If talent shows up wearing the wrong type of clothing, it can greatly affect the quality of your video’s end result. So we have put together a list of 5 rules for WHAT NOT TO WEAR.
Does it actually matter what your subjects wear on camera? Definitely! An otherwise perfectly planned production can be tainted by talent wearing a wacky or unwieldy wardrobe. So please review these 5 important “No No’s” and commit them to memory so you can avoid problems that can plague the quality of your corporate video.
MISTAKE #1 – Wearing Tight Patterns and Textures
Because of the way NTSC monitors draw the scan lines of your screen, they can have trouble reproducing tight patterns and textures in clothing fabric. On the early days of TheTonight Show, host Johnny Carson often wore houndstooth sport jackets that created miserable moire patterns.
Filming talent wearing clothing with tight pattern and textures can cause what looks like compression artifacts (a fuzz or distortion appearance in video) in an HD shoot. There is no way to fix this in post, so avoid this issue by having talent wear solid-color clothing without any complex knitting, stitching or texturing.
MISTAKE #2 – Wearing Black and White
Although things are getting better as technology improves, all types of video are notoriously bad at handling high contrast images. Nothing is worse than a subject wearing jet black or bright white under the hot lights of a set. When you turn on your 500-watt key light and a 250 watt fill that white shirt will glow like the midday sun. As camera operators close down the iris to compensate for the overexposure, the subject’s face will darken. This is not a flattering look for anyone.
With black the opposite happens. That midnight black suit coat soaks in the light like a charcoal sponge. And when you open your aperture to compensate, the subject’s face blooms. You just can’t win. Wedding videographers have a constant challenge in filming brides and grooms dressed in these colors all the time on the most important day of their lives. To avoid this contrast conundrum, you should wear muted tones in a medium color range. Opt for a blue or gray dress shirt and go for medium browns and off-whites to reduce contrast.
MISTAKE #3 – Wearing Reflective Accessories
While a little jewelry can be fashionable, bling does not play well under video lights. There is a cardinal production principle that says anything that distracts the viewer from the message is a mistake. Big, shiny, reflective buttons, rings, watches, necklaces, earrings, brooches and bracelets will catch your lights and shoot off blinding bursts and fiery flashes that will draw everyone’s attention to the bling, and that’s not a good thing.
MISTAKE #4 – Wearing Jangly Jewelry
In addition to reflection, you need to be aware of audio because watches, necklaces, buttons, earrings and bracelets that rattle or jingle will interfere with your sound. Also be aware of any noises made by the clothing itself. This might include the rubbing of corduroy, or the swishing of a sweatsuit. Wardrobe-related audio problems are common and it is best to eliminate them before you being.
MISTAKE #5 – Wearing Brands and Messages
Any clothing that shows off a logo or displays a message is never a good idea when being interviewed on camera. Unless you are wearing your own corporate branding or, for example, interviewing a NASCAR driver, you probably don’t want interview subjects adorned in logos like, well, a NASCAR driver. The same goes for printed T-shirts with messages. Depending on the type of video you are producing, a shirt that says “I’m with stupid” may be inappropriate for a number of reasons including comedy. Overall it is best for interviewees to wear clothing that does not act as an ad.
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Colorado Video Productions LLC produces videos for businesses, organizations and non-profits worldwide and is not limited to the state of Colorado.