office, try to coordinate with your co-workers so you don’t all wear the same color
- If wearing a white shirt should have a suit jacket and/or tie to break it up
- Neat and professional
- Just before you go into your interview make sure there aren’t any flyways happening
- Ladies – on-camera make-up requires more coverage, yet still aim for a professional look. You don’t want to overpower the visual with blue eye shadow (unless you are promoting a make-up line). Otherwise you want just enough coverage that you look great, but not so much that people begin focusing on your make-up
- Gentleman – even though most make-up is designed for woman, on camera, men require make-up too. The famous Nikon/Kennedy debate is a perfect example. Like with the ladies, you want the audience to focus on what you are saying, not a shiny forehead. If you are not hiring a make-up artist, often production companies will provide powder to stop shine, but if they don’t I would suggest bringing your own.
Quite often, in addition to the interview/testimonial, b-roll footage will be filmed to be inter-cut between the interviews in the final video. B-roll is simply staged ‘beauty’ shots of the on-camera talent, office space, company branding, other employees at work, etc. B-roll is nice because if someone doesn’t say something perfectly correct in the interview, or the editor wants to edit together two clips, instead of putting in a transition, they can easily cut away to footage. B-roll footage also helps give viewers something interesting to look at, and ideally a good sense of the company and its values.
In order to prepare for b-roll, you need your team members to be prepared to stage certain shots. Sometimes the production company will prepare what’s called a shot list before hand which outlines exactly the type of coverage they are looking to get. Ex. Wide shot of the building from the street view, close-up of employee’s hands typing on computer, medium shot of employee 1 & 2 shaking hands. Some of these shots require certain locations or talent to be available and willing to participate. Making employees well aware of this in advance is always a good idea, so on the day you aren’t scrounging for people to help out.
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is DO NOT OVER THINK what you/your team members are going to say.
If you plan out exactly what you want to say in advance, often you can set yourself up for failure. The goal of any video is to give the audience a glimpse into the company/product/service and what makes it so great. Ideally the interviewee will be relaxed, authentic and honest with their responses.
When you think of what you want to say, think broadly and try to remember key terms or ideas. This way when the producer asks you questions during your interview on the day, you will have a general idea of phrases or terms that will be good to incorporate into your answer, but your response won’t sound scripted. In terms of managing interviewees, give your interviewees a general idea of what type of questions they are going to be asked instead of a list of questions. This way they can’t over-prepare and run the risk of scripting every sentence and then possibly failing miserably on the day. I only say this because I’ve seen it happen many times.
As well, if your answer is not to your satisfaction do not be concerned. In the world of video interviews there is always the option for a re-take. Also keep in mind that hours of footage will be shot and then often edited down to only one or two minutes. So although your entire response might not have gone flawlessly, a small portion of it may be absolute perfection and will be a great addition to the video. Another rule that helps aid this point, is to try to keep responses concise, and break ideas up into sections instead of running away with one point. This will make it much easier for the editor to break up the interview and inter-cut it with others responses, or utilize only a part of your answer.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN with it!
If you are interest in getting a corporate video produced then contact the trusted team at Keywest Video today!