The Talent

Who is going to be your Talent?
A family Member
A Friend
A friend of a friend
A local amateur actor
A Paid actor

Any time you want to make a video you need someone in front of the camera. That person might be you, and one of your children, a member of the family, a friend or someone you don’t know. Videos come in basically two types, the first is where you are using yourself, family members and friends and you’re making either a home video or something similar. 

The other type of video is where you are going to use some actors paid or unpaid on possibly a slightly bigger production. More people and bigger production need way more organisation - you have probably see a wedding photographer trying to get everyone to look the right way for 1 second, a video will be worse - far worse. If you have more than two people then you the director  will need to be really organised.

Doesn’t matter which because what we need is the person in the front of the camera to be able to act. Many things don’t happen just once but need to be repeated and this actor, the talent needs to be able to do the same thing twice. That is remembering the same lines, and doing the same thing, the acting. And this is much more difficult than it appears to be.

Some people who can talk and appear to be able to act suddenly freeze when they’re in front of a camera or they go all shy. 

Where to find Talent

So where do you find people the talent to go in front of your camera for your video production?


Many people do themselves you know exactly what you want but then the problem is you have to be the cameraman, the sound recordist, the lighting engineer and a director and producer. Often when you do this, one of those things will go wrong and this can be very frustrating, especially when you have to repeat something because you forgot to press record on the camera or set the sound. Many people do this quite successfully but it is much harder. These video with one person can be very boring and good script writing which we will come to in a later blog is essential.

Friends and Family

The other alternative is to use an actor, but where do you get them from? Many people use family members or close friends who they can persuade to do something in front of the camera. These people may not be very good because they are not professional and they have to learn the art of presentation and acting and this requires a lot of patience on the side of the director. Over acting can be a problem. Yet this is where most people get there talent from. In many productions, the video is about these very people and the level of acting needed may be what is required.

Paid Talent

The other alternative is to use a paid actor. Here is someone who knows how to act who can learn some lines or read them intelligently from an auto queue teleprompter. But this costs money and using an acting agency to find an actor for you means you’re also paying the agency as well as the actor and money or the lack of money, is usually a big problem in this game.

What to expect from Paid Talent
A paid actor is a professional. They get paid for doing this job and if they can't do the job nobody will use them. 

A paid actor will have:
Strong acting skills and this can make all the difference in a video
You can choose from a selection of actors to suit your particular need.
The talent have been trained to memorize scripts
They are experienced at being in front of a camera
They can read from a teleprompter with looking like they are reading  like a robot.
They are good at taking cues from what is going on.
They are good at being directed.
They are dependable.

What will it cost
You get what you pay for. Anything from £40-£500 per hour or more. 
If recruited from an agency then there are agency costs.

What does the talent have to do?

They have to be able to do the same thing the same way several times. 
They have to make what they are doing seem natural and not forced. 
And with filmmaking the talent needs to understand that they may not do everything in chronological order but instead film all the outside bits first and then the inside bits later for example.
They should understand that everything takes longer than predicted.


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