Framing your subject medium to close up
Interview Best Practices
Choose a room for the interview with minimum noise. When walking into a room for the first time, close your eyes and listen. Ask yourself these questions. Is the air conditioner running? Are there any noises being produced by appliances? Is the interview room next to a noisy highway? Are the windows open?
Write Interview Questions (Do not share these with the interviewee.)
- Meet subject prior to interview if possible
- Make the subject feel comfortable
- Review ground rules with subject before starting interview. (i.e. repeat back the question, eye perspective, if they need a break then just say so, have water for them)
- Camera eye perspective: looking at camera or just off camera but not both. Off
camera is more common. If the subject is looking off camera, the interviewer should be standing to the immediate left or right of camera.
- Have the subject repeat back the question so the audience has a frame of
reference for the questions being asked.What is your name? My name is…
As an instructional technologist at Bucknell, what might your day look like?
As an instructional technologist at Bucknell, I am embedded in the classroom and work with faculty and students to……
- Compose your shot so the camera is seeing from subject’s chest to head, also
known as a Medium Shot.
- Use a windscreen when recording audio outside.
- Never have your camera facing a window with a subject in front of it. This creates a silhouette of the person.
- Always use a tripod and make sure the tripod is balanced.
- The camera lens should always be level with the subject’s eyes. The camera
should never look down or up at the subject. If the subject is sitting, the interviewer is sitting. If the subject is standing, the interviewer is standing.
- Always use a lav mic when conducting interviews, especially outside. The lav
mic will directly pic up the subject’s voice and create a separate channel from external noises.
- Never rely on just the camcorder’s internal audio. Always use an external mic of some sort to record audio.
- If the interview is inside, try to conduct it in a location with a sufficient amount of light and minimal noise.
- If the interview is outside and it is extremely sunny, the subject should not be standing or sitting directly in the sun. Move to a slightly shaded area. Overcast days are better for outside shooting vs. sunny days.
- Be conscious of your environment where you are filming. You should have an aesthetically pleasing background and it should make sense with your interview topic.
- Make sure your shot is framed well. Rule of thirds
- Everything in your frame is there for a reason. There should be nothing in the frame that you don’t want your audience to see.
- Interview questions should tell a story. Intro, body, conclusion. Interweave interview questions if you have multiple interviews. Don’t keep them separate.
- Make sure you bring Release Forms. Every subject should sign a release form giving you or your Institution permission to use the interview for specific public purposes (i.e. post to website, eportfolio, conference)
B-roll is extra footage that is inter-cut with an interview. This adds depth and meaning to your story.
To capture proper b-roll you will have to familiarize yourself with a few shooting techniques:
During production bring your production schedule, shot list, contact list, and storyboard to ensure you are capturing everything you need on that shooting day.