5 tips to shoot an interview:
Interviews — the art of connecting the viewer with a story.
But there’s a lot to pay attention to, so that’s why we’re sharing 5 tips for better and more dynamic interviews.
Today we’re having a look at shooting interviews and we’ll share five simple tricks to make them look professional.
1⃣️The first tip is to make sure you always shoot B Roll.
First of all what is B Roll?
Well, this could be a second camera filming the interview from a different angle. But you can also do the interview twice and move your single camera to a different position. The talent doesn’t have to tell the story exactly the same, if it somehow comes down to the same thing, you can cut two different paragraphs or topics, making the interview look a lot more dynamic of course.
2⃣️Important when working with two or more camera angles is that you have a clear difference in frame size. For example one is a long shot, another one, a close up.
I’m also making sure that all the cameras I used are on the same side of the person sitting behind the camera asking the questions. And avoid confusion for the viewers as in the two shots, the talent is looking at the same direction.
If I would put one camera on the other side, you’ll see that the talent is now looking at two sides now.
3⃣️The next tip is Sound.
For interviews, sound is very important.
One golden rule to avoid many mistakes, is to bring your microphone as close as you can to the subject. So if you have a medium shot, place your microphone just outside your frame:
“Test Test… Can you hear me loud and clear?”
Don’t let your sound guy stand on the other side of the room.
“I’m sorry, I think your sound man is a little bit too far.”
If you don’t have an external microphone, you can always use your phone. It probably comes with a pair of these. And they have a microphone as well that you can use as a Lavalier. Simply record the audio on that phone and synchronise it in post afterwards.
“Hello my name is Kim. And I’m using my earbuds for a small microphone. Right here.”
If you have multiple interviews and you need to make a montage of that, it’s important to define their viewing direction by placing the person that asks the questions first on the right side of the camera and then in your left side of the camera, you’ll see that they cut a lot better.
It’s more dynamic and natural than if you would cut to the same viewing direction.
4⃣️The fourth tip is to be aware of where you place the person who asks the question.
Usually you want the story of the subject to connect with the viewer. And therefore we will place the interviewer as close as possible to the main camera.
See the difference in viewing direction, where in the first example, Kim is looking further away from the camera.
In the second shot, we have the interviewer sitting close to the camera.
We’re now feeling more involved with her story as she looks right near the camera.
5⃣️And finally the last tip is the background.
Make sure that the background is relative to the story of the talent.
The room you’re placing that person in, sets a certain mood and feel, plus it puts the subject in the right atmosphere as well.
Here’s an example.
Kim talks about her work. She’s a speech language therapist. So it’s convenient to place her in her workspace. As for the background we’ll make sure there is something visual that represents what she does.
You’ve got an empty room on our left side. We’ll add some posters about her work. So even though she’s in the correct space, the background of that space might need adjustments too.
“Hello, my name is Kim and I’m a speech language pathologist. I help children with language articulation, math, reading, grammar problems.”
So as you can see there’s a lot to think about when choosing an interview.
Thank you so much for watching.
All right what is B Roll?
“In film and Television Production, B-Roll, B Roll, B-Reel or B Reel is supplemental or alternatives footage intercut with the main shot. The term A-Roll referring to the main footage has fallen out of usage.”
So, for example if I’m talking about snowboarding behind an ATV and how fun it is, this right here is the A Roll, we don’t really call it the A Roll but it would be the A Roll and then these are the B Roll clips showing how I’m suiting up getting ready to snowboard behind an ATV.
These are the B Roll clips and now we’re back to the A Roll so that’s what the B Roll clips are.
So what’s the point of B Roll?
Well it’s to put visuals to the things that you’re talking about.
In an ideal world your B Roll fits really well with the things that are being talked about or the overall theme of the video. It’s so much better to show and tell instead of just telling the things that you’re trying to get across.
Usually for me I like to make my B Roll really nice and cinematic that’s kind of my style. But not all B Roll has to be this epic 120 frames per second cinematic eye candy as long as the B Roll fits your video, then that’s good. It doesn’t have to be 120 frames per second like a lot of people think.
And there is nothing wrong about 120fps, I just want to say that you don’t have to use it.
There’s all sort of different ways of showing B Roll. Find out what is the best way for your video and do it that way.
B Roll should enhance your storyline. So if I’m taking about how I love travelling to warm places, I’m gonna show clips from Maui or somewhere like that and not clips from Iceland where it’s not warm. And okay that’s really obvious but sometimes it’s not as obvious what kind of B Roll to show and a lot of people show just unrelated B roll and that gets boring really fast. The brain kind of tunes out because it doesn’t understand why are you showing this clip. This has nothing to do with the things that you’re talking about.
Unrelated B Roll can be really distracting so you need to really think about what fits your storyline. And it doesn’t have to be just, you know literal B Roll of the thing that you’re talking about. You can symbolise things or you can have an overall narrative over time. Or you can use things like passage of time. This is one of the things that a lot of vloggers kind of miss out in their videos, they go from one place to the next without any kind of B Roll in between.
