The Producer's Playbook: Real People on Camera

The Producer's Playbook: Real People on Camera : Directing and Working with Non-Actors

5 (1 rating by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Producer's Playbook: Real People on Camera is a no-nonsense guide for producers looking to get the best performances from "real people" to tell powerful stories on video. Director/producer Amy DeLouise brings years of experience to this resource for creating the best on-screen impact with non-actors for interviews, re-enactments, documentary and direct-to-camera messages. With useful case studies and tips on everything from managing locations and budgeting to strategies for managing crews and the expectations of executive producers and clients, this is an invaluable resource for professionals working in reality TV, documentary, corporate video, and more.

Ample case studies with perspectives from industry professionals interviewed by the author, as well as her own plentiful stories from the field

Tips are featured in sidebars throughout the text, so that readers can see how the information applies to real situations

Full-color photographs allow readers to visualize real world production situations

The appendix includes useful templates and checklists for working producers
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 207 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 13.97mm | 454g
  • CRC Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 Tables, black and white
  • 1138920495
  • 9781138920491

Table of contents

I. Introduction

Motivation and goals for this book

The opportunities inherent in using "real people," not pro's

How to use the tools and case studies in this book for a wide range projects involving real people on camera-- reality TV, documentary, podcasts, journalism, news magazine, and short-form non-fiction such as corporate, issue advocacy, education and training.

II. Preparation

Ch. 1 Getting to Know Your Subjects

Researching Your Characters

Validators and Character Foils

Casting & Pre-Qualifying

Casting Children

Phone Pre-interviews

Rounding up visual assets (photos, video, etc.)

Knowing handlers

When Pre-Interviews or Casting Aren't Possible or Wise

Ch. 2 Preproduction Logistics

Budgeting and Bidding

Scheduling to allow creativity and spontaneity

Location Scouting

Locations for Interviews

Locations for re-enactments and b-roll

Location agreements

Talent Releases

Other rights to be aware of

Music rights

Copyrighted artwork/sculptures/architecture

Ch. 3 Planning Your Story

Story Arc Planning

When Reality Demands a Script

Planning for Scenarios and Re-enactments

Planning for B-roll

III. In the Field

Ch. 4 Tools and Strategies

Tapping into the Inner Performer

Introducing Your Team

Using Hair & Makeup as a "Way In"

Managing EP's and Handlers

Coaching without scaring

Ch. 5 Direct-to-Camera Delivery

To Rehearse or Not to Rehearse?

Working with VIP's and Experts

Working with Children

Nervous or Worried Subjects


From iPads and do-it-yourself to prompter operator systems

Green-screen: When it works, when it doesn't

Camera Set-up Layouts and Recommendations

Case Studies: from Justin Bieber to Annie Lennox

Ch. 6 Scenarios & Re-enactments

Maximizing the Advantages of Real People in Scenes

Scenario vs Re-enactment: Which Do You Need?

Scenario Shot Planning

Obstacles and How to Avoid Them

Challenging Scenario Settings

Directing Kids in Scenarios

Planning in the Field that affects Your Edit

Master Shots, Camera Set-ups and Alternates

Coverage Options with Video Cameras and DSLRs

Post Production Strategies

Tips for keeping on schedule & budget

Case Study: Operating room safety "right way" "wrong way"

Case Study: Documentary re-enactment

Ch. 7 Beyond the Soundbite: Storytelling Through Interviews

Preparing for Your Interview

Camera setup and interviewer on or off-camera decisions

Setting Your Subject at Ease

Location considerations

Crew positioning

Creating a Story Arc with Interview Questions

When to use Talking Points, When to Avoid Them

Learning Styles and How They Impact Your Interview Strategy

Getting B-roll of Interview Subjects

Planning for Interview Post

Transcriptions, Audio recognition, and making your editor happy


Edit Workflows for Multiple Deliverables

Camera Set-up Recommendations (1-camera and 2-camera)

Tips for keeping on schedule & budget

Ch. 8 Challenging Interviews

Young children

Traumatized Subject


VIPs, Celebrities and Experts

ESOL & When to Use a Translator

Experienced Interviewees

Case Study: Palestinian youth in outside location

Case Study: Philanthropic women in studio

Case Study: Appalachian families at home

Case Study: Woman who lost a child to SIDS

IV Managing Executive Producer, Crew & Client Relationships

Ch. 9 Defining the Mission

Connecting to Strategic Plans

Knowing the Players

Ch. 10 Workflows and Planning

Tools for Information-Sharing

Creating Value and Multiple Deliverables

Ch. 11 Cultivating Your Crew Relationships

Setting Expectations

Selecting the Right Team

Food Matters

Thanking and Mentoring

Ch. 12 Getting Approvals: from Storyboards to Final Cuts

Group Think and How to Avoid It

Strategies for Silos and Management Styles

Turning Challenging People into Team Players

Button-Pushers, Non-Deciders and People with Other Agendas

Big Personalities and Inexperienced Leaders

Conclusions & Final Tips
show more

About Amy Delouise

As an accomplished video director/producer with more than 400 productions to her credit, Amy is an expert at working with non-professionals on camera. Her more than 40 creative excellence awards include the Telly, Peer, New York Festivals, Aurora, and CINE Golden Eagle. She was also honored with the Woman of Vision Leadership Award from Women in Film & Video of Washington, D.C.

Amy is a sought-after speaker on a range of digital video topics at such industry conferences as the National Association of Broadcasters convention (NABShow). Her popular courses on Script Writing for Nonfiction Video, The Art of the Video Interview, and Video Editing: Moving from Production to Post can be found at She has a B.A. in English from Yale University.

With Producer's Playbook: Real People on Camera, Amy brings her no-nonsense style, real-world anecdotes, and passion for non-fiction storytelling to film students and experienced production professionals alike. Amy offers additional tips, resources and blog posts at
show more

Rating details

1 ratings
5 out of 5 stars
5 100% (1)
4 0% (0)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X