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10 Simple Rules to Shooting Great Interviews

Blog Post

Shooting interviews is a crucial aspect of storytelling, whether for documentaries, news features, or corporate videos. A well-executed interview can captivate an audience, convey information effectively, and evoke emotions. To ensure you capture compelling and authentic interviews, consider the following 10 simple rules:

1. Preparation is Key:

Before the shoot, thoroughly research your interviewee and the topic. Familiarize yourself with their background, achievements, and any potential sensitive subjects. Prepare a list of questions to guide the conversation and share them with the interviewee, but do not complete a practice run to maintain spontaneity.

2. Create a Comfortable Environment:

Establish a relaxed and comfortable setting for the interview. A calm interviewee is more likely to open up and share genuine answers. Ensure proper lighting, a suitable backdrop, and minimal distractions to foster a focused atmosphere.

3. Use the Right Equipment:

Invest in quality audio and video equipment to capture clear and crisp footage. A good microphone is essential for recording high-quality sound, while a high-resolution camera ensures visually appealing results. Test your equipment before the interview to address any technical issues.

4. Frame the Shot Thoughtfully:

Pay attention to the composition of your shot. Frame the interviewee in a way that complements the narrative. Use the rule of thirds, maintain eye contact, and be mindful of the background to avoid distractions. Although windows are great for introducing natural light, avoid placing them behind an interviewee as it can introduce harsh lighting and distractions; instead, place them out of frame on the side or behind the camera.

5. Mindful Lighting:

Proper lighting can significantly impact the quality of your interview footage. Use natural light when possible and supplement it with artificial lighting if needed, but do not place the artificial light in unnatural locations. Position your lights strategically to avoid harsh shadows and ensure your subject is well-lit. If you have a window on one side, place some additional lighting in front (behind the camera) and on the opposite side of the window.

6. Establish Eye Contact and Don’t Bounce Around:

Encourage your interviewee to maintain eye contact with you or the camera. This creates a more engaging and trustworthy connection with the audience. Ensure that your interviewee looks into the camera when addressing the audience directly. It is important you also advise the interviewee to reduce fidgeting or moving around in their chair. While natural movements or talking with hands is encouraged, any other movement can be distracting for viewers.

7. Encourage Natural Conversation:

While it's important to have a list of prepared questions, don't be afraid to deviate from the script if the conversation naturally leads in a new direction. Authenticity often shines through when the interviewee feels comfortable, and the dialogue flows naturally.

8. Active Listening:

Actively listen to your interviewee's responses. This not only helps you follow up with relevant questions but also demonstrates genuine interest. Responding thoughtfully to their answers fosters a more dynamic and engaging conversation. Leave space at the start and end of the interview and between questions and answers to avoid any abrupt cut-offs during editing.

9. B-Roll:

Enhance your interview with supplementary footage, known as a B-roll. These shots can include relevant scenes, funny moments, or spontaneous conversations. B-roll not only adds visual interest but also aids in seamless editing and storytelling.

10. Interviewee Name:

Have the interviewee state their name and any other relevant information at the start of the interview; this is often used in “lower thirds” titles.

Contact Cubicle Fugitive

If you want to make a good impression during a video interview, you can follow these ten simple rules to ensure that your video looks professional and polished. However, making a video requires more than just an interview. If you need help with creating your video’s intro and outro, adding transitions and visual effects, writing a script, or promoting your video on social media, you can contact Cubicle Fugitive. Our team of experienced marketers can assist you with every step of the video production process, from conception to release.

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