How To Prepare For Your Close Up

Preparing for your close up needn’t be a daunting task. Whilst it’s perfectly natural to have some anxieties, giving some thought to the following four steps; Content, Appearance, Body Language, and Personality, will ensure you’re fully prepared to ace your time on camera.

 

 

CONTENT

1. Do not script yourself too tightly as you might end up stifling your performance.

2. Make a list of the points you would like to cover and mentally tick off each one as you go through them will help you come across more natural when in front of the camera.

When working with a professional production company like Element 26 you can expect to use a teleprompter which can be very handy for keeping you on track.

3. You are going on camera for a reason, remember your core message and have confidence in your subject.

 

 

 

(The No Fear Zone have some useful advice on how to deliver your content confidently)

4. Try not to ‘um’ and ‘er’ throughout your interview as this can be extremely off putting and make it look as if you’re thinking on your feet.

5. Be careful not to speak too fast when on camera as it may be difficult for your audience to keep up with you.

6. Remember you’re talking to a person, speak naturally as if that your audience were in the room with you. Depending on the nature of your video, it can be quite unsettling to the viewer if you stare directly into the lens. Try looking just past the camera as if you were talking to someone in the same room as you.

7. If you’re being interviewed on camera, make sure you listen carefully to any questions, and give yourself a few seconds before answering. This gives the viewer time to understand the question and also conveys that you have listened to the question. It also gives the editor the option to remove the question itself which can often result in a better edit.

8. Prepare for your time on camera by doing a few out loud read throughs, even if your audience is your pet cat or dog. This will enable you to get your mouth around the words and to hear how they sound out loud.

Words which look good on the page don’t always sound great when spoken out loud. A good tip is try to use simple language which everyone will understand.

 

 APPEARANCE

Looking the part will add to your credibility meaning your audience is far more likely to listen to what you have to say.

1. You should avoid wearing stripes at all costs. Stripes or narrow chequered patterns can make the camera look out of focus and can also create a dreaded moiré pattern. It is also advisable that you stay away from bright and bold patterns as this can distract eyeballs away from your face.

2. Depending on how formal your video needs to be, you could possibly try wearing clothing that reflects your personality.

3. When performing in front of a green or blue screen, it is essential to avoid wearing clothes which are the same (or similar) colour to the background as this will result in making a portion of your body disappear.

 
 

(Keep your eyes on the lady in bright green!)

3. Make-up isn’t just for women! Modern cameras have a tendency to be quite unforgiving when it comes to any lines, wrinkles or blemishes. A little bit of concealer on your forehead and under your eyes will significantly improve your skin tones, make you look less tired and reduce the visibility of any perspiration which may appear.

When budgets are tight, a make up artist is often one of the first things to be axed however there is nothing to stop you or a colleague applying some basic make up to help improve how you look on camera. Whilst a lot of visual imperfections can be fixed in post-production, it is often far cheaper to address these issues during production itself.

BODY LANGUAGE  

Body language can play an important part in how you’re perceived. Slouching can make you come across uninviting and disinterested whereas the correct posture can make you seem both prepared and attentive.

1. Try using your hands when expressing yourself, it is a much better alternative than having them dangling by your side, stuck in your pockets, or nervously fiddling with them. Be careful not to use your hands too much though as this can be confused with fidgeting which can also be distracting.

2. A good trick is to hold on to an object such as a pen whilst being filmed, this will reduce the amount of fidgeting, and provide you with something else to focus on.

3. If you will be seated for your video, such as in an interview format, it is advisable that you lean forward and sit on the edge of your seat, rather than sitting back.

4. It is a complete myth that the camera adds 10 lbs, so don’t have to panic about that one.

 

PERSONALITY

In order for your video to be truly effective it is extremely important that you let your winning personality shine through!

1. Be honest, forthcoming and entertaining.

2. Don’t try too hard to be funny and comedic as there is a risk you might seem disingenuous which can put many people off.

3. It is okay to come across as slightly nervous, as this can be endearing but too much stuttering and stammering throughout your video will cause your audience to lose patience. Performing a read through out loud in advance should really help make the words feel more natural.

Now that you have these tools to help you prepare for your time in front of the camera, it should be smooth sailing from here on in. Have we missed anything? What gives you the most cause for concern before going on camera?

If you require any further assistance before going on camera, feel free to give us a call on 0207 628 7857, or alternatively, if you are looking for a production team to help you shoot your videos then we’re here to help. Good luck preparing for your close up and don’t forget to share your videos with us!

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

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