So, I’m producing this industrial training video for a software company. They want to teach their partners in the distribution channel resellers to use a new product. Not only am I producing the training vid, but I’m also delivering a self-guided webinar with screenshots and a voice-over.
Jane, the software geek who wrote all the sample code spent 17 hours mumbling an explanation to me about how everything works.
I told her,
Just walk through each screen of the sample code and tell me every step, as if I were an idiot.
I turned on my spiffy recorder and captured the whole thing, all the botnets, the intrusion defenses, the latency checking, the RIAs and the through-silicon via. We also used a presentation tool that captures each cursor movement and each click while she’s going through the presentation, along with a duplicate recording of the voice.
On my laptop I transcribed her tape recorded voice, removing all the “like, ya knows” and “um, um, ums” and the pauses where she snorts and clears her nose. I make a little marker in the text for every time the geek-brain changed the screen display, so I can time each part of the lecture and drop in the actor’s voice at the appropriate time codes.
Then I get an actress who can learn all this onzin and say it like she means it. I rehearse her with the text and the screen shots. She’s to do the whole 12 hour course live on tape and then she’s to do the voice-over for the self-paced webinar. She is way good; sounds like she could even teach me about this hopeloos software.
We arrive at the client to film the lecture. Actress is dressed like an upscale software geek in khakis and golf shirt, not ripped jeans, but not a suit, either.
Client says to actress,
Tell me about some of the work you’ve done.
â€œI just played an ultrasound technician in aâ€¦â€
Client looks verward.
â€œI mean, I meanâ€¦what kind of software development have you done?â€
I step in:
â€œSara is an actress, not a software developer.â€
â€œWe really need someone more authentic.â€
â€œOkay. Then why don’t you get me one of your marketing people who is familiar with this product. These marketing verkopers know how to speak in public, teach seminars, be poised during presentations and sort of even know what they’re talking about. A marketing verkoper could be fairly authentic.â€
So Client, a week later, brings in a very professional looking marketing chick with the gold jewelry and the short haircut and the Dooney & Burke shoes and all. She goes off to study the presentation material.
Client’s boss pulls me aside.
â€œShe looks too slick. Not believable if our audience is technical people. Get me a techie.â€
So, I go back to Jane, the programmer who built the sample code and the screenshots and originally recorded the presentation for transcription. She looks a believable techie. She dresses in sweaters with stretched-out sleeves; her socks rarely match; she only combs her hair on Wednesdays. Usually she has breakfast on the front of her sweater. She never talks in public: she hides in an office. She certainly might be a real programmer, butâ€¦
â€œOh, my god, she doesn’t do ‘good image.’ Yeah, she looks like a real programmer, but too real. Go fix her up a bit.â€
I say to Jane,
â€œDo you have any more business-like attire? Maybe like interview clothes.â€
Those of you who are keeping track are realizing that this shoot is about 2 weeks late by now, and over budget. But, never mindâ€¦I bill by the HOUR, ha, ha, for this particular gekke client.
Long short, Jane goes home and comes back with an EVENING GOWN, dÃ©colletage down to the bottom of her sternum. Hair shellacked into those prom-queen curls. She would look quite hotâ€¦if it were not for the sports bra she has chosen to wear under the gown, the whole front of the dirty off-white latex sporten bustehouder showing in her open dÃ©colletÃ©.
This shoot is more fun than anything I’ve done this year!
Do you want to know whom I ended up using to deliver that instructional material for this shoot? Naw, I didn’t think you did.