January 8, 2016

Why the Q&A style is the best type of video for the camera-shy business owner

Every interview I have to film starts with me asking myself the question, “What’s the subject looking at?” There are only ever two options — At the camera, or at an interviewer. Variations abound, but fundamentally these are the only real choices; everything else is dressing.

While there are plenty of articles discussing their differences and relative merits (Here’s one, and here’s another, and there’s even one from the ABC), for us the answer is same 99% of the time:

The subject will be talking to an interviewer.

Why?

Two reasons. The first is time; we often have very short filming schedules which are often combined with photoshoots, so setting up teleprompters or trying to get people to remember lines is, generally, impractical. It’s much quicker during the shoot to simply have a conversation with someone and record it.

Secondly, and far more importantly, it’s to put people at ease. Many – arguably most – people are still less than comfortable having a camera pointed at them, particularly when it’s recording video and especially when they have to answer questions. Getting someone who’s already apprehensive about being in front of a camera to talk to the camera is at best an uphill struggle and at worst a counterproductive waste of time.

So we get our clients to talk to someone, rather than something. We also make sure the interviewer and client have time to introduce themselves and briefly get to know each other before (Or, if the schedule is tight, while) equipment is set up so their first interaction isn’t with a camera rolling (Or, at the least, turned on).

Combined, this allows the client firstly to ignore the camera and focus on the interviewer, and secondly to help make the whole situation feel less like an interrogation by strangers and more like a conversation between acquaintances. This in turn allows the client’s personality, knowledge, and passion to shine through on-camera so that they can present themselves accurately to the audience.

Video marketing these days holds a lot of power and potential and is fast becoming a vital component for any business. With simple techniques such as this every business owner, no matter how camera shy, will have an opportunity to join in and present themselves to an ever-growing market online.