Something we hear a lot from our clients, either in the run up to the shoot day or on the day itself, is “I’m so nervous!”. We get it, seeing (and hearing!) yourself on camera can be pretty daunting if it’s not something you do on a regular basis. In one of our previous blogs, which you can read here, we gave our top-tips on how best to prepare in the run-up to an on-camera interview. In this weeks blog we will be talking more about the shoot day itself and how to make sure you don’t look terrified on camera – even if you’re secretly seeking out the nearest exit!
1. Consider Your Body’s Natural Responses to Nerves
We can put on a brave face but, ultimately, if you’re really nervous about something your body can sometimes betray you and give the game away. We’ve previously spoken about considering the outfit you will be wearing on the shoot date (nothing too distracting, making sure everything is on-brand, no noisy jewellery, etc.) but you may also want to consider breathable or dark-coloured fabrics (if on-brand) for your upper-body clothing. Simply because, well, nervous people tend to sweat more. If you’re already feeling anxious, and then you start sweating in less-than-forgiving clothing, you’re likely to become even more anxious and hyper-aware which just perpetuates the problem. Anything you can do to minimise distraction and help you to worry less about your appearance will help to settle your nerves. Likewise, if you’re prone to oily skin (especially when you take things like additional lights into account) you may wish to keep a mirror and some blotting paper/powder to hand. Similarly, keeping things like lipstick, concealer, etc. close by for quick touch-up between takes can minimise any concerns you may have about your appearance (not that you need to worry, you look lovely!) Also, whatever your usual approach to makeup (male or female), don’t forget that you can always use a small amount to help minimise any sudden blemishes that you may be worried about and aware of on camera.
2. Keep Yourself Fed & Watered
Make sure that there is a bottle of water or a cup of tea close by for you to drink between takes. Just like the above point, nerves (or just talking for extended periods of time) can make your mouth dry and your throat itchy – which can make it tricky to continue speaking. If you’re SUPER nervous it may also be a good idea to avoid coffee or anything too caffeinated before and during the shoot, as it may make you feel and appear jittery which means you may find it harder to relax. Water is always a good bet but regardless of your choice of beverage, making sure that you can easily re-hydrate between takes is essential to keeping yourself feeling and sounding cool as a cucumber.
A rumbling tummy is also a nightmare – not only for the audio recording but for you. Hunger and tummy rumbles are distracting, and you don’t want anything unnecessarily taking you out of the zone. So, make sure you’ve eaten before the shoot!
3. Remember Your Eyeline
Depending on the style of video, your eyeline will either be to camera or to somebody just off camera (unless the film is a narrative piece, in which case it’s whatever the script dictates). We will always agree on this upfront, and we will take into consideration what you will feel most comfortable with alongside what makes the most sense for the specific project requirements. Know and maintaining your eyeline – rather than randomly glancing around the room, down at your hands and up at the ceiling without purpose or focus. Know your eyeline and keep it strong – but remember that doesn’t mean intensely staring down the lens like a creepy cult-leader.
4. Talk About Something That Excites You
We’ll often pull this trick without you even knowing, but for occasions when you’re filming in other situations this is good to have up your sleeve. For the first few minutes in front of the camera, just talk about something else! We’ll often ask about a pet we know you have, how your children are doing, how your recent holiday was, etc. Basically, anything that you can talk about easily and passionately. This will not only loosen you up and help you to relax and feel more confident, but it should settle you into a natural speech rhythm and avoid the dreaded robot-talk.