Can you remove X from the video? Can you straighten my necklace? Can you remove those papers from the desk?

These are question we’re often asked after shooting a video. In the days of digital photography, you can often eliminate anything from the background. In turn, you can also add anything. If one of your employees is missing from the group photo, you can simply “photo shop” them into the setting. Super models – as pretty as they are – are often thinned down, tired eyes removed and imperfections touched-up. Athletes’ muscles look much better in a still photo than they do in person. A messy desk is no problem with still photos because you can clean it right up.

It’s not surprising then that we would often be asked to take the same approach with video. It’s natural to want to make every shot perfect and touch it up. However, video doesn’t work like photographs. Video is moving. You can’t “cut out” an element. You can’t straighten a tie or necklace. You can’t make someone’s dark circles disappear. You have to think in terms of the overall video, not a specific element within the video.

For instance, you can change the overall video color – brightening the colors or converting to black or white. You can add effects to the entire video like an old fashion ‘film reel’ effect. Or, you can blur out the background and focus on the subject. You can even add a corporate logo to a background.

We’ve done the impossible a few times. For instance, we’ve removed a logo from a piece of equipment that was in the background of an interview. The camera angle was not moving. If you study the video closely, you’ll see the slight blur of where the logo was, but it’s only obvious to the trained eyes. If the person was moving in front of that logo, we would not have been able to remove it.

Why is all this important to know? We want you to have the best video shoot possible. It’s why we give you tips in our pre-production package. We want you to look around the space and make sure all the elements you want are there, and the elements you don’t want are gone. We’ll see messy workplaces and will make suggestions to clean the space. However, often times, we won’t know if something is proprietary or if the logo may cause a problem.

It’s also a great reason why we recommend hiring a make-up artist. He or she can hide the imperfections, help you make sure your tie is pinned straight and watch for those small details that we can’t change. In our opinion, it’s worth the extra dollars.