And B Roll is a really good way of just showing that time has passed from this point to the next. So, if you’re traveling by car, get a few shots of you driving in a car, if you’re flying somewhere, a few shots in there…anything to kind of link the two things together.
Time lapse can also be a really great way to just show passage of time but just you know the speeding up of things just shows that okay time has passed now. And then you’re in a new place.
Okay, how can we make sure that we get the best B Roll for every single video we make?
I’m gonna give you guys a few tips and I’m going to use the snowboarding ATVing that we did with Peter as kind of an example for this.
Number one and I’m always talking about this is, planning it. Plan your shoot out, plan what kind of B Roll you need and how you’re gonna get it. What kind of equipment are you gonna use to get that B Roll.
So think about your storyline, what’s going on if you’re doing an interview of a surfer, you’re gonna have some surfing footage in there, maybe he’s waxing his board, anything like that. Maybe you’re talking about your hometown, so show some clips of your hometown, or in this case we were ATV-ing behind a snowboard so there was just a ton of different B Roll we could get setting up for it and actually riding around, all that stuff.
But you’ll also need to plan how you’re gonna capture that?
So what kind of gear are you going to use? For example with the snowboarding we use some GoPros and then we had some Gorilla paws just stationary so we could just drive by it because we didn’t have anybody else filming us. So we really had to think about how are we gonna get enough footage even though nobody else is filming us.
If we would have gone there for example without GoPros, without thinking about it; we would have missed a nice bit of B Roll getting those GoPro action shots. So plan out what kind of shots you need and how are you are gonna get those shots.
Number two is coverage. I’ve talked about this before, don’t just film random shots, film them kind of in sequence. Film a wide shot, film some medium shots, film some close-ups, film all sorts of different angles, so that you have enough when you go to edit.
You can never have too much B Roll. So again, with our snowboarding we could have just filmed the actual snowboarding but no. we filmed Peter suiting up, me suiting up, putting on our helmets getting the tow rope ready. Putting on the snowboard, turning on the ATV, all that stuff we filmed because the more B Roll we have, the nicer edit we can make, and the better story we can tell instead of just going from me talking and vlogging to all of a sudden being behind a snowboard. We have this nice build up to the action.
You’re gonna have a way better time in your edit because you’re not gonna be struggling to find the right shots. Or you’re gonna be struggling because you don’t have enough shots. And you’re also gonna be telling a better story.
Number three, be creative.
Figure out some really cool different kinds of shots once you’ve gotten your basic kind of coverage shots, think about what kind of interesting creative angles you can get? We were trying to rack our brains where we could stick the GoPro and it wasn’t really working out, but go through that process of thinking about what kind of creative angles you can get because those are sometimes the coolest shots in the whole video and because they’re not your typical shots, people are kind of wowed by those shot.
This is the rig that I used to get that intro shot. I put some plastic wrap in here so it wouldn’t get my lens all dirty. And then I opened it up and I could still film at the same time.
So I went through the trouble of just for that one shot bringing up the whole thing and I think it pays off. I think it looks cool, it’s an interesting way to open up the video, so in your B Roll think about how you can be creative.
Number four, I would say take your time with B Roll. A lot of people just kind of rush with B roll on it: Oh that’s good enough.
Do not say that’s good enough.
B Roll is probably one of the most important things in your video. This is really the place where your footage has an opportunity to shine, where you can really flex your creative muscles and show what you’re capable of.
In any given portfolio or reel when people show off kind of their work, it’s all the B Roll, you’re not showing these talking faces very much, because the B Roll is the really high quality stuff. So don’t rush it. This is where you have the chance to shine and kind of show what you’re made up of. If it doesn’t look good, switch it up, try something different, keep working at it, until you have some really nice looking B Roll.
And one of the big things here is to use light properly, that’s really gonna help you out. So trying different angles to work with the available light because a lot of times we don’t have a light setup, use that light and you’re gonna get really nice B Roll.
With B Roll do not say good enough, keep working at it, make it the best it can be.
Number five, always leave time for B Roll.
B Roll can sometimes be like the last thing on the To-Do list like… alright let’s just get some B Roll if we only have five more minutes, let’s just do this really quickly and that can be one of the worst things for your videos because the B Roll is so important. And I’m guilty of this especially with YouTube, there’s so many times where I’m just wishing in the edit that I had some more B Roll to make it a little bit more interesting, or to show what’s going on. But because I didn’t leave enough time, I don’t have enough B Roll.
So make sure you’re prioritising B Roll especially if you have a crew that you’re working with make sure there’s enough time to shoot B Roll, in between the interviews or whatever else you’re doing so there’s some kind of practical tips on how to get really good B Roll. There’s all sorts of creative stuff that we can do, think about composition and lighting and lens choices and all those things but these are the practical things that you can kind of ensure that you’re getting the best possible B Roll for every single video that you’re working on. You want to be consistent and these things are going to keep you consistent.
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