Have you ever considered a two-camera shoot of a live speech for your next video?

I had the unique opportunity to see the action from the second camera at a conference today and the results were not pretty! Here are a few tips I picked up:

1. The camera angle picked up the “exit” sign at the rear of the stage. The framed photo made it look like you were speaking in a Howard Johnsons, not a convention center.

2. The camera angle picked up the white projection screen at the side of the stage. It wasn’t a faux pas, but it made for bad composition. If the camera angled a bit differently, the background would have the been the drape, which was one color and blended into the background. Instead, the camera picked up something that would be distracting.

3. The room was divided into 3 sections, stage left, center and stage right. People sat in the first two sections. The camera was in the third section, which was empty, except for me and the camera man. The speaker spoke to people in the first two sections. This means that the speaker rarely face the camera. At best, the camera got side shots of the speaker’s head. At worst, it shot the back of the speakers head.

4. The camera man wasn’t tuned into the content of the speaker. At one critical point in the speech, as the speaker was hammering home his most important point, the camera man picked up his tripod and moved to a different angle.

What should you do?
1. Look at your backdrop and figure out where the camera should be so distracting backgrounds are never recorded.

2. Don’t play to the camera, but don’t shy away from it either.

3. Cue the camera people to your content so they know what is most important. That way they can move during your throwaway lines.

Don’t let this happen to you!