For their TV campaign, Florida's Lynn Cancer Institute wanted to have actual cancer survivors share their stories with the home viewer. A simple concept that's far more difficult than it sounds.
This type of spot requires the camera be either be a third person observer of a conversation or the featured talent has to speak directly to camera. (even though they've never been on-camera before)
Marketing Director, Tom Chakurda and I collectively decided that the concept would be the most effective if these non-professional, regular people could talk directly, one-on-one with the home viewer.
Years ago, I directed and photographed several 35mm spots with semi-pro talent talking to camera. We installed a through the lens teleprompter system on my Arri 35BL and fed the monitor with an off-camera interviewer. It worked very well, especially with kids.
At the Florida hospital location, I rebuilt a similar setup, only this time a 1080P Sony F900R replaced the movie camera. Suddenly, our non-professional cancer survivors were talking and relating to a live human face, instead of a cold glass lens.
I deliberately kept crew size to the bare minimum so the on-camera people wouldn't be intimidated. Large black flags and floppies were also used to block the talent's view of equipment and off-camera people.
During post-production, I decided to cut the best thoughts together and not worry about jump cuts. We made no attempt to hide the fact that the material had been edited. It's my feeling that once the home viewer feels engaged with the talent and their story, why introduce random side cutaways, shots of hands or other distractions.
Judy Gurchak was my producer & production coordinator and Rich Schutte was assistant director for the project.