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3 More Top Tips For How To Look Good For Video Conferences

We all know where to put the camera and how to light ourselves for a decent looking video call these days (and if we don’t, check out our earlier vlog), but now that everyone is used to meeting online, we’ve noticed some of the more subtle traps that people are falling into.

In this update, Dead Ready Director, Chris Tongue, takes us through his top tips to make sure you come across perfectly in your web conferences.

Here’s the transcript for fun:

Hello! Back at the beginning of the lockdown I posted a tips video on how to look good in video calls. Since then, we’ve recorded hours of interviews for several clients over the web and have noticed a few extra traps people can fall into, so thought I’d post a short update with a few more tips.

Extra Tip #1

Be mindful of reflective surfaces and how they have a habit of giving away ugly or embarrassing things in the rest of the room. This applies not only to windows and mirrors in the background, but also to those who wear glasses – a bored attendee may choose to make your window full screen, where it might be obvious through reflections that the discussion doesn’t have your undivided attention… (I’ll then zoom in on my glasses which will show that I’m playing solitaire or minesweeper).

Extra Tip #2

Remember to keep eye contact. This doesn’t mean that you have to look at the camera, just that you should keep looking at the people you are talking to on screen.

It can be tempting to look away while you form your responses, but you’ll lose your audience’s attention if you don’t appear to be talking to them. This counts double if you’re being interviewed or are delivering a presentation as you’re on screen for much longer.

If it helps, have your notes on screen, it’ll keep your focus in roughly the right place.

Extra Tip #3

Value your production values. If you’re being filmed taking part in an interview or you’re a guest speaker at a virtual conference – remember that your video quality reflects whoever is posting the video, so getting your setup correct is more than just a vanity exercise and can affect whether or not you’re invited back.

Good luck out there and thanks for watching!

Filming Conference Presentations: Pre-Shoot Checklist

On the surface, filming a presentation at a conference seems incredibly straightforward. You just need your video production crew to put a camera on a tripod at the back of the room, point it at the front and hit record, right?

Well, sometimes that can work – but to ensure you always get the best results possible, it’s important to try and provide information that will allow the crew to plan the most effective filming approach.

So what are the kind of things it’s helpful for us to know?

  1. Your A/V team’s contact details

Clean, high quality audio is absolutely essential when filming a conference presentation. 9 times out of 10, you’ll have an A/V team at the venue operating a sound desk and managing microphones on the stage, so the best option is for our camera crew to connect to their sound desk via a cable. This avoids the speaker having to double up on microphones, or any conflict in equipment. A pre-conference call between the camera team and the A/V team is the simplest way to ensure that both parties are aware of what’s needed.

  1. Number of presenters

Will there be more than one speaker talking at a time? Will there be a panel discussion? If so, this has implications for number of cameras, positioning of cameras, and approach to audio recording.

  1. Presentation Slide Content

It’s useful to know a little bit about the slides being used by the presenter – how intricate and detailed are they; are there animations/videos involved? Are they in a format other than PowerPoint? Will the crew be able to get hold of the original PowerPoint files on the day so they can overlay slides on the footage? The answers to these questions may all affect the filming approach.

Of course not every presenter uses slides, and it’s useful to know if that’s the case as well.

  1. Audience Involvement

Everyone loves an interactive presentation, with the exception of an unprepared camera crew. If there’s a great deal of audience involvement and you want to feature this in the video, then you need a minimum of 2 cameras, and need to consider how audio will be handled. A roving handheld or boom microphone is the most common solution; but you have to make sure you have people in position to move these microphones swiftly to where they are needed – otherwise people have a tendency to just shout out to the room. Fine for people who are in the room with them, but a problem for the edited video.

  1. Lighting

A common misconception is that the biggest lighting challenge for the camera team is the amount of available light in a conference venue. In practice, the bigger problem is usually the contrast between a very bright screen and a dimly lit lectern or podium. Another thing we see regularly is a very narrow spotlight on the stage, which the presenter promptly steps outside and then delivers the rest of his presentation from the shadows. There are various ways to deal with these issues, but knowing whether they may happen allows us to come prepared.

  1. Room Layout

Particularly for multi-camera shoots, the layout of the room is very useful to know so that camera positions can be considered, as well as the freedom of movement for individual cameras. If time permits, a pre-shoot location recce where the room is set up as it will be on the day is the best way to do this.

Having an idea of the above will make sure you’re best prepared to get top quality results when filming presentations.

If you would like to discuss how Dead Ready Productions could help you to further enjoy the benefits of video for your business, please get in touch via the button below or by calling +44 (0)208 339 6139.

Conference Film Production

Event Filming – How Much Does It Cost?

“I want to film an event coming up in a couple weeks time. How much would it cost to produce a video of the event – can you give me an approximate price?”

It’s fairly often that we receive an enquiry similar to the above. Of course, every event video is unique and deserves a specific, tailored approach. Simply put, providing a set price and rigid filming and editing methodology can lead to you failing to get what you need, and paying for something you don’t.

However, as a client you’re often looking for some kind of rough price just to get the ball rolling and to help you factor video production into your marketing plans. Maybe you don’t have all the information you need or maybe you’re just not ready to have a detailed discussion yet – what then?

Event videos can vary widely in cost but as a rough guide tend to start at around £800 and go up from there depending on complexity and time involved. Here’s a few quick questions that can help you to quickly get a ballpark cost for your event video:

1. When/where is the event?

The first variable to determine, and usually the easiest to answer, is when and where the event is taking place. Price is dependent on number of days/nights filming required, whether it’s during the week or at a weekend, and accessibility of the location.

2. What exactly do you need to film?

This will depend on the type of event involved. Conferences have different requirements to awards ceremonies, which in turn are different to trade shows and launch events.

The main purpose of this question is to determine what size of crew and what equipment is needed for the shoot. Sometimes you may require speeches/presentations to be filmed, sometimes you’ll need interviews, other times just general footage of the event as it happens. Are there things that need to be filmed that are happening concurrently?

3. What video deliverables do you require?

Usually our clients are looking for short 2-3 minute footage-based promotional videos, deliverable via the web. But if you require more than one video, or longer videos, or anything involving more complex motion graphics, then price is affected.

4. Do you have specific budget restrictions?

Given the multitude of possibilities, sometimes it’s easier to start with a fixed budget and then discuss the best ways to achieve your goals.

Once you have some idea regarding the above, then it’s possible to put forward some options and give you an idea of the costs that are likely to be involved.

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If you would like to discuss how Dead Ready Productions could help you to further enjoy the benefits of video for your business, please get in touch via the button below or by calling +44 (0)208 339 6139.

Event Filming