It was put to me last week prior to filming that “I’ve always prepared, I just don’t believe we can turn up on the day and ‘make magic’ as you claim”.
And when it comes to reading scripts, you can’t – it takes hours and often days of work, starting with initial voice transcripts of a conversation, tweaking these, working in what expressly needs to be said, figuring out how to layer that into a stakeholder journey, then rehearsing that script out loud and changing it where necessary so it flows, then delivering it on set, to camera, which needs ten or twenty takes to lock in the vocal and physical nuances – I have indeed spent 2-3 hours to get a 3 minute script delivered effectively by clients before. And there is absolutely a place for it.
Though when it comes to putting senior executives of world leading Impact Finance firms in front of the camera, getting them comfortable and asking insightful questions, I can indeed ‘make magic’ and get compelling content out of 60 minutes with each of them. Why?
Because I’ve prepared. In this weeks instance, I’ve had our researcher create me dossiers on their company history, the individuals involved and their investee firms. I’ve personally interviewed some of their investees, previously spoken with their team members (over years), and interviewed executives with matching roles from ASX top 100 firms, as well as over 150 CEO’s.
In the lead up to the 60 minutes I had with each of them on camera, they spent 30 minutes with my grooming artist who has a patter for easing people into our filming, and has worked with me for 10 years, and before our time together as a group we had reviewed the business strategy, the intended outcomes, created a question framework and I’ve poured over 50-100 pages of their internal material related to marketing, funds and process.
On a technical level we had also done a location scout of the studio 4 days prior to filming, then setup every piece of gear you see in this photo off-site the day before to test it, including 2 Arri Skypanels, Aputure Lightstorm and a Dedolight, Canon Cinema EOS C200, a Schoeps Colette MK41 microphone and Sennheiser G3 wireless kit, plus an Eyedirect Mark-E interview mirror, then brought in our own backdrop and a set of Miller and Manfrotto tripods.
Additionally I had redundancy of lights, power and audio cables, recording media, microphones and a second camera on hand in case anything goes wrong so we don’t loose the time with the clients executives.
Add a production assistant for the day, $10M of public liability, WorkSafe and equipment insurances, and then something like a $30,000 editing studio to process all of the footage back home;
That’s how I “make magic” person by person, in 60 minute blocks.
I prepare, so you don’t have to.