If you’re not familiar with the film or video production process, then you may be surprised just how drastically one’s behavior and appearance can change once someone points a camera at them and hits that record button. Some people literally go from completely calm, cool, and collected to visibly uncomfortable, or much worse, in a flash.
While that’s completely understandable, the thing is that it won’t do your film or video any good in the long run. Make no mistake, no matter what your mission nor objectives are, the body language of the people appearing on camera, whether it’s you or someone else, will absolutely affect the overall viewing experience and impact of your content.
Luckily, we’ve worked will all sorts of people in our time doing video production in NJ and NY, so we know a thing or two about how, and what, to communicate via body language. So, read on to learn about a few of the things you can do, as well as a few of the things you shouldn’t, to ensure that your subjects’ body language says all the right things.
Leave plenty of time for plenty of takes.
Before even getting into any specific body language tips, it’s worth mentioning how critical it is that you and/or the video people you’re working with on your project leave plenty of room in the production timeline for multiple takes. Yes, that should always be part of the plan, but it’s even more important when it comes to body language, specifically. Why?
Well, like mentioned above, visible discomfort will never send nor enhance the message you’re trying to get across with your content. It truly is a video content killer and even those who are fairly familiar with film and video production and have appeared on camera in the past often start things off pretty nervous. It’s just the way it goes sometimes.
That’s why it’s so important to give yourselves the freedom to run through plenty of takes. That way, you or your subjects won’t have to hit the ground running right off the bat. Instead, the subjects will be able to run through the whole process again and again until all the kinks have been effectively worked out and they find some type of rhythm.
Take it from us, it’s not just about getting more familiar with the material and process so that the subjects can get more relaxed and comfortable with it all either. Allowing yourselves to go through everything over and over will also help open the doors to the subjects adding their own personal touches to the project as it goes.
Subjects should speak a little louder & use their hands wisely.
You’re probably wondering what speech has to do with body language, but again, it goes back to getting comfortable. A little comfort can go a long way when it comes to body language and the things it can say, just as a little discomfort on the part of the subject can negatively affect the whole project.
Having the subject speaking a little louder than you’d think they should won’t just help to add some energy and conviction to their words—not to mention create better audio for your project—it also happens to be a great way of combating those nerves. It’s almost like flooding all the anxiety out with one’s voice.
Now, no one’s saying that your subjects should be yelling or speaking unnaturally loud, but just that having them up the volume just a notch or two above their normal speaking voice is a good idea for a variety of reasons, and the same goes for having subjects use their hands to help emphasize their points.
Again, you don’t want to overdo it. Just as a subject raising his/her voice too loudly can end up backfiring and serving as a distraction, over-the-top gesturing can have the same adverse effect. It’s a fine line, but it’s one worth walking and, in the end, it’s on you and/or the members of the video crew behind the camera to keep it in check.
Avoid hand-to-face gestures as much as possible.
While the subject doing so much with their hands that they end up causing a distraction is one of the reasons we included the word “wisely” in that last sub-heading, it’s not the only one. That’s just one of the ways subjects can use their hands in a way that ultimately hurts your film or video project, and another is by touching their face too much.
It may not sound like a big deal, and in many cases it’s not. For instance, if your subject has an itch on his/her face or nose and scratches it real fast during your video, then that can appear completely natural and not take away from the overall viewing experience in any way whatsoever. In fact, in a case like that, the subject’s trying not to scratch the itch could end up being a distraction.
However, if the subject is constantly doing things like rubbing his/her eyes, touching his/her nose, or twirling his/her hair, then that could absolutely have negative effects on the end results. Not only can gestures like those be distracting, but they can also be misinterpreted as signs of deception or a lack of confidence.
So, just remember that while having your subjects use their hands to further emphasize their points is never a bad idea so long as they don’t overdo it, you need to make sure that that’s all their doing with their hands, and you need to try to keep the hand-to-face gestures to a minimum.
We know how loud and persuasive body language can be in film & video production.
The bottom line is that the body language of the subjects of your film or video projects can speak volumes about the messages you’re trying to send and stories you’re trying to tell through your content. It’s just that, if you mishandle the situation, then it can say all the wrong things. We hope these tips help to keep you pointed in the right direction. Good luck!
About Us: KVibe Productions, one of the top NJ & NYC video production companies creating video content of all kinds, can handle every aspect of the process. And whether it’s a commercial, a corporate video production, or a feature film, at KVibe, we always create to inspire.