Ever watch television and see random people behind a reporter waving their hands around to get attention, or waving and jumping around as the camera pans through a crowd at a sporting event? There is just something about being in front of the camera. Some people- a lot of people- will sacrifice their appearance and decorum to get a camera pointed at them.
Then those same people, if given the opportunity to be in front of the camera in a different situation- for a news interview or for a sit down conversation- freeze up, suddenly self-conscious. They think they look funny or sound funny.
Pro-tip: No one likes the sound of their own voice. There’s science behind that, I’ll get into it another time.
Then there are those people who go to extreme lengths to get on camera. Extreme. Lengths. Like they think about it as a child, study it, go to school for it, and go to work in a small market for the opportunity to be on camera.
I’m guessing that’s who you are. The camera doesn’t intimidate you, it calls to you. You were born for this.
But being in front of the camera, or in front of a microphone, isn’t as easy as just standing and talking. There is a look, a way of talking- little tricks that feel awkward in execution but look “normal” on camera- whatever “normal” is.
Think about food photography. In commercial and in photos ice cream is usually mashed potatoes. Milk is Elmer’s glue. Take a spoonful of the cereal used in the picture and you won’t get anywhere near the experience the marketing wants you to get.
Being in front of the camera is somewhat like that, too. The presenter (that’s you) looks composed and on top of it, but in truth they’re wearing a LOT of makeup and hairspray, may be standing on a wooden box, with an earpiece in their ear and as many as three people talking to them. They have the box that runs that earpiece strapped to their leg with a microphone transmitter on a belt, or on their leg (or if you’re a woman in a dress it may be clipped to the back of your bra) and there may be an industrial paper clip cinching your jacket in the back.
There’s a lot going on. And then you have to speak clearly and fluently, delivering a script that (if you’re lucky) you’ve had more than a few minutes to not only write, but commit to memory,
After seeing all that, you wonder why so many people want to be in front of the camera.
My goal here isn’t to scare you away, just the opposite. My hope is I can deliver to you tips and advice and insight you can’t get anywhere else, the stuff you won’t learn in school- that you only learn from doing this job or working for nearly three decades with some of the best professionals in the business.
I can’t replace what you learned in school but I can augment it. Little tips that I promise will make you better.
Got a specific question, drop me an email at brian@imagineBandT.com and I will do my best to help.