The fear of spiders is the most common human phobia. Also in the top ten must be a dislike of being filmed. Making a corporate video usually requires one or more of the participants to be interviewed. It’s not an everyday experience for most, sitting in the glare of two cameras. But it is part of making a video and the skill of the crew and the producer will make it as easy and as painless as possible.
Most importantly, any interview should simply be thought of as simply a conversation between the participant and the producer. It’s an opportunity to talk about your company or the topic the video is about – and the person being interviewed is always the expert.
The interview often sets the tone for the whole corporate video. Someone comfortable and chatty, knowledgeable and passionate about their subject will enthuse the audience and give life to the finished video. So it makes sense to understand when someone is reluctant to be on camera, and then think twice about what to do.
Some reluctance is down to simply not understanding the process or being concerned about taking part in something that’s outside the comfort zone. Tallboy’s producers will spend time before the interview to dispel those fears and to explain the procedure. That type of reluctance can be overcome, often with great results.
The idea of filming
However, there are some participants who will never be reassured and who do find the whole idea of being filmed very stressful. And it’s important to recognize that. Just as if someone is terrified of spiders, you wouldn’t drop a huge, hairy, eight-legged arachnid on their shoulder, you wouldn’t subject someone who is truly terrified to the interview process.
Think about what message having a reluctant interviewee says to your audience. It conveys hesitancy, a tense feeling, possibly even hostility. The spoken message is unlike to be fluent and more likely to lack conviction and passion. The actual words may be correct, but the way the person says them and the way the person looks while saying them gives the audience a whole different meaning.
At Tallboy we were once asked to include a person in an interview who did not want to be on camera. They had expressed their fears before the filming day was set up, when the day was arranged and again on the day. However, despite our caution against it, their bosses wanted this person to be interviewed.
The results, needless to say, were dreadful. The person looks as if they are facing a death sentence and worse still, they could barely utter one word. Needless to say, the interview ended up on the cutting room floor, not only a waste of time but giving the person a needlessly traumatic experience.
So when someone says they don’t want to be interviewed, explore why. And if they equate the interview process with spiders, let Tallboy come up with a Plan B.