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Top Tips on Filming Professional Video Interviews

Video interviews add depth and a level of professionalism to a film. Whether you’re shooting a documentary or a corporate marketing program, video interview production is likely a necessary element that you’ll need to include. Unfortunately, many fail to recognize the value in producing video interviews that truly act as an extension of the production. To help you successfully include video interviews in your film production, we’ve compiled these top tips on filming professional video interviews.

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  1. Ditch the Phone-Use Professional Equipment

Professional filming and audio equipment is vital to a quality video interview production. If you’re looking for equipment to film video interviews on a budget, consider shopping for gently used items that still provide high-quality at a more affordable price. This option is almost always a better idea than to choose low-quality equipment that’s brand new.

Video interviews production

Your video interviews production is only as good as the audio that you record with it. Therefore, we recommend investing in exceptional quality audio equipment including lavalier microphones and other essential recording gear. Capturing crystal clear audio from your subjects takes a little practice. Don’t be afraid to test, adjust, and retest audio equipment to ensure you are capturing the audio as crisply and clearly as possible before you begin filming the video interview.

  1. Choose a Professional Video Backdrop

The backdrop should not only be professional, but also logical. If you’re filming an interview about your company, consider a backdrop that reflects your corporate vision, colors, or logo. If filming a video documentary interview on pets, consider a background that features the outdoors or maybe the inside of a home. Avoid backdrops that do not directly relate to the topic of the interview. For instance, you would not want to have a backdrop that shows a construction site or a coffee shop on a video about pets.

When you struggle to find the right backdrop, or you’re low on time or budget, consider a solid colored wall the next best thing. Viewers are less likely to pay any attention to the background if it is a solid color. Filming the subject a few feet in front of the wall will allow for the blurring out of the backdrop which will add depth to the image.

  1. Help the Interviewee Understand What Takes Place Behind the Camera

Video interviews can be nerve-wracking for some interviewees, especially when they have no real understanding of what they should or should not do or say. You can help your interviewee out by providing him or her with basic information and helpful tips as you go. This will make your job and theirs’ easier in the long run.

Begin the video interview by providing the interviewee with the following helpful tips:

  • Try to look at me instead of focusing on the camera lens. Interviewees that look at the camera can create an awkward impression that leaves the viewer feeling uncomfortable. Help the interviewee to see the difference in how his viewing direction changes the emotions of the take.
  • Try to be as still as you can and not to fidget around. Moving around can be distracting for viewers and is likely to disrupt the pro audio equipment that is in place to record the interview. It can also result in the footage becoming blurry or out of focus as the camera has been adjusted to capture the interviewee in a set position.
  • Repeat the question that you are answering back to me before you provide the answer in detail. For instance, instead of answering “I love children and have always cared for young people.” Say, “I started teaching Elementary School because I love children and have always cared for young people.” These types of answers can help to move the story along.

  1. Easy Interview Questions First, More Difficult Questions Later

Since the interviewee is likely feeling a bit awkward or uncomfortable, it’s best to warm them up a bit before throwing the curve-ball, challenging questions at them.  Begin the video interview with basic questions like “What is your name?” or “Where are you from?”

As they begin to feel more comfortable you can begin to introduce some of the more challenging or thought-provoking questions. Consider asking the most important 2 or 3 questions twice. Rephrase each of them so that they do not sound exactly the same and potentially prompt a different answer from the interviewee.

  1. Capture B-Roll of Your Interviewee

Professional video interview production almost certainly includes b-roll footage of the subject actually functioning in the field. Depending on the subject and the profession of the interviewee, this footage could be as simple as capturing someone sitting at their desk typing or it could be as complex as capturing a navy pilot pulling off a trick maneuver. The B-roll footage can add a layer of depth and pique the interest of viewers.

For more information on these top tips on filming professional video interviews, give Beverly Boy Productions a call.

Here’s a very short interview Beverly Boy Productions conducted utilizing these tips.