Video Testimonials

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Jeffrey Korst
Posts: 83
Joined: March 22nd, 2008, 3:07 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Video Testimonials

Postby Jeffrey Korst » March 5th, 2010, 2:24 am

Rather than just pointing a camera at someone who has just seen the show and hoping for the best, does it make sense to ask them some questions designed to get usable responses?

If so, what should be asked? (I'm asking as someone with little to no experience interviewing people)

Also, is it suggested that the performer be there or are people less inhibited if the performer is not in earshot?

Thanks very much.

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Favorite Magician: Devant, Wonder, Richiardi, Benson, DeKolta, Teller, Harbin, Durham, Caveney, Ben, Hoy, Berglas, Marceau
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Re: Video Testimonials

Postby NCMarsh » March 5th, 2010, 4:04 am

One of the most important considerations, and one I see forgotten frequently, is that the person giving the testimonial be mic-ed, with the input going directly into the camera. I see a lot of demo reels where it is difficult to hear the testimonial -- or it just sounds amateurish because the testimonial is at the same level as the ambient noise (and there is a lot of ambient noise following an event).

Definitely have questions prepped. Even the most enthusiastic evangelists for the show freeze up in front of the camera; they're self-conscious, it feels artificial, and they don't know where to start...

The first time I brought a videographer in for my show, I hired a news cameraman. While the footage of the show suffered (he was used to working with a director and shooting inserts that would then be montaged together in a news story -- and I did a poor job of communicating to him that what I needed was a product that could either be watched start to finish, or montaged he was constantly zooming in and out and it was impossible to watch any single routine straight through), he was awesome at getting testimonials (and did so without me asking)...he worked the room after the show interviewing the guests (what did it add to the event? what was your favorite part?) and that's the model I have since followed

When crafting the questions, especially for the client, do every thing you can to bring out the benefits of working with you. Why did they hire you? What results did they get? This is an opportunity not just to get killer footage, but to try to crawl inside their brain and understand what they want for the next time you write copy.

Good luck with the shoot! And don't sweat it, it is a learning process and your reel will constantly grow. Just keep taking every opportunity to get tape...



Jeffrey Korst
Posts: 83
Joined: March 22nd, 2008, 3:07 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Video Testimonials

Postby Jeffrey Korst » March 7th, 2010, 3:01 pm

So what I've got so far, in no particular order:

-Why did you hire me
Where did you hear about me
What was the deciding factor
What other types of entertainment did you consider
-What results did you get
How did the magic help make the party/event successful
-What do you remember most
-What was your favorite part of the show
-What did you like least

As I said, the order needs to be worked out, not to mention the exact phrasing of the questions, but this is the direction I'm heading so far.

These are geared to get more than just testimonials. If I'm doing it, I might as well get more general info to help the marketing overall.

I especially want to find a better way to phrase the last question. (I'd like to have some variation of it though, to help strengthen the show overall) And I think it should not be the last question so as to end on a positive note.

What else can be asked to gently steer them to talking about how much fun everyone had and how my being there made the party/event a big success?

(You've got a nice demo video, Nathan. I like the mix of still and video--very good voiceover script, too)

Thanks again,


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