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Composing Interview Shots

Once you are familiar with the basic framing requirements for interviews, here are a few more composition tips...


Backgrounds

Poor image composition Not Good: The speakers in the background make the subject look he has antennae.

Check the background and make sure there's nothing distracting from the person speaking. Often the worst visual distractions are subtle things the camera operator didn't notice during the shoot, for example:

Try to have something in the background which suits or supports the interview (e.g. a landmark, monument, etc).

Check the microphone and cube. A wind-sock which is hanging off the mic doesn't look good.


Eyelines

An IV is more comfortable to watch if the subjects appear to be the same height.

It is very important to make sure the guest's eyes are level with the interviewer's. Any noticeable difference makes the interview look uncomfortable, and may even give an unwanted message (such as dominant and submissive appearances).

In studio situations, chairs are adjusted to make everyone the same height.

In the field you may need to be a bit more inventive. In the situation pictured on the right, the interviewer and guest are only ever shown from the waist up. The audience need never know the true height relationship.

 


Next Page: Studio IVs

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