April 29th, 2016

Should we go for professional actors in a live action video?

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So you have decided to go for a live-action video for you company but stuck at one major decision? Whether to use employees or hire professional actors for the video? Well the decision is not as simple as it seems. As there are pros and cons on either side. Typically, budget drives the final decision, and it’s easy to conclude that using employees saves money. But sometimes that’s true, and sometimes it isn’t. Here’s a breakdown of a few factors you should include in your decision process.

Pros of Using Employees

A brand is not just a logo or a trademark. Employees build the personality of the company. They are the face of your brand. So by using company associates, in their real-life roles,  you can add natural credibility and authenticity to your video. This can be more difficult to create with professional talent. Also, using real-life testimonials in corporate video productions introduces viewers to the workforce behind the business – which serves as a powerful form of storytelling and brand awareness.

Cons of Using Employees

While it’s a great idea to use employees for a more real picture, things can go really wrong in this case. After all employees are not actors, they may not be able to justice to the video. Also, not all employees are confident appearing on camera. Even the ones you think are a ‘natural’ or ‘will be great!’. Often times, twice the amount of employee involvement is needed to achieve the desired goals of the video project. This is because they require more time to hit their stride, or get comfortable on camera.

Pros of Using Professional Talent

Once you go professional talent, you have the option of choosing the right ‘look’ for your company. By conducting auditions, you can identify the person that meets the needs for your project. Professional talent provides a confident on-camera presence, has the ability to take direction and possesses experience to help build a company’s brand.

They can deliver long and complicated dialogues and help you avoid excessive re-takes that require additional editing. Lastly, professional talent provides longevity to the video production by eliminating any concern for employee turnover (limiting how long the video is used).

Cons of Using Professional Talent

There are a few drawbacks to consider when using professional talent. They aren’t familiar with your company or its processes, so they may not be comfortable with technical terms. That is why it’s recommended to have a subject matter expert on site during filming to help mitigate any mispronunciations. And obviously, cost is a concern. Volunteer employees are, as their name implies, less expensive than professional talent.

What we can take away from the pros and cons of each of the two options is that it would be wrong to make a choice just based on the budget! As investing in professional talent may be the best financial choice – for reasons that go beyond just the initial shoot costs. With careful pre-production and solid direction during the shoot, good talent – amateur or professional – will deliver great results.

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