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Lights, camera, action: CUBE’s guide to being on camera

10 min read 03.06.2021 Advice

So, you’re soon to appear on camera. Congratulations!

While you’re undoubtedly a little nervous about the experience, there’s no need to be – this is an exciting opportunity for you and your business. In fact, video offers one of the best ways to connect and build trust with your audience.

And whether you’re starring in an advert, being interviewed, or simply snapping a quick Instagram story, this guide is here to get you ready and set for action.

Here are our top tips to make your shoot easy and enjoyable, and your final film effective.

Be prepared

Let’s get real. No one likes the sound of their own voice. (Well, there are some exceptions to the rule…!)

But it certainly helps if you know what you’re talking about and feel comfortable doing so. That’s why we recommend having a script prepared, or at least some topics ready that you’d like to cover.

If you’re working with a script, familiarise yourself with it by reading it a few times aloud. You can even practise with a co-worker or friend.

What to wear on camera

Be presentable

One thing you may be asking yourself is: “What should I wear for my shoot?”. It’s an excellent question and something we get asked all the time.

It’s lucky we do, because we often use green screens or specific colours on set that would clash with certain items of clothing. For this reason, we highly recommend that you ask your production team for any pointers before your big day.

Aside from that, your choices should reflect what you’re trying to achieve on the day and who your audience is.

Make sure your clothing is in good condition and well-ironed. Solid, plain colours work best, so try to avoid tight patterns and oversized logos.

Choose jewellery that doesn’t jangle, clash together or bang against other items, as the sound will be picked up on film. Keep your make-up natural and comfortable.

Also consider bringing your make-up with you in case you need any touch-ups, and a backup outfit so you have a second option on the day.

tips for being on camera

Be confident

It’s said that a smile goes a long way. This is true when filming too. Even if you’re not particularly overjoyed to be on camera, assuming a happy persona will make you appear positive, polished and professional. You can give your cheeks a rest when the cameras stop rolling!

Another thing to think about is body language. Sit up straight and use your hands to express ideas – in moderation – or keep them in place if you’re worried about distracting the audience.

Be refreshed

Lighting is hot, and long period of speech can leave us feeling parched. Make sure to have some water with you and take regular breaks to sip it.

This will allow you to refocus and keep your voice sounding smooth and clear.

Be focused

You already know that maintaining eye contact shows interest, engagement and enthusiasm in a conversation. But what do you do when you have no eyes to look into when you’re being filmed?

The answer: focus on the lens! This is technically the eye of the camera, so look into it the way you would the eyes of a friend. This way, you’ll ultimately be looking into the eyes of your audience.

Be relaxed

Remember that filming is not a race. Stay calm and collected, keeping your delivery at a natural and consistent pace.

Take breaks throughout the day – we recommend at least once every half an hour – to clear your mind, enjoy some of that water and reset for the next session.

If you get stuck on something, don’t be afraid to take a few minutes and really think about what you’re trying to say. Get up and take a walk around if it’ll help… removing your lapel mic receiver first, of course!

And finally, our last and most important point:

Be yourself

…but the best version of yourself that you can muster.

When you’re in front of the camera, it’s important to be natural, even though the situation might not feel it. We like to compare the filming experience to having a good chat.

There’s no need to overact, but that doesn’t mean you should underperform! Find a balance between having so much energy you seem overconfident and so little that you come across as disinterested or dull.

A good rule of thumb is to try and raise your energy levels by 20%. Whatever you need to do to get there, we won’t judge you – stick in your headphones, have a boogie, take a jog around the set or hold a power stance for a few minutes.

Trust us; we’ve seen it all!

Things to consider on camera

To sum up

  • Prepare your script or topics as far in advance as you can, assess your wardrobe before the day, and grab a bottle of water on your way out the door

  • Wear solid, plain colours and well-ironed, good-condition clothes, and don’t overdo the make-up or jewellery

  • Look into the lens, sit up straight, keep hand movements to a minimum, speak slowly and clearly, and smile

  • Take breaks and do whatever you need to energise yourself… so you can give 120% in the moment!

While there’s certainly a lot to think about before and during your shoot, most of it will be covered for you by the camera crew and production team.

They’ll be there throughout the day to guide your performance, provide you with prompts, keep you up to date on the film’s progress, make sure you know what to expect at each stage, and guarantee you look and sound fantastic on camera.

We wish you the best of luck with your shoot. With our guidance, you’re sure to smash it!

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