Today we are talking about a staple in a lot of corporate video production videos, if video production were your stock standard meat and 3 veg, this would be the meat, it is – the interview.
Video interviews can take on many variations, have different approaches and different outcomes and when done right can really move your message along and get your audience thinking. They can serve as your narrative, moving your video along at a nice pace and keeping the audience engaged – especially if you use a number of interviews and share the message across a few interviewees.
The following tips are just one tim-tam biscuit of information out of a whole packet of milk chocolate goodness, so if you have anything to add, feel free to in the comments below.
Leading up to the shoot day there are a few things to consider, these aren’t deal breakers and they may not impact the quality of the final video but they certainly may do! Preparation is key in assuring the person being interviewed will feel comfortable which will result in better answers, better body language and a more sincere delivery. The camera doesn’t lie!
- Whatever field you work in, 99% of the time you will know more about your industry than the video production house or the producer on set. Use your contacts, senior staff members and preferably anyone with previous media / on-camera experience to find people who will feel comfortable on camera and talking about your chosen subject with confidence.
- Allow plenty of time for set-up of filming so when the person being filmed arrives they can ideally step right in and start having a great conversation – sometimes the initial answers when getting briefed and the crew are setting up are the gold ones which is what we want to capture!
- Decide whether you want the person on camera to be talking into camera “direct to the audience” or off camera as if they are having a conversation with another person. Both of these options have their advantages and suit different types of videos – when you discuss your idea, needs and final destination of your video, the production house can advise which one is best.
Direct to camera suits more scripted videos while off camera suits a more documentary feel to the video. Direct to camera does often require a tele-prompter or a second camera angle to allow for smooth editing cuts as it is quite hard to remember lots of lines when there is a few people and camera’s in the room!
Another option is to use an audio interview only and film ‘cutaways’ to show your audience your message or product instead of telling your audience about it.
An example of an audio only interview with overlay footage.
An example of an off camera and a direct to camera interview video with overlay footage.
- We will work with you to find a location that suits the subject and the role of the person being interviewed, for example it probably won’t look right interviewing a professional sports person in an office and vice-versa. The larger the space the better to allow the camera to create a sense of depth and to also allow room for lights, tele-prompters, camera and cameraman and producers etc. One of the most important and sometimes overlooked aspects of filming interviews is background noise! Try and think of quiet locations to do the interview and experience tells us that in Sydney that is often a challenging task!
- Avoid fine patterned shirts / dresses. Fine lines really don’t get along with camera’s as they create strange diagonal moving lines which can be very off putting.
During the interview.
Typically, the main aim of a video interview is to have a conversation with a person(s) which will result in honest, engaging and relevant content to support the message of a particular video. Some of the things to consider during the interview are:
- Question in the answer – most of the time the person conducting the interviews voice will not be present in the final video so to provide context to what question the interviewer asked we need the person being interviewed to begin the answer with the context of the question. For example; interviewer: can you tell me what the weather is like today? Interviewee: the weather today is sunny. (instead of just ‘it’s sunny’)
- Anti-shine makeup – all of our camera kits have a basic anti-shine makeup for light and dark skin to soften the shine coming off lights etc. We recommend you bring some anti-shine make-up of your choice as well.
- Remember you are just having a conversation – Obviously unless your a reality TV star, your not used to being interviewed by people with big cameras on an everyday basis so some people can find it a bit daunting! Try and remember that you have lots of time and nothing is going out live! If your not happy with your answer, you can just do it again until you are happy!
- Have a clear grasp of what you want to say going into the interview. Check with your marketing department, ask your colleagues for some feedback and check your message is on track with what you want to say in the final video. Although during an off camera interview the producer won’t want you to sound to scripted, having a basic idea of what you want to say can really help in getting great content on camera.
We hope this gives you a few pointers to consider before using video in your next campaign.
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