How and what to prep a talent for a video shoot

If you’ve ever sourced or managed talents for a video shoot, you know that talents can look (very) different from their photos. We’re not saying fake photos, but head shots don’t always tell the full story.For example, the talent might be sporting a Dumbledore beard because it’s Movember. Or maybe he’s just gotten full sleeved tattoos. Not ideal to find this out on shoot day, especially when the brief is “aspirational, clean, lifestyle”.You can’t assume the talent knows exactly what you want, so good planning, communication and experience is the answer. Firstly, let them know what/who the shoot is for and what they’ll be doing. And apart from getting them to send some recent photos, preferably casual, non-head shot ones, here is a checklist we’ve done up (in collaboration with our makeup artist friends) that you may find useful. Go through it with your talents before shoot day and you’ll greatly reduce your chances of getting rude shocks. Checklist

  1. Hair: Come with clean hair i.e. wash it the day before. Also, is their hair style and colour as per the photos you have of them?
  2. Face: For females, come with either just light foundation or no makeup.
  3. Facial hair: Let them know if you need it shaved. On the other hand, if you prefer a beard, give them enough notice to have time to grow it out.
  4. Piercings: Self-explanatory.
  5. Tattoos: If you prefer not to have any tattoos showing, you’ll need to let your makeup artist know, and allocate additional time to have them covered. Full sleeved tattoos can take up to 1-1.5 hours to cover completely.
  6. Nails: For females. They could show up with bright red, long acrylic nails, so if you need a clean, non-distracting look, let them know.
  7. Wardrobe: If the talent is contributing to the wardrobe, get photos of the outfits. The more options the better. And don’t forget, wardrobe includes accessories like hats, scarves, belts, shoes, sunglasses, jewellery, etc.
  8. Release form and talent rate: Does the rate cover fuel/transport? Agree on a rate beforehand, and if the shoot location charges for parking, be aware that you might need to cover it. And remember to get them to sign the release forms on shoot day, if not beforehand.

Apart from all these, the other important thing is to work with experienced makeup artists. Run them through the schedule and talent situation before shoot day so they can plan what they potentially need to bring, e.g. foldable table, stool, shaver, wigs (true story), etc.Hope this hopes and let us know if you’ve got anything to add from your own video shoot experience. All the best and give us a holler if you have questions about our video production services!