This week, I’m doing three separate articles on the people who can make content better – today, it’s time for the cameraman/cinematographer to get his/her due.
We can’t say enough about video here at Make Marketing Happen.
Well, since we’ve said a lot about the necessity of making videos and given you the equipment list in a past podcast, I realized that there was a piece missing: the people factor. Some of you will take care of the whole process on your own. You’ll set up the camera, hook up the microphone, frame the shot, write the script, rehearse, shoot multiple takes, edit, and publish it. All of this assumes that you’re already comfortable on camera and don’t need some help with the presentation portion.
Feel a little intimidated by jumping in head-first and talking on camera? Find yourself a great cameraman.
What can a great cameraman do to coax great video out of you?
- Question prompts: If you find yourself searching for something to say, a good cameraman can guide you along by asking you questions. It gets the mind moving and forces some kind of educational response.
- Talking partner: For some people, just having an actual person to talk to can bring out the best on camera personality. It feels more natural and the give-and-take factor relaxes nervous speakers.
- No technical worries: You shouldn’t be worrying about lighting, framing and sound all while trying to talk about your subject. The cameraman can fret about these concerns while you focus on speaking.
I’ve seen the effect of a great cameraman countless times. Jim Folliard at Fairfax Video Studio is truly an expert at getting the best video “performance” possible out of his clients. Plenty of attorneys have come through the studio and emerged with better videos then they ever could have expected thanks to the guidance of Jim and his team.
I asked Jim to give his thoughts on the subject, originally intending to just take quotes from the questions I emailed to him, but his responses were so to-the-point and informative, that I figured I should share the whole thing with you! (Want some quick expert credentials? Jim was allowed to be on the inside when the NFLPA negotiations were ongoing to shoot pictures and a number of NFL players used Gearshift TV, his production company, to put together webisodes of life during the lockout. Some clips even appeared on ESPN videos. Additionally, Jim has people fly in from all over the country to shoot video in his green screen studio. People trust this guy for a reason.)
- How do you make new people feel comfortable with being in front of the camera? I always try to get some fun dialogue going when I first meet a client, just getting them to take their nervous mind off of the upcoming shoot.
- How do you coax out the best content from people? Being prepared with the NEXT question and asking it immediately after they answer the previous question is the best way to keep their mind flowing. Asking questions about what they do is easy for people to answer.
- What can a cameraman/cinematographer do for someone getting started in video marketing? Acquiring great footage is step 1 to a good video marketing strategy. Step 2 is great editing and step 3 is getting the video out to the world. It’s like cooking a meal. 1st, you want to use the best raw ingredients; 2nd, you want to mix the food together to make a nice meal; and 3rd, you want to get the food out to the customer while it is fresh and hot. If they like the food they will eat at your restaurant again.
- What is the #1 reason that people should be using an expert cameraman for video creation? Everyone has a camera, but there are only a few experts that live breathe and think about video production and photography all day long every day. If you find a passionate cameraman ask to see their portfolio. That will be the best way to evaluate if the videographer is right for you.
- Feel free to add any other comments you may have…you’re the expert after all! Video is on the rise when it comes to marketing your business, product or service. Eventually you will have to embrace this marketing medium; and while it may seem expensive, it is important that you project a good image. I try to explain to prospects that you should budget $10,000/year for video marketing. It may sound expensive, but when you compare it to the cost of a marketing employee at $30,000/year or more, the numbers are reasonable.