How to work with non-professional talent on camera for your next video production.

Do you need to capture great video footage, but your budget won’t stretch to professional talent? Working with non-professionals can be a challenge, but this article will guide you through everything you need to know. Unlock the secrets to getting the perfect take with non-professional talent – and make sure your next video production is a success!

When working with non-professional talent, it is essential to remember that it can be a challenging process but well worth the effort. Preparation is key before going into any video production.


Whether you’re a video content creator, a corporate video producer, or an aspiring filmmaker, chances are you’ll need to work with non-professional talent at some point. Non-professional actors can bring a lot to your production: realism, naturalism and relatability—all of which are invaluable when it comes to creating successful videos.

But getting non-professional talent on board for filming can sometimes be challenging. Dealing with individuals who have very little (or even zero!) experience in front of the camera can be difficult if you don’t know what to do. Here are some tips on how you can effectively manage non-professional talent and create the best possible result from your next project:

  • Be prepared.
  • Set expectations.
  • Be patient.
  • Give direction.
  • Be encouraging.
  • Be flexible.

Benefits of Working with Non-professional Talent

Working with non-professional talent on camera has numerous benefits that can make your next video production successful. Non-professional talent can provide a fresh face, voice and approach that is clearly distinct from professional actors and/or talent. When working with non-professionals, you avoid the obvious pitfalls associated with handling contracts, residuals and stress of high pressure productions. Additionally, using non-professional talent allows for creative freedom that may not be possible when working with a professional actor or lead character.

There are several additional benefits when using non-professional talent in your upcoming video production:

  1. Budget Savings – One of the biggest advantages to utilizing non-professional talent is cost savings. Enacting large budgets for actors for multiple shoots and days of productions is difficult to manage within any restrictive budget, professional or not. When you opt to use regular citizens as actors in a project you save money by avoiding costly union fees and residuals which allows you to invest it elsewhere in the production process where cost savings are most needed (equipment rental, location fees, etc).
  2. More Authentic Reactions – Professional actors have been trained to act on command therefore some scenes come off as staged or more scripted than natural. With everyday people instinctively reacting with facial expressions or verbal outbursts that are more believable due to familiarity the audience is more likely to identify the authenticity of each character’s reaction leading to higher engagement viewing experiences where realism is necessary for your project’s success.
  3. Increased Perspectives – When engaging audiences having multiple perspectives they can provide insight into social issues from an outside point of view allowing viewers get well defined alternate viewpoints.
Working with non-professional talent on camera can be easy if you plan your video production.
Working with non-professional talent on camera can be easy if you plan your video production.

Identifying the Right Non-professional Talent

When creating a video production that requires non-professional talent, it’s important to find the right people for the job. You want to ensure that they are comfortable with the subject matter and can present it in a clear and agreeable manner. Depending on the project, you can use different methods of locating potential non-professional talent.

  1. Professional networking sites: Professional networking sites like LinkedIn can be great resources for finding non-professional talent with skills relevant to what you need for your project. Simply create a profile stating what you’re looking for in terms of someone with certain qualifications or skillsets and begin searching for potential candidates who are willing to lend their expertise to your project.
  2. Cold emails: Cold emails can be sent out to industry professionals, such as actors, directors and producers, who may have some experience working on camera but not necessarily in a professional capacity. This is a great way to source additional talent that might not otherwise be accessible through traditional channels or networks. Additionally, these emails may also provide an avenue into researching more experienced professionals if needed.
  3. Referrals: Friends and family may also offer meaningful referrals or insights into potential non-professional talent that could be suitable for your video production needs. They can provide helpful information regarding the individual’s aptitude in presenting the material set forth by your team’s vision as well as offer personal anecdotes that reflect positively upon their behalf while making casting decisions.

By utilizing any of these methods when trying to identify suitable non-professional talent, producers can greatly increase their chances of success while assembling the appropriate group of individuals who will bring their respective projects life!

