In my previous entry, I listed times when a video production could work better if you use in-house experts or fellow employees as your on-camera talent, instead of hiring a professional actor. Now let’s examine the other side of the issue: some jobs are best left to professionals. What jobs? Read on!
Best Times to Use a Pro Spokesperson On Camera
You’re probably better off hiring a professional actor when:
• You want to save money by getting a lot of shots efficiently. Shooting video can get complex. Lights, camera, microphones, teleprompter, and the environment outside all must cooperate while the person on camera speaks lines. The more complex the shoot, the more things can go wrong, and the more time-intensive it gets. It’s heartbreaking when all of the technology is working, no jets overhead or buses in the street are ruining the audio… but the actor keeps flubbing the lines. A pro actor can nail their bit in one or two takes, which means you can fit more shots into a day, which means you save money on the whole crew. The “expense” of an actor is often recouped many times over by saving everyone else’s time.
• Your brand benefits from a polished, professional presentation. The video camera is ruthlessly objective, and an inexperienced employee who “reads with expression” will come off as an amateur reciting flatly or overacting or (paradoxically) seeming fake. If you’re positioning your product as high-end or “the best,” or simply want a quality feel, use an experienced pro whose presence signals those values.
• You want to give the impression of objectivity. It’s only an illusion, but video is all about generating unspoken perceptions. If your own executives or employees say your message, the viewer knows you’re biased. If an actor says it with authority, on a subconscious level your message can feel truer. (To pull this off, of course, the script will need to seem objective, too.)
• Available staff members have regional accents that may not support your brand. Sometimes you want to give a global impression, but your employees all sound like Boston, L.A., or Atlanta. That’s when an articulate pro can deliver in excellent, globally neutral English.
• You know in your heart no employee is suitable. Sometimes in our drive to save cash outlay, we persuade ourselves we don’t need things we do need. Video differs from a written report because it gives us a sense of a person. If the employees available to you just don’t “feel” right, pay attention to that instinct – your viewers might feel the same. While a fellow employee may not be willing to change hair or wear makeup, casting a pro gives you complete control over the look and vibe of your on-camera talent.
At GoodSide, we’ll support whatever approach you want. Our skilled, experienced casting directors can find the talent and handle all the paperwork, or we’ll work with someone you’ve hired yourself, or we’ll coach and direct your employees. We’ve made videos that delivered results using all those methods. Let us know how we can help!
Here’s a link in case you missed Part 1, Do I really need to pay an actor as my spokesperson?