On-set with Systemax: 7 Tips to Prepare You for Lights, Camera, Action!



Well, the time has come. You’ve made the cut to be the next movie star for your company with an on-camera appearance! It might be to pitch that new product or service, speak about the history of the company, or that exciting new project that is currently underway. Whether this is your first time on camera or tenth, the big bright lights, multiple cameras, and microphones are bound to make you nervous and feeling underprepared. Have no fear, here are 7 tips to prepare you for movie star status with your next on-camera experience with Systemax!

1. Be prepared for your story

Being prepared doesn’t mean having your lines rehearsed. You certainly want to touch on your key points but don’t memorize them word for word. It will seem scripted and unnatural. Feel free to bring your notes to brush up on between takes if needed. We can also write key points on an office whiteboard to help keep you focused during filming.
Forget the audience. Think of the interviewer as your old best friend and your catching up! Some of the best content we have filmed is when people don’t think the camera is rolling and it’s just a normal conversation. Camera? What Camera?

2. Keep it simple

You will have a ton of information that you want to deliver. Touch on your key points separately but keep it succinct. It’s very tempting to provide as much information as possible in a response to a question you might be asked. But, with the majority of businesses utilizing video for social media in 2022, there’s a good chance that what’s filmed will be trimmed down into much smaller segments. To ensure something you said isn’t cut in post, just keep it simple.


3. Avoid jargon

Act like we know nothing about you, the company, or your story. Avoid using slang or acronyms that you might normally use when speaking with your colleagues or customers. Bob might not know what “WYSIWYG” means.


4. UMMS, UHHS, and ERR’s

Take time to prepare your answer for a question or the next line you’re delivering. Avoid using time-fillers like “umm”, “uhh” or “err” to complete your sentence. It makes it difficult for the editor to provide a natural flow when things are edited in post-production. You will also count every single “umm”, “uhh”, or “err” you said in the edited video (I promise).

5. Treat every question as a new question

Before filming starts, we will most likely discuss what we will talk about during the interview. But remember when filming, act like this is the first time you have spoken to us. Avoid phrases like “again” or “as I mentioned earlier”. These will leave people wondering what they might have missed.

6. If you stumble: STOP, reset, and start again

You will probably stumble at some point. You might get caught up on a certain word or not like the way the ending of your last sentence sounded. STOP and reset. When I am filming, the camera is always rolling. I don’t start and stop the camera if someone stumbles, so take your time. It’s best to reset your composure and start again when you’re ready. I have found myself editing out a stumble on words, but the on-camera talent is laughing or smiling (because of that stumble) when starting over. This causes it to look unnatural and choppy when piecing clips together. Reset and start again with a fresh face.

7. What to wear

Solid colors are a must! Avoid pinstripes or any patterns. They do not get along with the cameras. Solid white or black should be avoided as well as they are the absence of color. Dress for the mood. Is this a fun video? Bright colors are an option. Is this a more serious video? Darker colors will work. We love blazers, jackets, and cardigans! It gives us a place to put our lavalier microphones. If you wear glasses, try to avoid wearing them on camera. Light glares on your lenses can cause delays in the production setup and require you to sit in an uncomfortable pose so the glares cannot be seen on camera.
The next time you receive that email request to be on camera (after you’re finished being overwhelmed with EXTREME excitement 🙂) come back to these 7 tips to prepare for your way to a star on Hollywood Blvd!
We’ll see you on-set! 🎥 🎬


Author Info

Oh hi, didn’t see you there. I’m Phil Watson and I capture moving images on electronic media and then combine those shots into sequences, as well as the addition of accompanying sound effects and/or music. Or for short, the Videographer for Systemax. 😄 When I don’t have a camera in my hand or I’m at my desk editing, I am hanging  with the fam or learning new creative skills at Youtube University.