General Tips for Shooting Interviews
The KISS Principle
When you're starting out shooting IVs it's probably best to keep it simple. It's better to have a boring static shot for 60 seconds than an empty or soft shot. Remember, the important stuff is what the guest is saying, not how creative your framing is.
Dealing with Newbie Guests
Guests who have never been interviewed before can be a challenge, especially if they are very nervous. It's important to reassure them and make them feel comfortable. Here are a few things you might find yourself saying to the nervous newbie:
"Just treat it as a normal conversation. There's no reason for you to worry about anything else that's happening. The best thing you can do to look good for the cameras is to ignore them."
"Don't worry if you make a mistake or muddle up your words - just carry on. It actually happens all the time in interviews, but because it's something the audience is used to seeing in everyday conversations they won't even notice."
"You look fine!"
Note: If the interview is to be edited, you can point out that any serious mistakes can be cut out.
Pace Yourself (and Everyone Else)
Fatigue is the enemy. Interviewers and guests who are tired do not perform well, so be careful not to exhaust them. When preparing the set, use stand-ins to take their place while you set up the shots. Do not ask for multiple takes unless necessary (you will often find the first take is the best anyway).
Beware of clothing which is un-camera-friendly. This includes shirts and jackets with fine patterns which produce the moire effect. Dark glasses or caps which obscure/shade the eyes are not good.
Think about everything that could happen during the interview. Especially if you're shooting off-the-shoulder and there's a chance that your subjects could move around, you need to know how you're going to move. Try to ensure that unwanted bystanders aren't going to interrupt the IV.
- Interview technique is a required skill for any serious camera operator.
- Know what the goal of the interview is and stay focused on that goal.
- Know the editing requirements.
- Double-check everything, then do it again.
- Be prepared for anything.
That brings us to the end of this tutorial - we hope you've enjoyed it. If you have any questions or comments, please visit our video and audio forums.