B2 Productions: Prep Your Talent for a Great Return

June 7, 2017
Tracy Phillips

Recently, we worked with an individual who had no experience in front of a camera.To compound the issue this individual had to turn to another individual on-screen from time to time and then come back to the main camera (all on teleprompter).The best analogy is this individual looked like a scared cat in a small box. However, with some quick work on the sidelines, he smoothed out some of the rough edges and delivered the script under a very tight timeline. The question by our client was raised: ‘what can we do next time so we don’t find ourselves in this same situation?’ The answer: prep. Had we been able to talk to this particular person before we walked on set, the shoot would have gone much more smoothly, for him and for us.

So we came up with a few points to prep talent for upcoming shoots:

1. If the talent wears a suit; a few different tie options would be helpful – also, avoid loud patterns or anything with silver or green (for green screen). Refer to our previous post for specifics on what not to wear: http://b2ignite.com/the-blue-room/what-not-to-wear/

2. If the talent wears glasses (and will be wearing them for filming) do they have anti-reflective coating? This will help your gaffer set up the lighting. Also, it would be great to take off any shiny watches or reflective jewelry (other than a ring) especially if your shooting on green screen to avoid spillage.

3. Make sure the talent gets to see the shooting schedule prior to filming so they can anticipate when to arrive for make up, audio, chit chat, and practice.

4. Regardless of their experience, ask the talent to practice their script. That way they can feel more confident and address any issues before the cameras roll.

5. If the talent usually talks with their hands, please encourage them to do so on camera. Smiling and natural head tilting is a great way to infuse personality as long as it fits the script.

6. If you’re going to use graphics on-screen, make sure the script is marked so you know when a full page graphic appears. This will save time with pick-ups if the talent has to re-do a sentence versus reading the entire paragraph over again.

7. Regardless of your talent’s experience with a teleprompter. Remind them to let the first sentence roll to their eye line and only read that line. That way it won’t appear as if they’re reading.