Chris Bryant

Creating engaging video that moves the needle

Joined August 2020


Empire Studios

Jun 2013 - Present

Creating engaging video that moves the needle
I just finished up this article for video newbies and video veterans on what they should include heading into 2021 when it comes to their video marketing strategy.

And now I want to hear from you all! What's on your list to try for your 2021 video marketing strategy? See More
Chris Bryant
I'm halfway through They Ask, You Answer, and it's giving me the final push I need to finally create LOTS of video content answering questions for my business. I already created a long list... now it's time to fire up the camera! =D
Prioritizing is huge when we all have so much on our plates.

If you step back, what's the one thing you want to accomplish this week that will have the biggest impact on you and/or your organization?

It can be something big like launching a new product or something smaller like an important 1:1 with your manager.

Whatever it is, I want to see what everyone is working on and who knows, maybe we can help make it happen! See More
Chris Bryant
Finish organizing my company's project management to Asana and CRM to HubSpot. From what we've moved over so far, we're LOVING it.

On a personal note, this week I'm also looking forward to complete my latest home improvement project: refinishing my hardwood floors. =D
Inspired by Connor DeLaney 's post on mentally preparing to be on camera, there's another side to this: as the persons interviewing the talent on camera, how do you make them feel more comfortable in the moment? How do you get the most out of them during the time you have with them? Here are some of my favorite things to do:

Make sound check fun; instead of asking them to count to 10, I always ask my subjects what they had for breakfast to break the ice Ask easier questions first; kind of like a warmup to a workout we want to get into a good rhythm of conversation. Acknowledge and listen. Nod your head, and make eye contact Ask good follow up questions that relate to what they said.
What are your tips for getting the most out of your... See More
Chris Bryant
Before getting the person in front of the camera, I try to spend a minute or two chatting with them, so I'm not a total stranger when it's their turn. =) 

I tell them:
  • The general purpose of the video (if they don't already know, so they have some context)
  • How the interview will go (typically it's me/interviewer just off to the side of the camera, and they will just be talking to him/her and not looking at the camera)
  • If they aren't comfortable with a question/don't know an answer, just let us know and we'll skip it
  • Let them know we've got plenty of media to record to and we can do multiple takes if needed
  • My job is to make them look good. So if we chat for 15 minutes, only the best maybe 42 seconds will make it in (and even then, half of it will be just their voice as I show b-roll).

And like others have said - lots of smiling, nodding and eye contact. =)
I'm pretty new to video and was planning to film yesterday but was having a lot of mental blocks that made it difficult to "get in the zone" and I started doubting myself. This led to me not recording at all, which wasn't a great feeling. I'd love to know, whether you're a videographer or someone who finds themselves in front of the camera a lot, what mental tricks or routines do you use to get into recording mode? See More
Chris Bryant
I've found a few things that work for me, after being deathly afraid of being on camera, to now loving it.

First: Get used to seeing yourself on camera, and get used to staring into a camera lens to talk to your audience. Film a 45-60 second video where you talk about your day. No one will see this - it's just so you can start getting used to the process. Now watch it back. What do you need to improve? What parts went well?

Now, repeat the above x5-x10 if you've got the time. You'll find that with each video, you will get better and better. However, if it's late and/or you're getting tired, your on-camera performance can start to go downhill. Don't worry, that's normal.

Once you're more comfortable, do a few things to prep before doing it for real:

  1. Dress the part. Wear something you enjoy, something you know you look good in. Make sure you take extra time on your hair, and ensure you don't have spinach in your teeth. =D This goes a long way for self-confidence, which is super important when going on-camera.
  2. Tell yourself that the lens = your ideal, target audience (because it is!). You ARE having a direct (albeit one-way) conversation with that person.
  3. Remember to be yourself. Watching lots of videos of other great on-camera personalities and comparing yourself to them is a great way to freak yourself out. "I can never be THAT good." "I loved the way X presented herself. I'll do it that way." Not good. Your secret weapon? YOU. There is no one else like you, and you've got your own personality. Let it shine, don't try to be anyone else, and you just might be pleasantly surprised at the result.
  4. A bit of caffeine never hurt anyone. In fact, a coffee right before going on camera, speaking at an event, or jumping into a networking event is easily one of the biggest parts of my success with those things. It's hard to be 100% when you're a little tired or off.

The more videos you get under your belt (either test ones just for yourself to review, or actual content that will go out to the world), the better you'll get. It's been said a million times, but it's true: your 10th video will be better than your first. And your 100th video will be MUCH better than your 10th. You've just gotta get those reps in.

Good luck on your projects, Connor!