Tips for making an interview look and sound good Oct20

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Tips for making an interview look and sound good

My first interview was with Amit, which was particularly handy because he has a degree in film making and therefore had some great tips for me to create a good looking interview.

The equipment I used to film the interview is top of the range – Canon 5D digital SLR with a f/2.8 24-70mm lens. This camera shoots in HD and a lot of top film makers are using it now to shoot films and TV shows. Not that I used it to its full capabilities!

So here are some great tips for setting up a beautiful looking and sounding interview:

  • is the subject illuminated?
  • is the background too aggressive? Are there too many colours?
  • is the camera close to the person to record the audio?
  • remove all other noises – close windows, silent phones, turn off music
  • tell the subject where they should look – into the camera or at the person asking the interview questions? I told Amit to look into the camera, and that seemed to be fine
  • ask them not to talk over you. If they do you will ask them to say it again
  • record a few minutes before they start talking of silence. This helps with the editing because it gives you a reading of the standard background noise around you
  • end with a few minutes of nothing. Again this helps with the editing
  • don’t be afraid to ask the interviewee to say stuff again.
And if you are using a digital SLR camera, these are some helpful tips:
  • aperture should be F2.8 – this is a shallow focus so the interviewee is in focus but the background is a bit blurred. This helps the viewer to focus on the subject
  • white balance is on automatic (or with the coloured filters if that’s what looks good. Amit usually stretches his white balance to emphasise red/green tones, which is warmifying the image).
Filming at the Dead Sea

Amit filming Jo with the Canon 5D at the Dead Sea, Israel. Photo by Tony Savill.

Thanks again to Amit Turkenitz of Fly on the Wall photography.

 

Jo Savill is a writer, science communicator and entrepreneur. Stay up to date with Jo’s writing by signing up to her newsletter

 

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