6 Ways To Create Video Without Being On Camera

  • Harry Hayes

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Here are 6 ways you can do video without appearing on camera.

Whether You’re Shy Or Prefer Being Behind the Scenes, You CAN Create Video Without Being On Camera.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called “10 Tips For Being Natural On Camera” (you can check it out here). It offered advice for overcoming nervousness and delivering better, more authentic video performances.

But for some people, it wasn’t enough.

For some people, it turns out, being on camera is a DEAL BREAKER. They have absolutely no desire to stare into a camera lens for any reason.

So the next question, of course, is can you still enjoy all the benefits of video marketing without actually showing your face?

And the answer, of course, is YES. There are multiple ways to create video without being on camera.

Here are 6 suggestions:

1. Use A Spokesperson

One simple way to avoid being on camera is to use a spokesperson—a professional actor who will say whatever you pay them to say.

Of course, this adds an extra expense to your production costs, but prices are negotiable.

Of course, the bigger issue is authenticity. In the media world we live in today, using a paid spokesperson may come across as intrinsically fake marketing.

2. Tell a Scripted Story

A scripted story is like a scene from a movie or TV show. Professional actors portray characters that interact with each other through dialogue or action. They might play doctors in an operating room, friends having lunch, or a couple watching TV.

These stories can be dramatic or played for laughs. Either way, they can be a smart creative way to engage an audience and make a memorable point about your product.

Here’s an example I shot a few years ago for ATC Income Tax:

3. Record a Voice Over

A third way to avoid being on camera is to use a voice to tell a story.

A voice over (or VO) is like a narrator. It can be any type of voice—an announcer, a character actor, or even YOUR voice, depending on how the script is written.

The example shown here is a pre-roll video for Relay Graduate School of Education. They didn’t want to shoot anything because of COVID concerns, so we used stock video clips and a VO recording from a local podcaster.

4. Use Typography

Yet another way to avoid being on camera is to walk away from the spoken word altogether and just use typography.

There are literally thousands of different fonts and typefaces, and you can match the artistic style of the type with the message itself.

Conceptually, there are also different ways to incorporate type into a video. One way is to use a series of title cards, like headlines, to tell a story.

Here's an example, for Ettison Enterprise. It's a mix of title cards and stock footage edited to energetic music:

Another approach is called “kinetic typography.” That uses a mixture of typography and animation, so the type itself moves on screen and forms shapes and graphics. 

Here's an example of kinetic typography, for Cumberland CID. Animated words and phrases appear, synchronized to the announcer’s voice:


5. Use Animated Graphics

The fifth way to avoid being on camera is to use animation to tell your story. Stock images or vector graphics are moved around the screen using After Effects.

These are also known as explainer videos.

The example shown here, for Georgia-Pacific, was created as part of a trade show display.

It’s a mix of title cards and animated infographics.

6.  Put Someone Else On Camera

The last way to do video without being on camera is probably the simplest.

Tell the story from someone else’s point of view—and put them on camera.

Maybe it’s one of your employees. Have them talk about what they do and what your company stands for. Or maybe it’s a montage of multiple employees. A “Get to know the team” approach.

Or, you could take a testimonial approach. Put your customers on camera (or clients, if you’re a law firm, or patients if you’re a healthcare provider).

To learn more about this approach read this post.

Why Not Do It Yourself?

Obviously, there are several ways to avoid being on camera, and still enjoy the benefits of video marketing. However, that being said, there ARE several advantages to being on camera that you should consider.

If you’re a business owner, you are the brand. Your experience, your knowledge, and your personality are all great reasons for people to do business with you.

By “starring” in your own videos, you can add your unique personality and sense of humor to the content, and enable viewers to get to know you. It’s a great way to build trust with potential customers and clients.


About the Author: 

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions, a corporate video production agency based in Charlotte. Before starting Content Puppy, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

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