Adam Marx, (www.linkedin.com/in/adampmarx)director of reality shows on most of the major networks and owner of MK3 Creative finds directors make a lot of mistakes directing talking head videos. Having directed work for countless Fortune 100 companies, Adam has a few tips to share in creating a talking head video that tells a story successfully.
Mistake #1: Over shooting interviews
Think about your interview length and video length, what’s the ratio? Many people conduct interviews that are much longer than they need to be for the length of the final video. For a 2 minute video, I recommend the interviews be under 20 minutes each. The key to a successful, and precise interview, is a call or meeting with the subject before s/he is on camera where you can do the content fishing. This way, you and your interviewee will go into shoot day feeling prepared.
Mistake #2: Not having enough b-roll to match the story
Often we get to post-production wishing they had more shots of the interview subject doing what they are talking about. This is where b-roll, or footage that supports what is being said, is crucial.It could be as simple as the person smiling or a shot of someone working at their desk. I recommend writing notes on what b-roll footage you might need right after the interview so you can match it to the story in the best way possible.
Mistake #3: Soundbites don’t tell the story fluently
Sometimes we find the subject doesn’t state the challenge or conflict concisely. It’s very important to make sure you have clear, concise soundbites that help propel that part of the story. I like to break the questions of the conflict into parts. I tend to get better soundbites that way.
Mistake #4: Letting Interviewee Get Nervous
Sometimes the interviewee can get tongue-tied or nervous which is will certainly come across on-screen and prevent them from sharing the most intriguing parts of their story. The best way to put them at ease is to talk to them a day or two before they are scheduled to be on camera to create a bond and find common interests. Also, as soon as they walk through the door to the interview room, warm them up. Have fun, joke around, talk about the things you have in common and get them to tell you stories before rolling.
Some of the MK3 team were in Waltham, MA last week to help shoot a new customer welcome video for Rocket Software.
For years, MK3 has teamed up with Family Reach, a non-profit organization focused on bringing attention to the devastating effects of cancer. Our partnership works to spread and increase awareness by telling the stories of families affected by cancer, focusing on the struggles and triumphs Family Reach experiences alongside them.
A recent video we created, featured above, tells the story of Camille and her family. The video was written, produced and directed in-house by MK3 to be played at “Cooking Live,” a charity event in Boston, where $270,000 was raised to support this great cause.
Family Reach continues to provide local answers to a growing national issue by providing financial relief, access to care and heartfelt support. They are a lifeline for families fighting cancer, and MK3 continues to help support their mission.
In today’s world, video is no longer a “nice to have,” it’s a “need to have.” Just take a look at some of these compelling statistics
- 80% of Internet users recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days and 46% took action after viewing the ad. (Online Publishers Association)
- 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. (Forbes)
- Video results appeared in almost 70% of the top 100 search listings on Google in 2012. (Marketing Week)
Video isn’t going anywhere. Luckily it isn’t hard to harness its power. Whether you’re selling a product, planning a big event or offering a more personal view of your company, video can be used to effectively engage your audience. Take a look at the video above which shows how video can be a valuable tool for any company.