In a previous blog entry we discussed the technical side of shooting a great interview in the camera sound and lighting departments. This entry will be aimed at techniques the interviewer can use to make sure you walk away with what you need when conducting a video recorded interview.
First thing you need to do is to get your interviewee nice and relaxed as someone who is nervous will look and sound that way on camera and will generally have trouble stringing sentences together. Be sure to not pressure them and have a nice calm relaxed approach to the process which will rub off on them.
Quite often in a video interview the interviewers questions will not be heard in the final edit of the interview and you need the interviewee to respond to the question with the question. For example if the question is what colour is the sky today the person being interviewed could respond with “today the sky is blue”. Or they could respond with its a lovely day today and with the great weather the sky is a gorgeous shade of blue.
You are generally looking for sound bites that the video editor can use to tell the story and getting to the point answers will make that video editor a much happier person and your video project will be all the better for it.
At Octopus Films we shoot a lot of interviews for a wide range of video productions. If conducting interviews is not your thing contact us and let our expertise in the field elevate the production values of your video project. We have shot video interviews for a wide variety of video productions around Sydney and the world including: corporate videos, broadcast TV, documentaries and instructional / tutorial videos.
When asking your questions there are a few pitfalls to to be aware of, those being:
Be sure the person asking the question and the person answering the question don't have their voices overlap, we always ask the interviewee to give it 2 seconds before giving their answer.
Tell your interviewee to never use the phase as I said before as the audience will never have heard what was said before.
During the interview the interviewee should keep their eyes either at the camera lens or with the interviewer. Darting eyes makes the audience think the person is shady.
Unless impossible we always have the interviewee take off their sunglasses, if they are wearing them. Generally the audience wont trust the interviewee if they cant see their eyes.
Conduct your interview in the quietest place possible and if you simply can't find anywhere quite incorporate the source of the noise into the background of your shot. The noise will become acceptable to the audience if they can see it. Then also record some “room tone” this will help the editor smooth out the audio around 30 seconds should be fine.
Other tips we can offer are listening to answers and throwing in some off the cuff questions. Do some research on your interviewee as this will better arm you for the interview and if the person being interviewed learns that you know a little about them it will help them warm up to you quicker.