Plan & Rehearse Ahead

A couple of months back I directed a young, up-and-coming, executive at a Fortune 100 company’s studio. There had been some mention of my providing media training in advance of the shoot but it never materialized. When he arrived in the studio, he was indeed an impressive young man; confident and affable. What followed was a brief discussion about how he would deliver his message. He had a history of some fairly poor performances reading from Prompter. One admin suggested that he speak extemporaniously, answering questions from someone off-camera. Another person suggested bullet points. As these points were brought up, I observed the young executive change as he become more uncertain, uncomfortable and eventually nervous. I pointed out that the style of the video dictated that he talk directly to his audience through the prompter glass. Bullet points weren’t going to work for him because of the complexity of what he was talking about and his obvious discomfort on camera. With a little guidance (we were under time constraints) I was able to get a pretty good performance from him; the client was very surprised and happy with the results. However, his performance would have been much better if the time had been taken before the shooting to have him work with a trainer. Performing is a skill that can be taught and that improves with each success. The lesson here is that if you or someone you’re working with has to perform on camera, find out what the format is ahead of time. And then give the talent time to practice before the director says, “Action”.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 at 4:47 pm and is filed under Techniques. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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