In a perfect world everyone would want to appear on camera in your videos and give charismatic, articulate soundbites. As we know, this is not always the case. Many advertisers are not comfortable on camera, so you'll want to anticipate this issue and prepare accordingly
Taking 5 minutes to do a little extra prep with the client before rolling can go a long way in getting good interviews so here's a few work-arounds:
MAKE SURE THE CLIENT'S IN-THE-KNOW
Take some time to explain how video is made (best soundbites + b-roll). Make a point to mention a couple things (these are obvious to filmmakers but may not to the advertisers):
- Only the best soundbites will be used in the video; their mistakes and flubs get left on the cutting room floor
- Doing multiple takes and/or re-asking questions is common practice in interviews to make sure the soundbites top-notch
- Most of the soundbites will be covered with video; at a minimum the speaker will be seen on camera to be identified (lower-third) and perhaps not much more.
LAYOUT ALTERNATIVES TO AN ON-CAMERA INTERVIEW
- Let the subject know they do not have to be seen on camera. Do your interview with the advertiser but point your camera away or at the floor. That should relax most subjects and get them to not worry about the shoot. You are acquiring the soundbites you need, and you'll cover it all with b-roll.
- If it does not make sense for the advertiser to be interviewed either on camera or off, then find an employee and/or client(s) to be interviewed and use their soundbites in the video.
- If the advertiser wants to read a script, that is OK, but make sure they read it well. You may want to wordsmith it a little so it sounds video-ready. Recording multiple read-throughs will lead to more natural readings.
There are of course a bevy of other options so never be afraid to think creatively about how to resolve the issue of client comfort. If you need to stray stylisticly from the standard template in order to make a great video don't hesitate to do so.