When you are writing your script and the structure of your video, it is also important to decide whether you will look straight into the camera or next to the camera.

In this blog we will help you determine the right angle, explain the difference between both approaches and the absolute don’ts.

It’s a choice

First of all, there is no wrong and good decision. Both ways, looking straight or next to the camera, are perfectly fine. It all depends on what kind of vibe or feeling you want to create with your video. 

whether you are choosing one or the other, it doesn’t really matter, see what you are comfortable with and see how it sticks on video.

The most important thing is, if you are choosing an option, stick with it! 

What’s the difference

Look straight into the camera when you really need to address the public. It’s a very personal way to connect with your viewer and it breaks the so-called ‘fourth wall’ that separates you and your target audience. Marketing wise, giving instructions and call-to-actions for people to follow up on, is better done by addressing your audience directly.

When your video looks more like a story and you want to pull your viewer into that storyline, looking next to the camera is a good approach. You see it mostly in TV series, but also in interviews with a journalist behind the camera and the interviewee talking next to the camera.

This is an example of looking next to the camera

The absolute don’ts

Which angle you choose, is entirely up to you. However, these 3 approaches are an absolute don’t:

  1. Don’t look above the camera when you are talking
    Your viewers will start wondering whether you are really looking in the lens or not. This distracts and drives your viewer away from the story, something we always want to avoid.
  2. Don’t look under the camera
    Try to read your script and to address your viewer at the same time. People start noticing this after a while and will wonder if you truly know your subject by heart, or if you are just reading out loud something that you don’t fully grasp. If you can’t remember your text or you need to talk for a long period of time, consider using a prompter. This device allows you to read your script while looking straight into the lens. Prompters have often used in news studios and broadcast situations.
  3. Don’t switch
    Lock your focus on the lens when you are talking to the camera.

It’s now up to you!

Did you know we have a lot of workshops about video strategy and mobile video production? Check our workshop page for an overview!