Where to Place Your CEO: Location Defines the Production

A businessman outside with arms out stretched, looking upward at office building

The best films are memorable not only for their talented actors, but for the visual world they create around that story. What would Wes Anderson’s films be without a monochromatic setting to contrast his vibrant characters, or a Quentin Tarantino flick without the gritty underbelly of Los Angeles? Many famous directors use locations as a persuasive element in their story. If you’re thinking about slapping your CEO in a soulless conference, what are you really saying about them?

Locations Establish Movement or Stability

The setting you choose directs many subtle—yet key—tonal aspects of your video. Moving from one location to another can reflect a time shift or the fast-paced momentum of a company. A lively city matches high energy, while a calm garden creates a soft and gentle nature. A still, neutral background can bring a serious message to the focus. During the early lockdowns of 2020, many leaders offered transparency by shooting from their own homes.

Story Drives Setting

A few years ago, Tribe was tasked with creating filmic portraits of the senior management of multinational beauty brand Coty. The passionate stories of our subjects lended themselves to movement. So, rather than placing ex-CEO Michele Scannavini behind an office desk, his video begins on the streets of Paris. We ride alongside his light blue Vespa on his daily commute to work. Scannavini narrates, “Creativity is of essence, and innovation is the name of the game.” Each location in this video contains playfulness and joy, from a closeup of a soccer ball rolling across his office desk to his Coty team cheering in a perfume showroom.

Make Your CEO Comfortable

Oftentimes, leaders only have a little time to shoot a video in between their busy schedules. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a location that will make them comfortable, that setting will bring out their natural self. Place your subject in the right location to humanize them and connect the viewer to their mission.

Pick a location that feels right for their story, whether it’s a quiet courtyard, a laboratory, or the heart of the city. Location helps to write the larger narrative of who they are. Their environment supports how they perform and what they say.

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