February 7, 2018

Bringing the Right Energy to Your Videos

Brendan Schwartz

Founder, CTO

Here at Wistia, we’re firm believers that being yourself on camera is the key to an awesome performance. But finding the delicate balance between giving it your all and giving a little too much can often be tricky. To help illustrate this, we thought we’d share with you what we’ve dubbed the energy slider — give it a whirl!

Between the camera and bright lights, there’s no denying that being in front of a camera can be pretty intimidating. In order to make sure you’re still looking and acting like yourself on camera, it’s critical to consider the energy you bring to the shoot.

Too little energy and you’ll come across as disinterested and boring. Too much energy? Well, now you run the risk of scaring off your audience, or worse, coming off as disingenuous. So the next time you’re in front of the camera, take a deep breath, smile, and just be yourself.

Here are some of our best tips for helping folks feel more comfortable and natural on camera:

  • Provide positive reinforcement. Most people really don’t like being on camera. It’s science. So when it comes to motivating your talent, a little bit of encouragement goes a long way. Simply letting the subject know they’re doing a great job and that they’ve totally “got this” will help them relax a bit. The more positive reinforcement, the better!
  • Do a rip take. Does your subject sound a little rehearsed or rigid? Ask them to deliver a line with over-the-top energy. This can help reset your talent’s energy scale — they’ll be able to take it back down a touch and hopefully hit the perfect amount of energy for the next take.
  • Give it another go.There’s nothing worse than sitting down to edit your footage only to realize that some of the shots were off. Don’t be afraid to do multiple takes during your shoot. This will give the talent the opportunity to really nail their delivery and give an even more natural performance.
  • Shake it off. Little known secret: it’s ok to mess up! Laugh at your own mistakes and try to have fun with it — after all, you’re going to be a star once this video is out in the wild. But seriously, sometimes literally shaking it out can make a world of difference. Give it a try next time you’re behind the bright lights!

We’ve got a lot more to say on how to direct non-actors (it’s no simple feat), so if you’re looking for more tips and tricks, head over to the Library and watch the video tutorial!

Do you have any other favorite tips for bringing the right amount of energy in your videos? Share with us in the comments below!

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