26th November 2019
Producing a Client Testimonial Video
To date I think we’re close to producing over one hundred interviews and client review videos. We have done them for documentaries, behind the scenes for films, and corporate video testimonials. This blog will outline how to make a Client Testimonial Video – simple.
We meet a number of personalities before the camera and are often complimented on our approach in building quick rapport with them. This is evident from their calm relaxed nature when sharing feedback and responses. See our in-house testimonials.
An associate of mine preparing for her own interviews for a documentary asked me for some direction. The following is an extract from the email I sent to her.
The Release form:
This 1 paged document is to be signed by the interviewee prior to filming them. This protects the business in question by having written consent to film the interviewee. The business is spending a lot of money on your expenses, business time and resources etc. All in all, you want all parties to be happy, if the interviewee does not like the end result, you don’t want them to dictate conditions especially when there is nothing wrong with their video. The release form protects both parties, letting the interviewee know that it’s only going to be used for the purpose of the video project and that the business has permission to use the person in question.
Get them up to speed:
Any film maker knows time is money on set and patients 9 times out of 10 want to get their interviews out the way and done with. Don’t make them wait long. As soon as they come in, explain how the day is going to be structured and when you’re going to be ready to film them, this process lets them feel like they’re part of the team and the process.
Make them comfortable:
No matter where you’re filming your interviewee, they should be waiting in a designated area out of the way of the filming that’s possible already taking place, free from wires and camera equipment. This process allows them to digest the environment and take in whats happening as opposed to being put before a camera as soon as they enter the building. Please, please, please offer them a drink. When they take their seat lighting, camera and sound should already be in place and only require minor tweaks.
Client Testimonial Video – Pre-Conversation
- Have the interviewee settle into their seat
- Ensure lights and the shot looks great
- Check sound
- Remove any un-wanted things in the background
- Ask the in interviewee how their week’s been (or weekend)
Chances are they’ll be open to conversation to settle any nerves they might have. If they don’t find their work interesting ask them if they have any hobbies or interests that keep them busy? All this will warm the interviewee up and ready for their Q&A.
Chances are the interviewee will see the questions before the interview. If not, not to worry. Let them know you’ll be queuing camera and sound so they wont think you’re talking in a foreign language.
When the camera rolls let it. In my early days I’ve been guilty of start/stopping the camera for individual questions and I can tell you it is a flow killer! Let the camera roll, let them make mistakes and keep going. You’ll find that when the interviewee gets their rhythm they’ll be answering questions giving you fuller answers. Depending on your filming and editing approach you may also suggest for them to repeat the question in the answer. All the above makes for a relaxed natural client testimonial video.
Have them look slightly off camera
9 times out of 10 the interviewee will talk slightly off camera, a style and tone adopted from documentary style filming. This gives the viewer a sense of a ‘fly on the wall’ the third person in the room approach as if sitting in on a conversation. However you may opt for your subject to talk directly to the camera, there’s no right or wrong approach, its just a matter of preference.
When all is done
Finish with reassuring the encouraging the interviewee that the interview went well (It went well trust me), letting them leave on a positive note. Let them know they can check the interview in a couple of weeks when its live on the clients website, so they can see they came across as good as you said they did, they’ll be eager to share it among friends and family thus further helping their business in question.
The above filming of testimonials is just one of many ways of filming them, each filmmaker will have their own approach, I’ve found the above to be effective over the years and hope you’re able to take something away from it to use in your own work, whether you’re filming on an expensive camera or even from your smart phone.
Share the style and approach of the editing process with the business in question prior to filming the interview/testimonial. Will you be using fast or slow cuts? Punching in and out of the shot? Using a 2nd camera? Using white cross dissolves, having questions on screen or repeated in the answers the interviewee gives? The editing is the fun part where you get to see well rounded answers come together from key thought out questioning.
If you would like to get us involved with producing your client testimonial video (or any other type of video), why not give us a call or provide more detail on our form. We can then discuss your needs in more detail and start you on the journey to showcase your business to the world.