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Identifying your CEO's 'film personality'

And how to manage them to get the best results

15 January 2021

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In the final working days of 2020, thousands of people would have watched their CEO give their company’s year-end round up. Perhaps you’ve recently watched senior leaders deliver a message of hope for the new year. Some would have used a script; others would have free-styled the presentation. Some opted for a digital background while others stood at their kitchen counter with a view of the back garden. Some included a mention of their own personal challenges or happy occasions, others kept the message very professional with a formal tone of voice.


The personality type of a senior leader can have a huge impact on a company’s film output – almost on a parr with the character of the organisation as a whole. Are they comfortable on camera? Do they like a supportive audience while they’re being filmed? Do they want to do multiple takes, or will they get frustrated if it’s not immediately “in the can”? Do they have a preference for autocue? Will they try and make a joke every time they appear on camera? 


Understanding the different personalities of C-Suite leaders, and – critically – how to get the best out of them is a vital skill for any film team. If you combine this understanding with a strong purpose for the film, being clear on the bull’s eye audience you’re talking to and the equipment and direction to make it come to life, you’ll produce a powerful piece of content that can deliver real impact. 


We’ve made thousands of films of the top talent from across the FTSE 250. We’ve laughed, cried and yelled along the way. Some of our stories would leave you open-mouthed. Some even rival pop stars with their riders and ‘back-stage’ behaviours. But we take it all in our stride. It’s what we do. We thought it would be fun to get some of the most typical personality types down on paper. Do any of the following ring a bell with you?


Film-maker mindset - Your contributor has a clear creative idea for the film. They may fancy themselves as a budding Sam Mendes. The problems come as they’ve not always thought through what this means in practice… and sparks can fly if the planning is not done to make their vision real.


Autocue aficionado - Some contributors are really keen on using autocue although delivering using autocue is its own skill. The danger is coming across as a bit wooden and monotone – and who wants to give their CEO that feedback! Training is the key to success here and a short session beforehand can have real benefits to the end result.  

Invisible Expert

Invisible expert - Some leaders are not very comfortable on camera. Perhaps they’re not media trained (or have been over-trained), or potentially they have had a bad experience with filming previously. The challenge here is to help them project the confidence they might not feel.


Comfortably confident - Your interviewee is a seasoned film contributor. They will be on top of the brief and deliver in their own style with ease. It will be a pleasure filming them – they’re likely to become your go-to spokesperson (and probably one of your favourite people!).


If you combine an understanding of these leadership personas with a strong purpose for the film being produced, a clear bull’s eye audience you’re talking to and the right equipment and direction, you’ll produce a powerful piece of content that can deliver real impact. 


As you map out your 2021 film requirements and want support on any of the above, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help.