VIDEO PRODUCTION TIPS FOR MARKETING PART 5: TELEPROMPTER – WHY AND HOW TO USE IT

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While it is hard to understand and accept, one cannot stress enough, that some people are simply better at public speaking than others. Furthermore, some maybe very confident/outgoing people in their daily lives but they do not possess the skill set or the necessary vocabulary to sell your message effectively on camera, resulting in a confusing/messy end product that will ultimately need to be re-shot. In most cases we will provide end-to-end solutions to these problems, however, through our experience we have found that we often work in collaboration with a client – a lot prefer and enjoy the hands on approach.

TelePrompTer: Why and how to use it

Teleprompter’s are a great tool for interviews as they help to brake down barriers with interviewees who are not comfortable in front of camera. They can be used in 2 ways. 1) Placed in front of the camera lens and the resulting video will show the interviewee talking directly at the camera, thus the audience. 2) Located to the side of the camera to simulate that the interviewee is talking to an interviewer. These tools are great but are not appropriate for all kinds of situations. For one, the approach where someone is talking directly at the camera produces a direct feel that resembles politicians addressing his/her nation and therefore will seem less authentic. What’s more, some interviewees have the tendency to fail to hide the fact that they are reading from a script and in turn sound very robotic. It is important to create the right atmosphere on set and this comes with preparation. Providing the interviewee with the questions and allowing them the time to devise their own answers or time to read the script before filming. Also, asking each interviewee what they would prefer is recommendable as each person has different preferences – work to their strengths not their weaknesses. We always ask our clients to provide us with a copy of the script/text prior to the filming so that we can proof read it – remember you have employed us as experts in this field and our experience of working within this industry for the past 10 years means we have valuable insight as more often than not, the client writes far too much and it is not concise enough.

Foundery Interview - Trylife BTS

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Foundery – A technical Behind the Scenes with Trylife

Sound

  • We were delighted that Paul and Nicky agreed to the interview. However, it was our first 3-person interview (Paul, Nicky and the interviewer – Craig) and this proposed the first problem to resolve. We needed to figure out the best way to record the sound. As with our ethos of wanting to film the foundery interviews at a local establishment (as a way of promoting them too!) that means something to the Paul and Nicky, Heaton Perk Cage is a very popular place and that means a lot of background noise. We decided to use 3 individual wireless packs, (2 sennheiser and 1 Sony UWP) connected to a zoom recorder.

Sennheiser – http://amzn.to/2yo07L4

  • The Sennheisers are great options as they don’t require any set up (simply plug and go) – the benefits of using digital. However, the downside is that they are always on an auto setting. This means they are auto adjusting the gain to pick up what it thinks is the right sound – this can have some horrible effects if the background music of the café is too loud. Nevertheless we managed to make do and use the levels on the zoom.

Sony UWP – http://amzn.to/2Ai9tKa

  • These are not digital like the Sennheiser options above and require pairing when you arrive at any filming location (to be fair this doesn’t take long). The main advantage of this set is that one can set an attenuator, which is great when you need to control the background noise. However, I found that these are more unreliable at producing clean audio – I have never managed to understand why but I can only assume that it is radio interference as I think I can only get 70% clean results.

Zoom Recorder http://amzn.to/2AC13RO

  • Not much to say about this really – solid piece of kit!! I like the way you can control the levels with the gain controls and visually see the levels via the colour screen. Furthermore, the 4 XLR inputs were essential for this 3 person interview. In terms of syncing the audio, this has now become almost forgettable as most editing software provide a syncing option.

Last note

  • We decided against using shotgun mic’s as we have a very small crew (2 in fact). Therefore, we tested the audio levels at the beginning of the interview and a couple of times throughout to double check the levels were ok.

 

Visual

With all our interviews we aim to film with at least 4 cameras. So that means 1 camera is focused on the interviewer and another camera is focused on the interviewees. That leaves 1 camera to be used as a wide shot that focuses on both the interviewer and interviewee. Then the remaining camera is a roaming camera – this is given to the director to free roam around the interview focusing on anything he/she thinks is interesting. The best thing about cafes is that there is always plenty of angles and options (shooting from outside looking in is a favourite).

One of our aims is to promote the local business/café that we are filming in so that means we allow for plenty of time to capture shots of the venue in action. This is something we leave to the roaming camera.

Camera 1 Set Up – interviewer –

Sony A7s 2 http://amzn.to/2AjuDrg

70 -200mm sigma http://amzn.to/2ACaFvT

Metabones adapter http://amzn.to/2AkIb5S

Manfrotto 502 Tripod http://amzn.to/2Bh0nRB

Camera 2 – interviewee –

Sony A7S 2 http://amzn.to/2BlWOK1

50mm canon http://amzn.to/2BlWOK1

metabones adapter http://amzn.to/2AC6IaN

Manfrotto 502 tripod http://amzn.to/2ABabGr

Camera 3 – Wide angle on both interviewer and interviewee –

Canon c100 http://amzn.to/2ATAXXv

17-55 canon http://amzn.to/2ACnAOJ

Manfrotto 502 tripod http://amzn.to/2Aje2Uk

Camera 4 – roaming camera

Sony A7S 2 http://amzn.to/2C8I6mV

Canon 50mm http://amzn.to/2ASXq6Z

Metabones Adapter http://amzn.to/2ATwqo8

Sirui Monopod http://amzn.to/2AiCsgQ

Editing

We know there are a lot of haters for Final Cut Pro X but this is what we use (you cant teach an old dog new tricks!). We edited between 2 editors on an 2016 iMAC and a 2017 Macbook.

Apple Macbook Pro http://amzn.to/2BiyTuD

Apple Imac http://amzn.to/2ASgn9L

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