Preparing Non-professional Talent for a Video Production

Getting non-professional talent on camera for a video production is often a challenge, but with a few steps, you can have a set of well-prepared participants ready for their performance.

  • Ensure that your non-professional talent knows what to expect on the shoot date and what questions they may be asked during their on-screen interview. Reassure them that their performance and professionalism are important to the production. Let them know that although there won’t be any direct direction from the producer or director during the shoot, there will be someone off camera “calling” lines to help them stay on track.
  • Provide information about wardrobe for each person involved in the video production. Not only will it make them look better on screen but also emphasize the message you’re trying to portray in your video project. Additionally, providing those involved with some basic knowledge of how to present themselves while they are being filmed is also recommended; this includes tips such as avoiding movement and looking at the camera when speaking. Also emphasize that keeping eye contact is critical for providing an engaging delivery for viewers and keeping them interested in your film project.
  • Have an agreed upon run-through of questions agreed upon ahead of time so everyone knows what topics will be covered when it comes time to film; this gives everyone involved extra confidence knowing they’ll know what answers they need to provide when completing their on-camera interview or presentation segment.

With these steps taken ahead of time, you can not only help separate yourself from other filmmakers shooting with non-professional talent but also make sure you get excellent results from those participating in your efforts!

Setting Up Rehearsals and Rehearsal Process

Rehearsal is a key factor in the success of any video production involving non-professional talent. A well-executed rehearsal allows participants to become comfortable on set, practice their lines, learn blocking and camera positions, and feel confident in their performance.

The length of rehearsal will vary based on the complexity of the project, however each working session should allow enough time for a quick review of the scene and filming parameters. Additionally, it is important to keep rehearsals engaging by utilizing various acting exercises and warmups throughout to energize the cast and encourage creativity amongst participants.

As well as rehearsing lines, time should be set aside for running through basic visual positions as this will provide familiarity with the environment before filming begins. In addition to learning blocking guidance from the director, it is beneficial for an off-camera script reader to be present during rehearsals. This gives actors a clear picture of how the finished product will sound beyond individual lines or scene components.

It is worthwhile to make sure that all cast members understand their roles in each scene before filming commences; paying special attention to timing elements such as pauses when working with non-professional talent who are not yet skilled in constructing realistic conversations on camera. Rehearsals are also invaluable when it comes to improving performance as they equip actors with more control over what they deliver during shooting—possibly boosting performances beyond expectations!

Working with Non-professional Talent on Camera

When creating your video content, you may find it necessary to include non-professional or amateur talent on camera. Working with non-professional talent can bring additional challenges and techniques that need to be taken into consideration. Here are some tips on how to work with non-professional talent on camera and produce great results:

  1. Cast the Right Person: When selecting the right person for your project, make sure they match the look and feel of what you’re trying to accomplish. Anyone can read from a script, but bringing something unique to the table is important for a successful production.
  2. Prepare for Interviews: Before any shooting day, practice interviewing with individuals who feel comfortable in front of a camera. Showing someone how to look lively on-camera will help ensure natural performance and better results than if they were unfamiliar with the process.
  3. Knowledge of Technical Terms: If you’re working with people who have little experience in front of a camera or within a production role, make sure they are aware of technical terms associated with film production such as ‘marker’, ‘close up’ and ‘take one’ etc., so they know what is expected during recording sessions – this will help keep everyone on the same page while shooting your footage!
  4. Rehearse First: This is particularly important if you have scripted dialogue that needs to be followed closely by actors – rehearsing beforehand should make them more comfortable as well as confident when it comes time to start filming – this also helps iron out any issues before going on set! It’s always good practice to give an actionable direction after each take too so that each take build upon one another for better end results during edits later on down the post production line!

