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Tips for Directing Non-Actors in Your Next Video

It’s quite common for businesses to create videos using people who have little to no acting experience. And, that’s a good thing. It presents an opportunity for the business to bring real people, experiences, and interactions to the video. But, during your video shoot, you’ll need to provide these individuals with a great deal of instruction. A lack of this can make the video seem rigid and less inviting. How do you direct and coach those with little to no video experience to be actors?

Be Prepared from the Start

As the person shooting the video or creating it, the most important thing you can do to ensure it goes well is to prepare for it. You’ll reduce your actor’s concern and anxiety by being able to tell the exactly what they need to do. In short, that means you’ll want to create a script and then have them memorize it. You’ll also want to keep any lines they need to read short and to the point. Keep the blocks of text easy to read. Doing this helps ensure you don’t overwhelm your actors.

Next, map out the progress of the video, who will be involved, and how the process will unfold. You’ll want to tell people where to go and what to do. And, be sure your script outlines when a person needs to be a part of the script and when they will be offscreen. Again, it is all about making their part look easy to do.

Finally, have every sit down at a table and read through the script together, just as it will play out. This helps to take away the worry of being in front of a camera and gives them the ability to see what they will do and how their lines will play out.

Make the Location Ideal

Now that you have your team relaxed, make sure that the environment in front of the camera is just as enticing and relaxing. It is all about helping them to act normal to avoid any type of staged look.

For example, remove everyone from the scene and room that will not be a part of the shoot. You also want to schedule extra time so there is no rush. And, be sure to keep the room cool. All of this helps to give your actors the ability to just enjoy themselves. In fact, the better you are able to keep the atmosphere upbeat and positive, the more your team will thrive.

Other steps to consider is doing your job well. Working with a video production company makes this easy since they will handle the lighting, the organization, and the actual camera. Your job is to help keep everyone focused on doing their part. And, finally, work hard to ensure that every one of your actors feels good about themselves and about their role in the video shoot. You want to give them the motivation and the drive to do a fantastic job in front of the camera. They can only do this, though, if you lead the way.


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