Professional Actors Professional Actors For Your eLearning VideosEarlier this week I led another Jilbee film team to the adidas campus in Herzogenaurach near Nuremberg, Germany to produce a series of films for building Interactive Learning Videos for adidas.

When making films for eLearning you don’t always have the choice to hire professional actors. Sometimes you need to interview an employee of the client, so you cannot use a professional actor. Or you need to show someone operating a machine or handling dangerous chemicals , or welding some metal.

Sometimes you need to show someone working in a special environment like a coal mine or driving the locomotive of a train. Unfortunately, in none of the scenarios can you use professional actors.

However, when it is possible to hire professional actors, you must do so. And here are 7 reasons why that’s a good idea:

1. Developing the character
A professional actor will help you (the director) develop the character based on their personal skills. For the adidas shoot, I spent hours talking to each actor to develop the character together with them.

2. Knowledge about psychology, social behavior
All good actors have deep knowledge about psychology and social behavior and have techniques to learn other special behaviors (like that of a businessman, a factory worker, a scientist). So if you hire a professional actor you know that you can cast him or her in almost any role.

3. Knowledge of Styling, Makeup, Continuity
You may or may not have a stylist or makeup artist on the set (budget is usually the issue). In such a case a professional actor will know what to do especially during longer shootings when the question continuity arises.

4. Possibility of Online castings
When casting for actors, professional actors will film themselves delivering the lines and give you the possibility of watching them in an online casting. They will also give you photos and demos of past work with them in different roles. This reduces both the time and money for finding the right cast for your eLearning film.

5. Understanding the procedures on the set
You don’t need to explain basics to professional actors. They understand the procedures on the set and so the shooting can go much faster.

6. Improvisation
At times the planned scenario does not work out and the actors need to improvise. Good professionals know this can happen and quickly adapt to the changed setting – sometimes even changed dialogs – and will still deliver a stellar performance.

7. Special Skills outside of acting
Sometimes actors will have other special skills like dancing, horse-back riding, karate. Or they may be able generate a special look or do comedy. These special skills can come in handy in developing the character further and can add an extra richness to your film.

So as a director I love and prefer to work with professional actors and here are the top reasons why.

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