More specifically, about keeping celebrity subjects at ease:
Thanks Carl and Greg!
I could not ask for a higher compliment Carl, especially from a favorite client.
Neil, in terms of your question, and a good one at that, I really try to keep a Zen like calmness while the subject is on set, and only focus my attention on them. The crew is instructed ahead of time as to what to look for, what the anticipated troubleshooting may be, and what would warrant pulling my attention from the subject. It’s important to maintain the connection with the subject, especially celebrities, heads of companies and politicians. Many of these folks can become uncomfortable if they do not feel the shoot is going smoothly, let alone if it compromises their already busy schedule.
I do quite a bit of research ahead of time and speak with their publicists or their contacts to better understand what to expect in terms of personality and expectations, much like being a good host. Most importantly, I work intuitively, trying to read them, working faster and keeping it lively OR dialing it back and entering a more personal space. Much of this depends on the clients needs as well, of course. Basically, I do all my homework up front, and once the subject arrives and is on set, I can just let go and do what I do. It’s really quite freeing and the subject can feel that.
Everyone has a rhythm, and everyone appreciates respect and honesty.
Haven’t read the blog post about Sir Richard Branson yet—read more here!