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Jim Powell











What the Talent Needs to Know

Ever go into a talent situation believing that all is well? The talent knows what they are going to do. You have confidence that the shoot will be over in half the time that you have scheduled. And then...

We have all been involved in the shoot that exceeds the production schedule. To help prevent the talent from being the part of that problem, here are some questions that the talent needs answered to help him prepare for your shoot. Although you should talk personally with the talent about the following, most of it can be written as a synopsis or within each scene.


Who is the character? Give the talent your image of the character. What type of person is he or she?

Who are the other characters? How do they interact with the talent’s character?

Who is the viewer? What type of person is going to be watching this program and what is that person going to learn.


What is the conflict of the dialogue? To achieve the program’s objective, a real life conflict or problem is usually revealed. The objective is to overcome the problem. Make sure the talent understands this information.

What is your goal of each scene? Explain scene by scene the objective if they differ.


When are the shoot dates and times?

When is the time period of the scene? Some parodies and other creative programs set the time in the distant past or future. Make sure the talent knows this information in plenty of time, so they may prepare their wardrobe to accommodate your requirements.


Where is the location of the shoot? Don’t forget a map with written instructions. More shoots are delayed because directions are not clearly understood.

Where is the setting of the video? Note whether the scene is in industrial, business, or other settings. This is important for the characters demeanor.


How do you want the talent to dress? As mentioned in the "when", it is important for the talent to understand the wardrobe needed many days before the shoot. This will give he or she time to obtain the needed clothes.

How to speak? Does the monologue or dialogue require a conversational tone or a direct informational tone.


Why are we producing this video? What is it going to achieve? How should the viewer feel after viewing the program?

In some productions, not all of these questions are applicable. However, using these questions as a guide can help improve your production quality plus help save you time and shoot money.


From "The Business of Talent" by Jim Powell

Copyright Jim Powell 1998

All rights reserved. The above is for the

educational purposes of the reader.

No reprint without written permission is allowed.

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