BTS - video for an executive coach

I just shot another website welcome video, this one for Harsha Perera, an executive coach. It has come to the point where one MUST have video on one's website, or it will be conspicuous by its absence, and slip down Google's SEO rankings.

It's on his YouTube channel and embedded on his website front page.

YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. It is owned by the No.1 search engine of course - Google. Hence the value in using a YouTube-Google link.

Choosing a location and equipment:

We filmed this in the park on a windy day with the usual Heathrow-bound jets passing overhead, yet we still got a peaceful scene for filming.

The lav mic (lapel mic) is magic for getting great quality sound in noisy settings - part of the RODE radio transmitter set, it's one of my best video-gadget purchases.  Another RODE mic (simple shotgun) was on-camera to give good reference sound for synchronising and back-up. On the second camera I just made do with the built-in mic, again just for reference/synchronising purposes. 

The behind-the-scenes shots below show that at first look it doesn't seem the most attractive spot. However, it was sheltered from the wind and the natural light came in at a nice side angle (as opposed to overhead). With zoomed composition, it actually looks good. 

Pros and cons of shooting outdoors


In this case we didn't need extra lighting or external power. (Often still used for outdoor shoots if there's the budget of course). I had some reflectors with me but didn't use them either in the end. I chose the location partly for the sheltered directional light.

It was a suitably peaceful, natural setting, that matched the style of the profile photo I had shot of Harsha a few months previously (on the first page of his website).

We also didn't need to spend money hiring a studio. Shooting in a client's home or work environment is also a good option (depending on space, light, noise), but wasn't the look we wanted in this case.


One is at the mercy of the weather. The sun came and went behind clouds which you may notice in the video. This can create problems with changing exposure/colour, but wasn't a big problem after some minor adjustments to video footage in editing. Strong wind can also potentially make sound recording tricky. Choose weather, time of day and location to deal with this issue. Sometimes using a studio or other indoor location is a better solution.

Noise and other distractions - once or twice we had to pause when overhead jets became a little too loud. We were in Clapham Common, many parts of London have this problem to a greater or lesser extent. However, as mentioned the lapel mic mitigated this problem pretty well. The closer the mic is to the person, the lower the comparative volume of ambient sound. Occasionally passers-by in the background or friendly, inquisitive dogs also halted proceedings. Generally we didn't mind a bit of background noise to give it a sense of place.

Do check out Harsha if you are thinking of getting some coaching, he is a most erudite gentleman, really knows how to listen and gets to the core of one's business or life challenges.