Technical Aspects of Working with Non-professional Talent

When working with non-professional talent on camera for your next video production, there are a few technical aspects to consider in order to set them up for success:

  • Audio quality is important, so be sure to use a lavaliere microphone and an audio recorder (such as the Zoom H4n or similar) to capture audio externally. This will help make sure that you get professional sounding results.
  • Lighting can also have dramatic impact on the overall look of your video, so make sure you have adequate lighting with a good mix of soft and hard light sources.
  • When it comes to camera setup, pay close attention to the angle of your shots as well as any movement you record – too much camera shake can make footage difficult to watch.
  • Finally, provide clear direction to your talent before or during shooting so that they understand what is being asked of them. Encourage open dialogue with your talent during shooting and be patient while they are trying out something new on camera.

With these tips in mind, you should be able achieve excellent results when working with non-professional talent!

Final Thoughts and Takeaways

When working with non-professional talent, it is essential to remember that it can be a challenging process but well worth the effort. Preparation is key before going into any video production. Make sure you create a clear environment and provide clear instructions to your talent to guarantee success in your production.

An effective way of ensuring that you have your material ready for when shooting commences is by doing pre-interviews or sending scripts beforehand. This can lessen the time spent on set, helping everyone feel more comfortable once on camera. Finally, after filming take time to review takes and give informative feedback to the talent; allowing everyone involved in the project feel confident that they did their best work possible.

In conclusion, when working with non-professional talent it is important to:

  • Communicate clearly
  • Provide guidance throughout the process
  • Ensure that everyone feels comfortable and confident in their performance

Resulting in a creative and successful video project!

Mike Haller
St Louis Video Producer

How We’ll Work Closely With You to Film B-roll and Raw Footage of Your Event or Project.

It’s no secret that the world of video production is constantly changing. As new technologies arise, so must our strategies for creating content. With this in mind, we’ve found new ways to provide streamlined and efficient services to production companies. As a leading provider of virtual sets and green screens in the film industry, St Louis Video understands how vital effective communication with clients is to their business—and any other company’s business, for that matter. We know that choosing the right partner can be difficult and involve a lot of back and forth before coming to an agreement. That’s why we’re here to streamline the process for you as much as possible.

What is b-roll and what does it do?

B-roll is short footage shot at the same time as a longer video clip, usually using a camera with a different framing or visual style. B-roll is often used in news, reality television, documentaries, and filmmaking to provide visual information about a subject that cannot be captured with a close-up or wide-shot. B-roll can be helpful in a variety of situations, such as when you want to illustrate a concept visually but don’t have the right actors or equipment on hand. B-roll can also be used to illustrate the context of the main video clip. If you’re filming an interview, for example, b-roll can be used to illustrate the setting or give more information about the interviewee’s environment.

Why do you need B-roll?

There are a variety of reasons why you’d want to use B-roll in your video content. It can help your audience better understand what’s going on in the shot, it can add visual interest, and it can help you show a larger amount of content in less time. Let’s say, for example, that you’re filming a documentary about the rise of modern technology. If the documentary is mainly interviews, your audience might find it hard to follow the information being discussed. In this situation, B-roll can be used to illustrate concepts being discussed in the interviews.

video production crewing services for b-roll
video production crewing services for b-roll

What does a typical B-roll shoot look like?

In a typical B-roll shoot, you would have a photographer on hand with a camera styled to create a different look. This photographer would be shooting footage that you would then be able to splice into the longer video clip, adding a more visual style to your video content. A B-roll shoot can also involve filming subjects that are relevant to the video you’re creating, such as people walking in a busy city or computer parts being assembled.

When to use B-roll in your video content

B-roll is an effective technique for illustration, but it’s not something you should overdo. You should only use it when necessary. If you’re filming a one-on-one interview, for example, you don’t have to have a cityscape in the background. Similarly, if you’re filming an interview, you don’t have to have a close-up of the interviewer’s face. B-roll can be useful in these situations, but only if it’s absolutely necessary.

Video taping b-roll

Final Words

Now that you know more about B-roll and what it can do for your video content, it’s time to start planning a shoot. Of course, you may still be wondering who you should hire to film your b-roll. Fortunately, thanks to the streamlined communication of St Louis Video, it’s easy to find a virtual set and green screen production company to work with. Just fill out our online form today to get started.

