While watching both political conventions on TV lately, in addition to my intense political views, I contemplate the zillion and one details necessary to stage and broadcast an event like that live on television.
It’s the dedicated TV Production crew in me who can’t resist mapping it all out in my head. Armchair quarterbacking if you will.
🙂 Less stress and strain on my back than actually working with the added benefit of getting my worried mind off the actual politics!
I had an epiphany while watching the speech by Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention that got the internet so buzzed.
As a video producer, I’m here to tell you that some crucial, yet seemingly minor video production issues turned what could have been a fantastic performance by Eastwood into a pitiful embarrassment for the twilight years of a movie legend.
Seemed like only a handful of people, all die-hard Republicans, thought it was a good job. Everyone else was laughing or embarrassed for the guy.
The video below features this unique perspective describing how the very nature of live, ad-libbed television played a large role in the fiasco.
Live, Ad-libbed Video Production Techniques Exacerbate Image of Eastwood as Doddering Old Fool and if the video had been edited and not live, I don’t think that would have happened.
Imagine watching a movie. Any movie.
You’re watching something highly produced and edited to perfection.
Tons of planning, discussions, do-overs, and re-editing.
The final piece, an artistic work of art.
Most movies are edited with a fast-pace, and lots of dramatic close-ups shot with spectacular lighting. Heart-pounding music is icing on the storytelling cake.
Clint Eastwood is a master at movie making, with its extremely high production values.
LIVE TELEVISION IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE!
Ad-libbing on live television, with no editing or do-overs is the exact opposite style of video production.
It is extremely difficult to ad lib on live TV and do it well. Mr. Eastwood’s speech failed in large part because of the pauses, umms and ahs and stilted delivery that could not be fixed in editing.
LESSONS IN THIS INCIDENT FOR YOU
Ad-libbing in general is hard to pull of unless one is experienced. I hear lots of internet marketers talk about video making and many of them recommend talking off the cuff in order to get it done more quickly.
Ad libbing without a script is indeed faster, but I’m here to tell you that it is not as easy as it looks.
If an experienced guy like Clint Eastwood can’t pull it off, then don’t feel guilty if you can’t either.
Being on-camera is harder than it looks. The camera never blinks and its relentless glare can be cruel. If there is no chance to edit out the pauses or mistakes, then the finished video might be embarrassing, as in the case of the Eastwood speech.
If the Eastwood speech could have been edited, then the pace of the delivery could have been tightened up. That alone would have done wonders. Editing out the pauses and mumbling would have made him look less like a doddering old fool.
More visual variety could have added drama and punch to the speech. Dramatic lighting would also heighten the viewer appeal.
Music would have done wonders for the watchability of the speech.
In short, if Eastwood had been able to give the speech, exactly as it happened live, to a skilled video editor, then the resulting speech would have had a totally different impact.
Instead of looking like a wandering, lost grandpa, he would have come across more like Dirty Harry himself.
Live TV is hard. All kinds of disasters can happen. In this case, live TV took what could have been a pretty entertaining speech and turned it into a disaster.
Remember this when you go to make a video. Unless you are already an accomplished public speaker, don’t expect yourself to do a live, ad-lib video well. You’ll have to practice and edit in order to make a quality video.
I myself am reasonably comfortable on camera and have lots of experience under my belt. Generally speaking, I edit all my videos to tighten up the delivery. I think it make a big difference and is worth the time it takes.
Thanks for reading Video Production Tips.