Interviews are the backbone of any good visual media studio. The skills and techniques involved in setting up and conducting an interview flow into all other forms of storytelling. From lighting to audio, video to set design, direction to delivery, it all comes together in the interview setting.
This blog is basically a geek out for how we run interviews. It might seem dull to you, but we love it! Creating that cinematic look, putting the candidate at ease and confidently driving the narrative. It all takes skill and confidence in the craft of our Interview Technique.
At Studio 44 Media we filmed hundreds of interviews covering;
- Patient Stories
- Training Content
- Employee Stories
- Personal Stories
- Client Engagement
- And the good old VoiceOver
No matter what your story is, we can create the right environment to put you in the best light and help connect you to your audience.
To conduct a good interview you need to know the story.
Taking the time before the production day to get to know the person you’re talking to and understanding how their experience drives the narrative – that’s how you deliver a strong interview. However, to keep the conversation flowing and to build naturally into the relevant points takes experience. Above all, good interview technique makes for a much smoother edit, resulting in faster turn arounds which means that you get to promote your content sooner.
Cinematic lighting creates depth.
I don’t mean that somehow good lighting makes the candidate seem like more of an intellectual giant, rather it helps separate the subject from the background. Doing this helps keep attention on what really matters – you! Positioning the Key Light 45 degrees from the camera creates the Rembrandt lighting effect – basically, you look like a movie star. We use a soft box to reduce the intensity of the shadows and it helps capture more flattering skin tones. We’ll have a Fill Light 45 degrees from the camera in the opposite direction and a lower intensity, to ‘fill in’ some light on the shadow side of the face. Finally, we’ll use a Hair Light or Back Light directly opposite the Key Light. This light will be controlled with barn doors (those flappy black things) so that your head, shoulders and neck line have a little rim of light. This is called the Halo and it is crucial to enabling the separation of subject and background. If the mood calls for it we might add in a coloured light as a ‘Kicker’ to bounce off the ceiling or walls.
Relaxation is the secret ingredient.
Everyone gets tense in front of the camera. Even if you’ve done it a thousand times, repetition simply reduces the amount of time it takes for you to relax. Therefore, why we do everything we can to make being in front of the camera as normal as possible. Building a rapport with the candidate is the first step. Speaking to them about normal things like breakfast and holidays, you know, hairdresser conversations. When they breathe out and let their shoulders rest, that’s when we know it’s time to begin. In other words, we make sure that we shoot when you’re ready, and not before.