09 - Just Before the Shoot - the Agreement for Success

Before I engage with the person we're just about ready to set up we're just about ready to shoot, like to have what is referred to as an upfront agreement with them and this is not the first time that they've seen this agreement? This is something that I would type up more formally in the first e-mail that I send to them. But it goes something like this says my goal here today is to make a video that reflects well on you, reflects well on the organization, and we‘ll have fun doing it. Is that OK? I always ask Is that OK. And generally speaking they'll say yeah that's OK. Now here's where the real agreement part comes in and this is what makes people feel very very safe and very hurt. So no you get your turn because after they give you that response you say OK great. Now here's what I'd like to ask of you. If I see for instance a hair that's out of place or a collar that needs to be fixed. Will you be ok if I tell you about that and they're going to say? Of course of course there. And then you say OK now if I ask you a question that I'd like more clarification on. Will you be ok if I ask you some clarifying questions as well? And of course they're going to say yes but you're setting them up and you're coming to that agreement at the beginning so that they're not put off by you asking gentle probing questions because not only have you gotten permission to ask those gentle probing questions but you have that agreement with them that hey if at any time they don't like the questions or if they're uncomfortable with the questions they promise that they're going to let you know this is really powerful and it really shows that level of trust that you have with the subject and this is something that I do with every single person who I put in front of the camera.

And it is always a great thing to do and I recommend that you come up with a version of it on your own. So before we start filming this is what I like to do. And part of this stems from the original e-mail that I send to the interview subject before we even meet. It goes a little something like this. All right Mr. So-and-so. So as you know my goal here today is to make a video that reflects on you reflects well on the organization and that we have a good time doing it. So before we get started I would like to know do you have any personal goals or professional goals for this video that we haven't already discussed. And they will either say that they do or they don't. And we'll talk about that for a second. The next question is is there anything else that you'd like to know before we get started. And they either say yes or no. The next question is something along these lines. Say write Mr. or Mrs. So-and-so you've got a chance to review the list of proposed questions that the organization sent your way. And this is basically a question acknowledging or reiterating what I already know. I already know that they've reviewed the questions because we've discussed them and I'm giving them another chance to say that and they'll say yeah yeah we have and then I'll say okay can I make a deal with you if at anytime you are uncomfortable with any of these questions or with anything with the camera with the equipment with anything.

If you're not comfortable will you promise to let me know and of course they'll say yes. And at that point I'll say okay now at the same time is it OK if I ask you a question and I have some confusion or would like to ask a follow up question to get a little bit more clarity on your response. Is that OK if I ask that as well? And ninety nine times out of 10 out of 100 99 times out of 10 99 times out of 100 they're going to say yes I've had one instance where someone said no I only want to stick to the talking points and that's fine. We went back and we talked to the organization about why they had chosen that person. We ended up getting her testimonial but then we ended up getting somebody else to give the real testimonial because she only wanted to stick to the talking points which was useful. It was not particularly Howard will not particularly impactful. So once again it goes something like this Mrs. So-and-so. I just want to let you know before we get going. Once again to reiterate my goal here today is to make a video that reflects well on you reflects well on that organization and we'll have a good time doing it. So before we get started are there any personal or professional goals that we haven't discussed yet that you'd like to talk about before we get going.

No. OK good. Is there anything else that you'd like to discuss before we get started? No. We'll take it before we begin. I just have one question to ask. I take it you've got a chance to review the questions that the organization has asked as sample questions that we may talk about today. Yes. Was there anything in there that was concerning to you or anything that you had questions about? No. OK well here's the thing. If at anytime I'm asking you a question that you were uncomfortable with or that you have questions about or that you just prefer not to answer Do you promise that you'll let me know. Of course they're going to say yes and then you say OK what. On the same. At the same time if I have a question that I ask you and the answer that you give me makes me think of more questions. Is it OK if I ask you a follow up or clarifying question so that we can make a more impactful video and they'll either say yes or no? Once again most people are going to say yes. At that point in time. And so that's basically how it works. And it's very simple and it really helps to put the person at ease to know that you really are looking out for them in terms of making a video that reflects on them reflects well on the organization. It's easy to say I want to make a video that makes you look like a rockstar Rockstar is different to different people.

A video that reflects well on you in the organization is different to different people but asking those questions apply to everybody. Those are questions that are going to put everybody at ease no matter what their objective standard or subjective standard rather of what a rock star is. So that's that. Let me know what you think of this. Let me know how you're going to modify this for your own purposes. Because I think that you should take this version and make it your own. Modify it. Change it to make it your own and let me know what you come up with.

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