Keeping your video equipment in tip-top shape can save you big bucks down the road.
We tend to focus on objects in this column, things like cameras and microphones, lights and reflectors. Nothing wrong with that, of course, because without this stuff, we couldn't make videos.
But in wrangling our hardware, we sometimes forget that people are just as important. Probably more so--people like the colleagues we shoot with and the clients we shoot for; people, above all, like the subjects of our videos, the on-camera folks who animate our programs and make them interesting.
Trouble is, people are trickier to manage than dumb and patient hardware. A camcorder will take a lot of abuse without protest, and if you push it hard enough, you can break it; but you can't make it mad or hurt its feelings. If only people were that simple (and if only you could send malfunctioning units out for repair).
But they aren't (and you can't). Instead, people can be, well, difficult. For example:
- Nervous and preoccupied. The bride grows a bit testy when you try to pose her against a better background.
- Unsure of where your frame line is. Your volunteer boom operator keeps poking the mike into the shot.
- Nervous about making a commitment. Your client keeps postponing final approval of your script.
Since people are indispensable parts of the video production process, it might be helpful if they came with an instruction guide. They don't, of course, so here're a few tips for operating them successfully. Or, to adopt a kinder metaphor, herewith the care and feeding of talent, colleagues, and clients.
But before we examine specific production roles, let's take a quick look at people problems in general. Folks associated with your production can require TLC for many reasons, including:
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