Not long ago, we were approached to help a real-estate company sell one of their premium homes—a listing well into the millions—and upon review of their needs my thoughts were simple—we needed to allow potential buyers to “see” the entire house, every room, every feature, and every aspect on video via the web if we were going to successfully show and sell the property.
Although this idea in and of itself isn’t anything special nor unique, the project itself (as will be explained) is a lesson for any business, big or small, looking to embrace video in a better, quicker, and more effective way going forward.
My plan for the video shoot was simple—I would interview the owner/agent in every section/room of the house and estate (while our videographer recorded it), therefore creating about 15 separate videos that would ultimately allow any potential home buyer to get a much better sense for the property.
As with many companies I’ve done this with in the past, this particular agent was nervous about being on camera. Not because she wasn’t articulate, but rather because she was worried about saying everything just right while getting through our load of videos in the time I allotted for the shoot.
And how much time was that you ask?
Yep, in three hours we were going to shoot 15 videos of the entire home, yard, and estate.
Thus, the task seemed very, very daunting to the agent I was working with—that is until I taught her what I feel is the biggest secret to successful videos, something that has worked wonders with our clients time and time again: The Law of Continuance
The Law of Continuance
The Law of Continuance is a technique I derived from teaching “Yes…And” at the speaking workshops we teach to organizations, and it essentially has one simple rule:
Whenever recording a video, you’re never allowed to stop and start over again.
Sounds simple, right? Maybe even too simple to some.
But the impact of this law truly is profound, and here is why it works so incredibly well.
When on camera, the moment someone thinks it’s OK to stop (because of a “mistake”) is the moment they’ll start to make a lot more mistakes because of it.
The human brain is a funny thing. And in the case of recording a video, it sees the ability to “start over” as a safety net—meaning that because it’s there, it will naturally use it.
But when the safety is removed, for some reason, we tend not to fall.
There are no mistakes
To give you a concrete example of this in action, let’s go back to my realtor client.
When we started shooting the first video, she fumbled over a few words and immediately stopped and asked to start again because she “hadn’t said it right.”
My response was direct:
“You’re not allowed to start again. There are no mistakes. Move forward, never look back.”
Even though I had already told her the rule of not starting over, it seemed my words this time stuck. And over the next three hours, we knocked out 15 videos for the home’s website, almost all of which where done in one-take.
This experience with the real-estate agent is not unusual. In the past, we’ve had multiple experiences where we’ve gone in with a client and shot somewhere between 10-25 videos in one day, the majority of which happen with one take.
You see, once someone realizes there is no starting over, it’s absolutely amazing just how much more relaxed, comfortable, and effective they are.
Keep in mind too that The Law of Continuance doesn’t mean you can’t “re-shoot” a video. In other words, you might shoot a video segment and at the end say, “I think it was OK, but let’s see if we can make it even better.”
Making such a statement is actually a very good thing, because striving for better quality is always a positive, but this pursuit of perfection should not impact the individual video takes (recordings) as they are occurring.
Hopefully you’re seeing what I’m explaining here. As you might imagine, this principle applies across many, many fields, and also impacts sales presentations, public speaking, company workshops, etc. But in the case of video, the essence lies in the mindset of “never stopping, always moving forward”—hence the “yes…and” reference from earlier.
And in conjunction with this, if you hire a video-production company to work with your team, and they do not espouse their own version of this law, then I'd question just how good they are. I've had many situations in the past where I was brought in to work with a client, they had already hired another video production team, and unfortunately their methods of constantly starting over made employees extremely nervous and fearful when getting on camera. As you can imagine, this isn't good, and certainly doesn't promote a video-production culture within the organization.
So the next time you’re shooting video for your company, try this approach. Make The Law of Continuance part of your video and communication culture. By so doing, you’ll be amazed at just how much you get done while bringing the best out of your team of employees in the process.