What’s in your video production makeup kit?
“Does his forehead look a little shiny?” Jenn says, pointing at the monitor.
I nod in agreement and look at Dave, who looks back at me and nods. Dave, my Key-Grip-value-add-go-to-guy, walks over to the gear cart, unzips a small black pouch, and pulls out an oil-absorbing sheet. He deftly maneuvers to the on-camera talent and kindly explains what we saw on the monitor.
Problem solved! No more shiny skin thanks to a single oil-absorbing sheet, and Dave of course!
In this “Ask a producer” post, I offer Pro-Tips for creating and using a small makeup kit to elevate the look of your corporate video. As a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner you can use this post to create a makeup kit to ensure your on-camera talent looks great!
Makeup Kit – (What’s inside?)
A good video production makeup kit contains solutions for three common problems on a video shoot: shiny skin, frizzy hair, and close-ups of hands.
Shine from the natural oils in human skin can make someone look sweaty or even greasy on camera. To remove the unwanted shine, you should talk with the on-camera subject to see what they are comfortable doing. Based on the subject’s comfort level, you can use any of the items below to reduce oily shine or even cover minor blemishes.
Matte face powders
Cosmetic wedges (foam sponges)
When recording a talking head, there is a good chance that the subject’s hair will not be camera-perfect when they walk on-set. To help your on-camera subject look their best, use a small amount of hairspray to hold down stray hairs, use a comb to straighten the matter out, or even slide in a bobby pin or two.
When showing close-ups of products or machine controls, pay attention to the actor’s hands. Ask them to use nail trimmers and a file to round off any jagged nails, or to trim any hang nails. Consider applying a couple coats of a neutral or nude color nail polish on female hands. A little bit of moisturizer can also do wonders to make skin appear silky smooth!
Neutral nail polish
Unscented hand moisturizer
Mirror – A must-have for your kit so that your on-camera subject can see the hair or makeup changes you are making to their appearance. Oftentimes they’re willing to help you out and may prefer to make improvements themselves.
Makeup remover wipes – A critical solution to removing makeup, especially for people who are not used to applying any makeup.
C-47 (spring-type clothespin) – On a video set, a clothespin is a versatile tool capable of making a shirt look like it fits better or holding a tie below a button on a suit coat.
Bobby pins (other uses) – discretely and quickly hems clothing or holds a shirt together to improve the look on camera.
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