May 18, 2012
Botox needs at least 2 weeks to make a difference!
Congratulations you have decided to create a video that introduces prospective customers to your business the way you want to be seen. The following checklist is based on my own experience – I have five videos and have project managed over 30 for clients.
These tips are useful whether you have made the decision to go “pro” and hire a videographer – or – have decided to do it yourself or with the help of a friend. It’s hard to be natural unless you’re a pro. This checklist will help you get ready for the big day so you’ll feel like a pro!
NOTE: If you are working with a videographer, you will likely be filmed for approximately 3 hours. Yes – it really takes this long to produce a 2-3 minute video. Add one hour for setup (lights, makeup, and hair touch up) and you’re ready for action.
1. Script – Talking Points
What are your key messages? You need an outline to guide you – without one you’ll likely wonder and miss the messages you want to communicate. Bring a few copies of the outline with you – you can’t forget your cheat notes! If you want to follow a script then you’ll likely need a teleprompter. See tip 3 for more details.
2. Coach or Practice in the Mirror?
This is a big decision. Who can bring the best out of you – you, a friend or a professional coach? Who will be with you on the day of filming?
Please promise me you will not bring your spouse or partner. They often bring a level of stress with their helpful – read “unhelpful advice.”
3. Teleprompter, Memorize or Conversation?
Newscasters make it look easy; using a teleprompter takes practice for most people. Today, most people do not use one. True confession, I did. Why? For my first video I didn’t know any better and booked only 30 minutes of studio time to produce a 3 minute video. To be candid, I didn’t trust myself that I could stay on message. When I worked with the same company to produce four other clients’ videos none used one based on my experience.
I used a teleprompter when I filmed four videos in one day. Yes, four in less than 10 hours – this included time for makeup, hair, outfit changes, and a lunch and dinner break. The videographer and make-up artist didn’t think I could do it. I was exhausted by the final one – my voice was hoarse. I’m a very determined person.
FREE OFFER: Look at my video gallery to see if you can identify the order in which they were filmed. If you guess correctly, I’ll project manage your video for free – seriously.
Please do not memorize your script. You’ll likely have your eyeballs on your forehead and feel flustered most of the time. You will not come across well.
The best approach is to have someone feed you the questions. It’s easier if you are guided. You will be more relaxed and to quote my mom, “you’ll look real good.”
4. Botox and fillers give you eternal youth
Everyone knows that the camera puts 10 pounds on you – me included! You don’t have to be vain to want to look great in your business video.
Look in a mirror that magnifies you face three to four times. If you don’t own one go to the cosmetic aisle in a pharmacy or retail store. This mirror will let you “see” what you’ll look on camera – in 3D high definition. All professionals use only HD today.
Are you happy with the way you look? Can you count the pores and lines? Do they look like craters? You have options from Botox for fine lines to heavy duty fillers to fill those ghastly craters.
I was horrified when I saw the first cuts of my four videos. I have a 24” monitor which exacerbated the situation. The videographer felt he had a good balance of close-ups. Virtually all close-ups were eliminated because I could literally count the number of lines above my lips. I just wasn’t comfortable.
TIP: If you go the Botox route – you need to do it at least 2 weeks before filming. Fillers need to ‘settle in’ to get the full effect. Plus, you may think you need to go back for a touch-up. Maybe it should be done 3-4 weeks in advance!
Based on my experience I don’t regret skipping the fillers and going ‘o natural.’ Well, not quite there was a little help from a great makeup artist.
5. Clothes and accessories
Choosing the right clothes and complementary accessories are important. What image do you want to convey? Do your clothes fit well or are they snug – read “tight”’ – in a few places. It’s best to get a friend’s candid opinion.
Don’t assume your favourite suit or outfit will look great “on camera”. Neither of mine did – the red wool jacket looked like a horse blanket – the white suit piped in black faded into the white background. Ladies, get advice on clothes and accessories and bring three outfits. Why? You don’t know what will look best “on camera.”
Did you know that when you wear a mic a silk scarf can make a little static noise? I couldn’t wear the stunning scarf on my welcome video which was disappointing! Polyester is best.
6. Hair tips for men and women
Gentlemen, if you plan on getting a haircut – do it at least one- to two-weeks in advance to avoid those spikey or fly away hairs.
Ladies, if you’re not doing your own hair, book your filming for the afternoon. I had my hair done the night before and it didn’t look great. The professional makeup artist spent 45 minutes trying to fix it which delayed filming but the crew understood.
7. Make-up – you need to wear it too gentlemen!
Your natural adrenaline (e.g. sweat) and lights will give you a shine. Make-up is important. You do not want to look pale or show too many lines. If you do it yourself who will notice and touch it up during the shoot? You need a friend with good eyes to help you with your make-up.
Yes, men you need make-up too. You do not have a perfect complexion – the natural redness and uneven skin tones are magnified on camera.
With the camera lights and depending on your skin type the make-up (foundation and blush) will absorb throughout filming. When you hire a professional make-up artist she – sorry it’s usually a woman – will be on top of this. Bonus, she will bring products (sprays and gels) to help with your hair at no additional charge.
8. Water and Straws
Bring several bottles of water – in reusable bottles of course! You will be surprised how dry your throat becomes with the glare of the lights. Straws are critical if you don’t want to continuously touch up your lipstick.
9. Good Night’s Sleep
Your make-up and Botox can only cover up so much. A good night or two of sleep is ideal. Let’s minimize those bags!
Clear your calendar. Plan for emergencies from a sick child to customer situation. Ensure you have a backup plan. Arrive early – don’t arrive stressed from the drive or trying to find a parking spot.
I worked with a client who arrived 45 minutes late for a 30 minute shoot. The production company had a tight schedule. Plan to arrive early – need I say more?
Above all, turn off your cell phone you don’t want to be interrupted on your best take – do you? By using this 10-point checklist you’ll find you are more relaxed for your big shoot. Have a good one!
P.S. Tip 11. Get a Manicure
This tip was added after my CTV interview on the Patti Lovett-Reid Show as a small business and start-up marketing consultant. To learn how and why I was interviewed on Canada’s best network, please click here now!
Find out if your hands will be on camera – if yes, get a manicure. I didn’t realize that they would film my hands at the keyboard while demonstrating how to use Google’s free keyword research tool.