September 26, 2014 at 4:55PM

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Basic question

This isn't a deeply philosophical question -- I don't think. I work for a local cable channel. I do a lot of video segments that involve interviews. Mostly we use head shots of the interviewees and after showing the interviewee for a name key, we cover most of their other comments with b-roll. I often get feedback if the interviewee doesn't have a good amount of "talk space" when they're on screen. (By "talk space" I mean they're well offset to one side of the screen and looking toward the other side to imply they're looking toward an unseen interviewer when talking).
I understand the desire for talk space but I'm often a "one man band" and find that it's hard to maintain the interviewee in the best position at all times. (I certainly don't let them wander out of frame.) Is it terrible if the portion of the interview I decide to use on screen has the interviewee offset a bit but without pronounced "talk space?"

3 Comments

If by "feedback" you mean your boss says they would like to see more talk space, then respect his authority and give it. If you mean viewers are commenting on the lack of it, that seems odd but is pretty telling... unless it's one or two amateur production "critics" that always try to pick apart your work. Another issue may be the importance of the segment. If it's a prominent Senator discussing a critical election or Congressional bill, how he or she looks may be of more importance than if it's a neighborhood guy telling people about his new rain barrel garden. There are so many talking heads shown on TV that the vast majority of viewers couldn't tell you how a specific interview was shot. But if it's bugging the segment producer or higher, I'd say do it their way if at all possible. It's one of the things I like about the rise of cost-effective 4K... the ability to reframe from a single shot.

October 9, 2014 at 7:59PM

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Zan Shin
479

unless it's one or two amateur production "critics" that always try to pick apart your work - I know this all too well.

Jake the film guy Keenum

January 27, 2015 at 2:27PM

As a former news photog, and still often a one-man-band, the advice I'd give is keep an eye on your shot throughout the interview. If you've got an old school ENG camera with nothing but an EVF, you can sit/stand just behind the camera and off to one side while interviewing, and as you're asking a question, lean toward the camera and just check your composition occasionally. It's always a little tougher when you're on the right side of the camera, but you can still glance around the back end of the camera. *bonus* - most viewfinders have a little magnifying lens; you can usually remove that piece to give yourself a better field of view from away from the EVF.
If you've got some sort of LCD screen, you can usually flip it out and/or up, so you can glance over at if from the left side of the camera, and they can often flip up so you can see them from the right side. I know, having used NX-5U cameras, you can flip up and see from the far side pretty easily (though the screen ends up turned 90 degrees, you can still make out your framing, and keep an eye on audio levels).

Hope that helps a bit

January 28, 2015 at 2:24PM, Edited January 28, 2:24PM

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