Tips for being filmed
Many people find being filmed an uncomfortable experience. Over the years, we’ve helped coach great performances even out of those who are quite unsure about appearing on camera. These tips will help you deliver a great performance on camera.
What to Wear
- Wear an outfit that is smart and appropriate, that you feel comfortable and confident in. Wear something that isn’t too constricting around the waist, as you’re likely to be sat down.
- Avoid clothes with stripes, close checks or other repetitive patterns as they don’t tend to look good on camera.
- Avoid clothes that are heavily branded or display clear logos. Unless, of course, it’s your branding!
- Where possible also avoid wearing large amounts of black or white as it can look odd on video. If you prefer to wear a dark colour, grey looks better on camera.
- Make up should be as usual for the situation you’re in; if you’re talking about work, then wear the same amount you wear to the office.
- Sometimes you’ll be told the questions in advance. If you are, do rehearse your answers, but don’t be word perfect or you’ll come across as stilted in the interview. Don’t just write down your answers or rehearse them in your head, answer them out loud. It makes a real difference!
- Don’t drink milky drinks just before the interview, they make your mouth produce saliva, which will make you swallow as you talk.
Setting up to Film
- Normally there won’t be a make up person there, but we will make sure you look your best, which might mean a little fussing at the beginning.
- We might brush your hair out of your eyes and put a little transparent powder on your nose and forehead to stop the lights shining on them.
- We usually use a lapel mike. We’ll attach this to your collar or neckline, then hide the cable. It can be tucked in the inside of a jacket or fed under what you’re wearing.
- On most shoots we put up lights, but they shouldn’t be overpowering. Let us now if they’re uncomfortable for you.
Warming your voice
Warming up makes real difference when you start to speak on camera. Here are two techniques to get your mouth and voice active before sitting in front of the camera.
Flirting with Fruit
Find somewhere quiet, away from where you’re being filmed, where you feel comfortable talking to yourself! Say the following fruity phrase, exaggerating the sound of each syllable:
Melon, Lemon, Pomegranate, Prune
These fruit names activate all the major ways you use your mouth when speaking. The M of melon pushes your lips hard together, the L of lemon pushes your tongue on the roof of your mouth. The end of pomegranate pushes you tongue on your teeth to make hard T. The P of prune makes you pucker your lips, and be sure to make a long “roo” sound, resonating your tongue on the roof of your mouth as you do. Repeat the phase 4-5 times and you’ll find your mouth is tingling and engergised.
If you’re in a space where you don’t want to say things out loud, then try this silent technique. Put your tongue at the back of your mouth, top right, between your back molars and your cheek. Push it as high as is comfortable. Then slide it right around the inside of your cheek, across your front teeth to your back left molars. Now drop your tongue between your back left molars and your cheek, and run it along the inside of your lower lip to the back right molars, so you’ve basically circled your gum line top and bottom. Now, run it back the other direction, bottom right to left, then top left to right. Your mouth should feel a little warmer and your tongue more agile.
- Smile! It’ll make you feel less nervous and come across as warm and friendly. When being filmed, treat the interview like a one-to-one chat rather than a test or presentation.
- Once you’ve been asked the question, leave a short pause before replying. This is so there’s no overlap between the interviewer’s voice and yours.
- Make your answers clear, concise and to the point.
- Try to incorporate the question into the answer, as the interviewer is usually edited out. So if we ask “What is your favourite colour?” you reply “My favourite colour is red” rather than just “red.”
- Take your time answering. Considered answers are better than rushed ones.
- If the finished video is for a general audience, talk about projects as though to a person who has no knowledge of the subject, avoiding jargon and acronyms. We will ask you to explain any words or phrases we don’t understand, because it will probably mean the public won’t either.
- When answering the question, keep your eye line where it needs to be e.g. the interviewer or the camera. Hold eye contact like you would in conversation.
- Sometimes the interviewer will look away to the monitor or behind you because someone’s potentially walking into shot. Try and keep your eyeline where their eyes were, even if they’re leaning away!
- When you have finished your answer, hold your gaze to whoever is interviewing for a few more seconds, try not to look around at the camera crew. Also, people sometimes spoil a shot by wincing because they feel what they’ve said sounds silly, when actually what they’ve said has been great.
- As for a retake If you’re not happy with the way you answered. If you mention something that afterwards you think it would be better not to include, just let us know.
- Two tips to help you avoid ‘fillers’ (umms and ahs). First, take a pause before answering. Secondly, if you’re finding the right phrase halfway through an answer, simply pause. This can add gravitas to your answer!
- After you’ve answered a question, we might ask you “Okay, answer that one again but this time you’ve only got 10 seconds.” This is so we have a variety of versions in the edit.
- Remember that we want you to come across well when being filmed and we are not trying to catch you out. Trust us and let us guide you through the process.