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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

    New to video interviews & 16:9

    There is a question at the end of this preamble!

    I have years of experience with still photography, & a bit of not-very-serious event video shooting & editing.
    Now planning to help with a "high school dropouts returning to school" class on an "Indian" reserve.
    NB "Indians" are now properly called "First Nations" in Canada.

    A friend will be running a parallel still photography class, and a regular teacher running a literacy class (same students in all three streams).

    My first thought was to shoot videos of young people interviewing their grandparents (which would help to preserve their language, history & customs), but that raises some potential political issues, so we'll probably begin with the students interviewing each other or their friends, primarily for learning purposes at this early stage.

    Q1) I've been wondering if the widespread use of 16:9 video has had much of an impact on video interviews, as an alternative to the traditional shoot-the-interviewee, shoot the interviewer, put them together in editing workflow.
    With 16:9 it is possible to have interviewer & interviewee in the frame together. But not all the time - that could become boring. I've been looking for examples but not found much yet. Does that work well (or at all)? Tips, strategies etc?

    Q2) Assuming I do that, the standard 3-point lighting setup would need to be modified, I assume, particularly the Fill light. Tips, thoughts etc?

    Advice & comments welcomed.

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
    Blog Entries
    Hi John, welcome to the forum.

    What you're doing sounds great and I think you have a good plan. Political issues aside I agree that it makes sense to start practicing with "unimportant" interviews first so when it comes time to get the good stuff the students will be able to do it justice and capture something worth keeping.

    When I first started shooting interviews in 16x9 I found it quite uncomfortable. Like most other camera operators I knew, I just altered the framing to accommodate the extra space but otherwise it was pretty much the same format. Initially I found the extra space weird but to be honest I've got used to it and now that's what I do all the time. So the short answer is that it hasn't impacted the way I shoot interviews except for slightly different framing.

    16x9 certainly does offer more opportunity to fit two people in shot at the same time but I don't generally try to fit both the interviewer and subject in the same shot except wide shots and over-the-shoulder shots. For "normal" (tighter) interview shots that contain most of the talking, I do them essentially the same as when I used to shoot in 4x3. Lighting is basically the same too.

    Bottom line - whatever looks good to you
    Dave Owen


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