EyeDirect: A Great Product You Should Know About

Let’s say your company wants to produce videos of your subject matter experts to post to your corporate website, YouTube, or to share with clients.

You want them to look directly into the camera and say something about their work. But they’re inexperienced with being interviewed, and they keep breaking eye contact with the camera.

It’s no surprise that they’re having a tough time. That direct-to-camera set-up is typically the most difficult format not only for shooting video, but for media interviews. The problem? Unlike other formats, the spokespersons can’t make eye contact with anyone.

Thanks to a product called EyeDirect, that problem has been solved. (I have no connection with this company, nor is this a paid endorsement. I am not being compensated by EyeDirect in any way.)

As you can see in the video above, it’s easy to use: spokespersons look directly into the lens but see the eyes and faces of their interviewers. In that more natural setting, I have no doubt that spokespersons would be much more dynamic and less awkward.

In an email, EyeDirect’s inventor, Steve McWilliams, said:

“I built and patented this device initially to solve the problem of getting a dog to look into the camera for a Target commercial…I went on to use is with babies, celebrities, real people, cancer survivors, parents and camera-shy teens…The EyeDirect puts the human component back into the subject’s story…and they don’t have to ‘act’ into the lens of a camera, they simply ‘interact’ with the producer or director asking the questions.”

I’d offer a couple of caveats. First, this product is valuable and I’d recommend it to clients who shoot corporate video. But it’s not a substitute for learning how to deliver a straight-to-camera media interview. Many news organizations don’t have this device, and you’ll need to know how to deliver an interview without it.

Second, I’d be reluctant to use the TelePrompTer feature described in the video. Most people sound like they’re reading when they use a prompter—and I’d prefer that people know how to deliver their words more extemporaneously.

Eye Direct

Those mild objections aside, I see the enormous value in this product. If it works as shown in the video (I haven’t seen an in-person demo), I’d be an enthusiastic endorser of this product.

Prices begin at $995; rentals are also available through unaffiliated suppliers. You can find more information about EyeDirect here.

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