Mike Haller
St Louis Video Producer

Video Production Crews for Corporate Marketing

Our Video Production Crews have the equipment and talent to produce videos ranging from corporate interviews to high-end commercials and everything in between. Our crews shoot EPKs, broadcast television, aerial, reality TV, Behind the Scenes, films, documentaries and much more.

Every production is unique. Whether you need simple internal executive messages or large externally facing marketing videos, we have the expertise to deliver. This is where our technological expertise and creativity meet!

From top to bottom, we can manage your corporate video crewing and gear needs, storyboarding, scouting, permitting, logistics, editing and post production. Our local broadcast camera crews know how to shoot throughout the St. Louis area and all of its landmarks.

st louis video production crews for corporate marketing and advertising

Our fully-insured directors of photography, camera operators, sound recordists, producers, gaffers, grips, and production assistants have well-established, award-winning track records filming documentaries, reality shows, magazine shows, and promos for leading domestic and international broadcasters as well as major corporations in various industries.

Mike Haller
St Louis Video Producer

Marketing Communications and Sales Videos

Since 1982 some of the world’s largest organizations have selected our creative firm to manage their communication needs. Beyond creating digital media content including video production, motion graphics, audio, post production, digital publications and more, we are professional storytellers focusing on your needs, asking the right questions, and designing strategies to achieve your goals. It is our business to make your business more successful.

Our great team of experienced producers, script writers and video editors will work with you during each step of the video production process.

Video is everywhere from broadcast television, to smart phones… and so are we.  We create high quality, professional video production content locally or anywhere on the planet with the knowledge and experience of working with international customs, protocols and equipment manifests.

st louis video for healthcare sciences and medical marketing

The best talent and tools come together at in our edit suite to provide superior post-production services. Our highly skilled editors provide clients highly effective commercials, corporate communications and video presentations. Special effects, graphics, motion graphics, color correction, visual enhancement and quality audio all come together in our networked edit suites to produce extraordinary well finished programs constructed to meet your goals.

All of our videos are produced on location or in our studio which enables us to provide realistic backgrounds for our programs.

Mike Haller
St Louis Video Producer

St Louis Video Production Company

St Louis Video is a video production company based in south county St. Louis focused on creating engaging videos.  We partner with small businesses, nonprofits, and many diverse entrepreneurs, to bring high quality video production services to our clients.  We create corporate videos, commercial videos, testimonial videos, explainer videos, branded content and crowdfunding videos.  If you need a videographer our an entire production crew in St Louis, Missouri, contact us to get a free quote for next video production.

St Louis Video Production Crews

Mike Haller
St Louis Video Producer

St Louis Video Marketing and Training Productions

We are an award-winning media creation company in St Louis.  Storytelling is our passion built from our strong documentary roots and encompassing all media from video to print to web to live streaming events.   Quite simply we’re the people who make video and media productions for marketing and training easy for you.   Clear, concise and creative content delivered where and how you need it, on time and on budget.

Communications & Marketing

There’s no better sales and communications tool than video.  Trade show, product launch, internal and external communications, politics, websites and more.  Our creative team is one of the best in the industry at delivering your message, your story with maximum impact.

Training and Safety

Video ensures that everyone on your team receives the exact same safety and training protocols fostering a more efficient workplace.  Our team will develop a customized training and safety program to bring out the best in your workforce.

St Louis Drone Crew getting the final shots for marketing and training video productions.

Digital, Video and Film

World-renowned production services in the field or studio along with full editorial and post production services.  Our team is known for its storytelling including feature documentaries, ENG, lifestyle and reality / news programming that airs globally.

Mike Haller
St Louis Video Producer

How to start a video production.

What’s included in a typical video project?
Find out what comes with a standard video project, and what’s going to cost you extra. For example, does the video include scriptwriting, music, graphics, editing, actors, etc.?

