January 3, 2016

7 Simple Steps to Help You Shoot an Interview

In a fantastic video from B&H and Chase from Zacuto, we get some simple tips for shooting interviews, whether you're in a studio or on location:

Topics discussed include assessing the physical space, any ambient and/or lighting considerations, setting up lights and the types of lights you might want to use,’ choosing the right type of mics based on the shooting environment, camera positioning, and other details required to produce professional-looking video interviews.

Beyond the technical details, I think one of the most important aspects of shooting interviews is that you help your subject feel comfortable, which is step number 7. For people who aren't on camera often, having a camera in their face and lights blasting them isn't the most natural setting, and often people tense up when they're going to be interviewed. If you want truly natural reactions, already having your cameras and sound rolling before the interviewee sits down can have a dramatic difference.

Another great way to make the interviewee feel comfortable is to start off with a number of questions that have absolutely nothing to do with what's being discussed. The more time a person has to adjust to the lights and the camera, the more natural your answers will likely be.

For more great videos, be sure to check out the B&H channel.       

Your Comment

6 Comments

A couple notes on sound. If you're doing an interview that will take longer than 15 minutes, it is advisable to have a boom stand for your pole. Most people will not be comfortable holding a boom pole steady for the 45 minutes many interviews will take. Often for interviews done indoors, we mixers will use a hypercardioid condenser mic. These mics have the advantage of reducing the reverb in the room and may produce a more natural and pleasing sound than a shotgun mics indoors. Some examples are the Audix SCX1/HC, the Senn MKH50 and the Schoeps CMC641.

January 4, 2016 at 5:11AM

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Michael Kleven
Sound Mixer, Camera Operator
81

Honestly, this was exactly what I was looking for. I was in the market for a new mic for indoor interview audio that was cheaper than a 1,000 and I knew I wanted a hypercardoid and after reading this and reading some reviews I'm deciding to get the Audix. Thanks Michael!

January 5, 2016 at 5:47PM

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Alex Fagard
Filmmaker, Editor, Motion Graphics, Dabbles in VFX
20

Before I pull the trigger, do you have any other suggestions sub 1,000?

January 5, 2016 at 5:52PM

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Alex Fagard
Filmmaker, Editor, Motion Graphics, Dabbles in VFX
20

Fun video. Please share more of the details camera, lens, lights, etc. from your examples.

January 4, 2016 at 6:10AM

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I wish the list was typed out in the article. In my workspace, I'm not able to watch videos, so it would be nice to read about the steps.

January 4, 2016 at 11:26AM

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Rachel RC Scott
Writer/Director/Producer/Editor
99

The model looks seriously unimpressed when he attaches the lav mic to her chest. For good reason!

January 8, 2016 at 5:20AM

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Guido Gautsch
Education Person
161