Talking heads, interviews and vox pops probably make up about half of what we at Echo Video film and edit. That’s a lot of people we’ve had in front of our cameras so it’s fair to say that we have a decent idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to on camera interviews. For some people the thought of organising an interview let alone being in front of the camera is pretty terrifying but luckily for you we’ve worked out that there’s only three things you need to think about when planning an on camera interview for your company.
It’s not all about you! Well it’s mostly about you but there’s a lot more to consider as well…
- Not all rooms are created equal. If you want a great looking interview then you need to start in a decent looking room. Please no more white walled, dull meeting rooms. If you don’t have a decent space at your office then think about an alternative location.
- Size matters. While we’re picking a location let’s try to get something bigger than a broom cupboard. Even the simplest set up requires lights, camera(s) and a mic plus a few people so we’ll need space to set up.
- What not to wear. People worry about this one a lot but generally you just need to avoid any item of clothing that has a really tight knit pattern as this can lead to a moire effect where the lines look like they’re alive and moving.
- One camera or two? As engaging as you are on camera it might be nice to cut away to a shot of something else during the video. If that’s not possible then consider filming it with 2 cameras so you can cut between angles. This will also help chop out any mistakes in the edit.
- You don’t have to stay still. Interviews tend to be filmed sitting down with a static camera but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can move, the camera can move, everything can move! Explore your options to make your video stand out.
There’s a big fluffy thing hanging above your head and small black thing clipped to your top and they’re going to pick up everything you say and do…
- Speak at a normal level. The production company have set up a mic for a reason so there’s no need to shout.
- Lose the bling. Necklaces, bracelets, watches. Anything that makes jingles or makes any sort noise when you move needs to be taken off, unless you want people to think you’re Santa.
- No air conditioning! It makes an awful hum and even though it can be removed or improved in post-production the sound will always be better if it’s not there to begin with.
- Watch out for foot traffic. A meeting room might seem like a good place to film an interview but not if other members of staff are charging around outside, especially during the lunchtime rush – thump, thump, thump.
- Turn off your phone. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a perfect answer only to be interrupted by a ringing or a buzzing. Better safe than sorry, turn it off.
The cameras are set up, it’s looking and sounding good. Now it’s down to you…
- To camera or not to camera? Speaking directly to camera means you’re addressing the audience directly, good for presenting facts. Talking to an interviewer off screen is more conversational plus people find it easier talking to a person as opposed to a lens.
- Maintain eye contact. Whatever or whoever you decide to talk to, keep eye contact at all times otherwise you just look shifty and untrustworthy. But don’t forget to blink!
- Get rid of your notes. Whether your winging it or have learnt your lines off by heart, if you can see your notes whilst answering a question your eyes are going to be constantly drawn to them which is distracting for the viewer and just doesn’t look great.
- Clear the room! There’s nothing more distracting than having 14 people staring at you and chipping in while your trying to answer a question. Make sure the only people in the room actually need to be there.
- Any finally…relax. It might be the hardest one of all, but chill out. No one knows this subject better than you, that’s why you’ve been asked to talk on camera about it. Be calm, confident and clear, you’ve got this.
3 things to think about for an on camera interview
OK, so we cheated, there’s actually like 15 things but they can be narrowed down in to 3 categories so it kind of makes sense right? Hopefully this will help you for the next time you’ve got an on camera interview to film but if you need any more advice or have any questions then don’t hesitate to get in touch.