What is the provider’s core area of expertise?
Learn what types of videos are in their comfort zone. If the company has built their portfolio on events coverage but you are looking for a company profile video, then it may not be the best fit for your needs.

Where can they shoot videos?
The location of your shoot can instantly narrow your search. For example, if you need to have a customer testimonial shot in Sacramento, do they have videographers there or do you need to pay for their travel?

Do they offer fixed prices that will work with your budget?
Everything can sound perfect until you see the price tag, especially if the provider has added on “extras” to your project. It’s important to ensure they can realistically stick within your budget without compromising on quality and timing.

How long does it take from project request date to delivery?
It can often be a lengthy wait from the day you put down your deposit to the day your video is delivered. To ensure your video content is timely, it’s best to go with a provider who can deliver your video within 20 business days.

Do they have a satisfaction guarantee?
Not all video providers offer satisfaction guarantees, like many crowdsourced marketplaces where it’s difficult to control the quality of freelance videographers. If there is a guarantee, read the fine print to see what it includes. Some guarantee the entire cost of the video; some only cover the referral fee.

How many projects can they handle at one time?
Some video production companies or freelancers can only handle a certain number of projects at once. If you have a few videos in mind or have tight deadlines, make sure they can meet these requirements.

How do you find out the status of your project?
Ask your video provider if they provide a window into your projects so that you can check the status, confirm deadlines, and offer feedback in real time.

Do they provide project managers?
With many crowdsoured marketplaces, you have to manage the project and the videographers, which can be difficult if producing videos is not your area of expertise. If you’re looking for a full-service team, then start your search with production houses and agencies who can manage your projects.

What marketing/sales support and resources do they offer with video production?
Once your video is complete, the next step is getting your target audience to see it. Ask the provider if they offer marketing resources so that you know what best practices to follow to get your video seen.

Do they offer video hosting? If so, is there an additional cost?
Before adding a video to your site, you will have to host it in either a free or paid video player. Find out if the video provider can host it for you, which will save you time and money from trying to find this service elsewhere.

Do they offer customizable video players?
If they offer players with their videos, inquire about special features that can help boost engagement, conversions and SEO. For example, can you add plug-ins to your player so that viewers can easily share your video on social media, contact you, or see your company’s special offers? Can you adjust the look of the player? Can you easily add metadata such as your description and keywords?

Do they offer video analytics to track performance? If so, is there an additional cost?
How did your video do? Did it achieve its goal? Results are the main reason to produce anything at all, so it’s important that you’re able to see data-based results and the value behind your video. If your provider does offer analytics, find out if they can collect the data that you need.

Can you export the data from the reports?
You might be able to see your data, but can you easily export it and format it? Can you drill into each metric to gain more individual insights?

Are there any built-in split-testing features available?
In an era where marketers are encouraged to test everything and create their own benchmarks, it would be great if the video player you use can make it easy to do so. See if you can split-test your videos, how many tests you can do, and what you can test on.

Robert Haller, St Louis Video Producer
St Louis Video Production

St Louis Video | Boost Your Email Marketing With Video!

Consider using a template that allows for each recipient to receive a personalized message in the greeting. People respond more favorably to emails that address them personally, and are less likely to reject the message. This personalization is simple to accomplish, and will grow a greater relationship with your customers.

The beginning and conclusion of your marketing email should include a call to action for your customers. Be clear about what you want your customer to do, and include at least two obvious links to your site. Use clear suggestions that direct your customers to the offer your email is promoting.

Video helps add a call to action

If you are emailing potential customers, consider following up with video clips. You could try inserting a line within your message that tells them to order now. The ending of the message could inform these people that they can become a customer immediately by clicking on the provided link.

Use your email marketing to get your customers more involved with other promotion portals. For example, always give readers several ways to learn more about what every email is discussing. End every email with your contact information and web address, encourage them to share special promotions through Facebook “Like” buttons or direct them to a video that shows them how best to use a new product.

Rob Haller, St Louis Video Producer
St Louis Video