Online Video Making: Is Makeup Really Necessary?

If you’re a woman who has been asked to appear in an online video, you may be looking forward to your time with the makeup artist. On the other hand, if you’re a man, the thought of applying makeup for the video could be unsettling. Regardless of how you may feel about makeup, a professional video production almost always involves some form of makeup.

Makeup’s Role in Video Production

Just as you play a role in the video production, so does makeup. While cosmetics are generally used to enhance appearances, video makeup is typically used to accommodate the unflattering effects of lighting and camera lenses.

You’ll be under hot, bright lights. Not only does the heat from the light have the potential to cause you to sweat, the light can cause excessive shining on your skin. Makeup artists use powder to minimize shining and the appearance of oily skin.

You’ve likely heard that video cameras add about ten pounds to a body. Though you won’t physically be heavier, you’ll appear heavier due to the way the video affects contours and depth. With today’s high definition cameras and televisions, weight isn’t the only concern – wrinkles and skin flaws are too. Video makeup can correct for the flaws introduced or magnified by the video camera.

Making the Right Video Makeup Choices

  • Foundation and Power – Regular foundations are fine for everyday use, but not necessarily for video production. In fact, your foundation may make you look pasty thanks to its light reflective properties or even its SPF ingredients. Use a foundation specially formulated for high definition video cameras and apply it evenly to your face and neck. A matching powder should be used as well. Both men and women should apply foundation and powder.
  • Lipstick and Lip Balm – Women should choose creamy, natural lipstick colors, avoiding red which often becomes discolored under the lights. Avoid frosty colors and heavy lip glosses. If you’d like a slight sheen, a thin application of Vaseline can catch the lights without being overly shiny. Men may want to use a clear lip balm on their lips to keep them moist and minimize lip noises.
  • Eyeliner, Shadow, and Mascara – Bright lights can make eyes look smaller. Eyeliner and mascara can better define the eyes. Use natural colors. Consider using an eyebrow pencil, in the same color as your eyebrow hair, to fill in your brows. Women should avoid frosty eye shadows and choose matte shadows in neutral colors.

Ideally your video production studio will have a staff makeup artist or will bring one in before the shoot. Find out if a makeup artist will be provided beforehand so that you can be prepared either way.

Online Video Making: Shooting on Location

Last week we talked about shooting online videos in a studio. While having a controlled environment and a set give you greater control over the shots, many videos must be shot on location. After all, if you’re making a training video for your assembly line workers, it’s not practical to create an assembly line in the studio; if your video is promoting a line of swimming pool products, you’ll want to include poolside shots. Shooting on location can add a level of realism to the video, but it does have its own set of challenges.

Scouting Locations for Your Online Video

The first task is to scout locations for your online video. Use your script as a guide and highlight each scene that needs to be shot on location. Next, create a list of all locations. For example, your Web video may have several scenes, each shot at a different location such as an interior office scene, a poolside scene, a beach scene, and a church scene. After you’ve highlighted and listed all locations, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for. Think about possible locations that could serve double duty. For example, a hotel on the beach would likely also have a swimming pool. A church likely also has administrative offices.

Once you have your list, brainstorm nearby locations that might work. Include your partners as one of your partners may be willing to allow you to shoot the video at a personal residence or commercial building, minimizing the need for permits and rental fees.

Obtaining Permits for Video Production

Your video calls for a scene in an art museum, and you just so happen to live close to one that would be perfect. You’re even a member, so you can get in for free. You grab your video gear and ask your talent to meet you at the front of the museum – not so fast! You’ll need to get permission first. Most likely, you’ll also need a permit.

The permit process varies by different types of facilities, cities, and states. In general, expect to fill out an application, provide proof of liability insurance, explain in writing what your shooting plans are, and pay a fee. You may also have to notify nearby residents of your intentions. If you’re working with a video production company, the producer will likely take care of these details on your behalf. If you’re shooting the video on your own, you will be responsible for obtaining the necessary filming permits.

Shooting Video on Location

The locations have been scouted, permits pulled, and shooting day has arrived. Like a studio shoot, the video production crew will be busy setting up audio, lighting, and camera equipment. Though you’re shooting on location, the location will likely need to be staged somewhat. Among the challenges you’ll likely encounter while on location are:

  • Weather and wind issues
  • Curious onlookers
  • Access to power sources

Fortunately, experienced video production crews are equipped to handle most challenges. With careful planning, an on location video shoot can be the right call.

Online Video Making: The Set

After deciding to produce an online video and choosing a video production company, your next major decision involves whether to shoot the video on location or in the studio. When you opt for a studio production, several factors are involved including the set and lighting. Here’s a brief snapshot of what to expect.

Studio Sets

Studio sets can be as basic or elaborate as you need them to be. The most basic set is a simple backdrop, perhaps with a couple of chairs. If you need to create a specific setting such as an office, conference room, or hospital room, props and structural features will need to be added. Obviously, the more elaborate the set, the more costs you’ll likely see – especially if the studio has to custom build the set.

Studio Lighting

Video production studios typically come equipped with lighting equipment. A large grid hangs above the studio where the lights can be hung and adjusted. Lighting is an art and necessary for crisp video images. The lighting director consults with the stage director to create a lighting plan for your production. Much of this will happen behind the scenes before the shoot is scheduled, and you may never see the lighting team at work. Some lights, will light the set while others will light the talent, adding depth, contrast, and highlights.

The Video Production Crew

When you arrive at the studio, you’ll be greeted by a video production crew member who will tell you exactly wear to stand or sit as well as provide you with basic instructions for the shoot. Among the crew members you’ll likely encounter are camera operators, production assistants, the director, and the floor director. During the shoot, each crew member will be wearing a headset and receiving instructions from the director. The floor director will give you direction such as counting down the minutes and seconds until cameras start recording, indicating which camera you should be looking into, and cueing you as to the amount of time you have left.

What Else to Expect

Upon arrival, expect to be fitted with a wireless microphone and asked to do a sound check. The microphone will likely be turned on, so be aware of what you say even before shooting begins. If you must hold a confidential conversation, find out how to switch off the microphone beforehand.

The temperature in the studio will be cold initially as it’s important to keep television and video production equipment cool. However, once the lights come on, you’ll find that the room heats up. You may want to bring a sweater or jacket to wear off camera and then take it off just before shooting begins.

Shooting an online video in a studio allows for greater control over the environment. Much of the work will take place behind the scenes, allowing you to show up and perform.