Checklist – How to Direct a Person to be Great on Video

Anyone can pick up a camera and make a video. But can everyone make good video content? The answer is no! We’ve heard endless stories about overcoming anxieties in front of the camera, but the truth is that it is not an easy job to be behind the camera. You need first-class instincts and skills to make your subject stand out. Your subject, be it a customer, an actor, or a friend, is only as good as your directing skills. So, polish your skills on how to make someone comfortable in front of your camera.


Take as Many “Takes” as Possible

First of all, let’s understand the essentials of a take. You should have your content sheet with organized bullet points and ensure that by the time you’re wrapping up your video, you have covered everything on that list. The only way to achieve this is to make your subject as comfortable as possible. Make sure they take their time to say what they want and do not rush them. If you think something needs to be worked around, then don’t be shy to take another take. In fact, you should do as many takes as it takes to ensure your narrative is complete. Some directors even choose to reshoot the entire video, but you don’t have to do that. Ensure your content with the final shoot, or you can go back and retake that part.

Work Around Minor Slips

Usually, people in front of the camera slip up after a sentence or two because they are desperately trying to be perfect. Post-production plays an essential role in ensuring everything turns out smooth, but people don’t often know that, so they are constantly under a lot of pressure. If you’ve screwed up a take, know that you can work around it during the editing process. And, to be honest, it’s not complicated. You just need to know the basics of video editing, and you can put together different segments to smooth out the screw-up. This kind of editing requires intricate cuts. These can be so minute that nobody will notice if you do them smoothly.

Avoid Too Many Takes

The truth is perfectionists are often never too happy with their work. This often leads them to keep taking too many takes. But, we are here to tell you that, after the third cut, the subject’s performance often tanks down. And this is because the mounting pressure often leads to messing up the lines. Your subject will be forced to deliver the correct performance, leading you to take many more takes without fruitful results. Remember that your subject may not be a professional actor, so the maximum number of takes you should aim for is two.

Get Your Points Across

Even though two takes are more than enough, you should make sure that all your questions from the list have been asked and that your narrative is making complete sense on its own. So, do not compromise on the video or finish shooting in a rush.

Understand the True Meaning of Director

When you’re working with amateur actors, you need to understand that you don’t have to have an exterior of a hardcore director. You don’t have to follow the 101s of directing. Instead, you need to understand your subject, see where they are messing up, and from there, help them. For example, if someone is talking slowly, tell them to talk a bit faster. This is because real people have no clue how to be in front of the camera, so it is your job to direct them to step by step without expecting Hollywood-level delivery from them. Otherwise, your subject will end up not being themselves, and that’s the last thing you want.

Ensure People Are Themselves

Some people are naturally comfortable in front of the camera, while others are innately camera-shy and can’t help themselves. Your job as a director is to ensure that your subject is comfortable in front of the camera in their own skin without trying to be something they are not. The best way to deal with this is to talk to them casually before pressing record and start recording while they are talking to you. Tell them they are doing great to gain confidence and go from there.

Bottom Line

To wrap it all up, you don’t need to have extensive directing experience. You need to have people’s skills so you can understand your subject and make sure they are comfortable in front of the camera. Just strike up a conversation, create a safe space for these people, and make sure that they are not feeling out of place. There is a secret to helping people be fantastic on video.