Preparation for creating great interviews
The trick to filming a great interview is a mixture of many things. Excellence is in the details and is paired with countless video shoots and years of experience.
Interviews come in different configurations. In a two person interview, the two subjects will be filmed from different sides and generally over the shoulder.
The framing can be zoomed in and out, depending on the flow of the interview.
Personal story interviews tend to work with tighter framing, especially when an emotional response is expressed by the interviewee.
The Experience of Being Filmed
- Being under the camera, with lights and a crew is like being under the microscope and can be very stressful and intimidating. Some people have a knack for it, while others do not.
- As an interviewee, you should always feel relaxed and comfortable with your video production crew and director. A patient crew will make clear that it is okay to repeat any talking points. Ultimately, preparation from both interviewer and interviewee will always manifest better results.
- As interviewer, your job is to extract the main talking points of interest and bring out an emotional response, depending on the type of interview.
- It’s expected to be nervous in front of the camera. Most people are! Remember that each section can be filmed again until you’re happy with the result.
- We always try to avoid using a teleprompter, as the results can be stiff and forced. We want the result to be natural and conversational. Practice at home until you’re comfortable, perhaps using your smartphone to film.
- Remember that we can easily edit out small mistakes to create a perfect product!
Finding the right location and environment
- A great looking location with an inspiring backdrop will add value and interest.
- The location must be quiet and without distractions. Make sure there is no ventilation noise and unwanted sounds.
- A large room will provide an expansive, cinematic look with more depth of field. Depth of field is a desirable effect for interviews and produce a beautiful cinematic blurred background allowing the subject to be sharp and background out of focus
- If shooting outside on location, be aware that lighting will change throughout the day. Morning and late afternoon are optimal times to shoot. If the shoot takes longer, it may take another day, which can add to the budget.
Considerations on Production Set
- Using multiple cameras will add visual variety and a more professional result
- Good lighting on set is essential. For a typical interview shoot, a three point lighting setup is used. A key light is the main light, a back light (or hair light) to separate the subject from the background and a fill light to fill in shadows.
Lighting adds mood and each shoot is different depending on the subject matter and the mood you want to convey in the final product.
What to Wear for Your Video Shoot
- What you wear can make a difference. Avoid wearing stripes or patterns.
- Don’t wear all black or white. Stick with neutral tones, gray and pastels.
- You don’t want to blend into the background so if you know ahead of time what color the background will be, avoid wearing that color. Avoid green if you’ll be in front of a green screen. Be sure and bring a few different outfits, just in case.
- Do not wear dangly jewelry, especially bracelets, as they can cause unwanted sound.
- If you wear contact lenses or glasses, wear contacts if possible, as glasses can reflect lighting glare. If you have anti-reflective glasses, do wear these.
- Sometimes we use a little powder for both men and women to remove unwanted shine on faces and heads. It is a good idea to bring a brush, comb and tissues.
Have questions about preparing for your video production?
Call or Text Alan Cash at 510 590 8532